Digital banking app for African immigrants Waya officially launched

Waya, a digital banking app that seeks to make it easier for African immigrants to send money back home is set to officially launch on September 16, in Washington DC.

In a statement sent to the media, the company says it will bring full-service digital banking and money transfer app, focused on the African Diaspora, effectively expanding financial inclusion for Africans living and working in the United States.

“Waya’s mission is to unlock financial barriers and provide unlimited financial access and opportunities for millions of African immigrants living and working outside their home countries”, said Dr David Wachira, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Waya who formerly worked as a finance specialist at the World Bank.

Mr. Wachira said that the platform will provide a solution that will be faster, cheaper and affordable while allowing customers to store, spend, and transact more than 80% of what they are left with.

“The African Diaspora send over $50 billion dollars back home every year and lose up to $3B in hidden fees and high forex exchange rates when sending money back home,” Wachira said.  Waya is meant to provide alternative banking and remittance services to millions of immigrants in the diaspora.

The Waya App will allow users to open bank accounts digitally, and within minutes, send money to other Waya users for free, spend using their Waya cards linked to their Waya account and to remit money to over 10 countries in Africa. Remittances will be delivered to Mobile wallets such as  M-Pesa and bank accounts across Africa.

Mr Fred Ndavi, The Chief Impact & Strategy Officer said, “For many African Immigrants living and working in the USA and other parts of the world, opening a bank account is often marred with a myriad of roadblocks and constraints, while sending money remains the most expensive and inefficient financial process for any immigrant. We don’t think this is fair”

According to Ndavi, many immigrants in the United States are unbanked, underbanked and often underserved by existing banking channels.

Waya hopes to override most of the roadblocks and constraints that immigrants living and working in the United States face while opening a bank account.

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Simon W Nderitu

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