Tanzanian fintech startup NALA which was launched in 2018 to enable Africans in the diaspora easily send money home has now launched a feature allowing Kenyans to pay for bills at home. This feature integrates payments and international remittances, raising the usability of the app among customers.
The fintech is among players such as Wise, Remitly, SendSprint, Chipper Cash, Zazuu and Sendwave. All these companies are eyeing an opportunity in the hope that their market expands in the future.
The new feature by NALA will enable users to pay utility bills such as electricity, school fees, water and others using the app.
“NALA’s mission is to increase economic opportunities for Africans globally. We believe giving people more transparency and control enables the diaspora to save money and invest efficiently back in Kenya. This reach allows us to build stronger financial infrastructure for Kenyans worldwide,” the company says.
The company founded by serial entrepreneur Benjamin Fernandes aims to give Africans in the US and the UK financial opportunities that are unique.
“We [at NALA] have focused on the US and the UK because these countries have the largest East African populations outside of Africa. However, studies have shown that the majority of money sent to Africa is still sent in cash even in 2022. We believe that digitisation and giving senders more control over their money can change this narrative.”
In January this year, the company raised $10 million. At the time, the company was present in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and South Africa, with plans to expand in 12 African countries by the end of the year, including Nigeria. In July, it also partnered with Equity Bank Kenya for diaspora remittance. This partnership allows Kenyans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money directly from their banks, through the NALA app to Equity Bank Kenya accounts and other mobile wallets.