Africans can now convert their fiat currency to cryptocurrencies via Apple Pay and Google Pay, thanks to British fintech company Mercuryo.
Anyone with a smartphone device can now use the company’s flagship widget service to trade digital assets in a few minutes, the company said in a statement.
The firm added that aside from that, the Apple Pay and Google Pay option will also be available on partner cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets – including Binance, Bitfinex, Trust Wallet, Trezor, ByBit, and Coinpayments – that have integrated the Mercuryo crypto widget.
“Africa is an important region for Mercuryo, as 14% of our total client base are located on the continent, with 10% being from Nigeria,” said Greg Waisman, Mecuryo’s co-founder and COO.
From the hyperinflation of national currencies to 350 million unbanked and an overly bureaucratic banking system, African citizens have long struggled with their everyday finances. However, since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, Africans have been increasingly adopting cryptocurrencies to manage their funds and settle their payments more efficiently.
With access to low-cost remittances and an alternative way to save and hedge against volatility, Africa’s citizens see crypto as a leading tool to cope with economic instability and the weakness of local currencies.
As a result, the continent’s Bitcoin market has grown to $8 billion between July 2019 and June 2020, with the number of digital asset transfers significantly surging throughout the period, according to Chainalysis.
“Seeing that the traditional banking system has left many of this region’s citizens unsatisfied, Mercuryo is glad to provide a new, better way for African citizens to efficiently manage their finances. And settle transactions rapidly and seamlessly,” added Waisman.
The company has identified the opportunity Africa’s crypto space presents to help locals and expand its business to a fast-growing market. With the mission to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for everyone on the globe, Mercuryo offers seamless fiat-to-crypto payment gateway services to both consumers and corporate clients.
Serving over 600,000 consumers and 200 cryptocurrency partners worldwide, the fintech firm features two flagship products, a digital asset wallet and a widget, that allows easy fiat-to-crypto exchanges in Africa and beyond.
The average age of Africans who use cryptocurrency is 25-34 years, according to Mercuryo’s statistics, and it is people of this age in Africa – 42.5% of the total number of users in the region – who use the fintech platform for cryptocurrency transactions.
The main type of operations that African people perform is the buying/selling of cryptocurrencies. It amounts to about 2000-3000 operations per month.
Mercuryo believes that cryptocurrencies can’t reach mainstream adoption with overly complex products and services. Instead, businesses have to create convenient solutions where the average user can purchase digital assets without any in-depth knowledge of crypto.
For that reason, the company has simplified the process of buying and selling crypto via its services as much as possible and now integrated Apple Pay and Google Pay to make it even easier.
To purchase cryptocurrencies via Apple Pay or Google Pay, one only needs an internet connection and a smartphone device. If customers haven’t passed KYC with Mercuryo, they will need to go through a swift procedure during the first transaction by verifying their identities.