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Here’s why Kenyan startup BitPesa bought Spanish remittance platform

Nairobi-based fintech startup BitPesa has acquired a Spanish international money transfer service TransferZero.

The blockchain payments platform made the announcement on its Twitter account last week Thursday (8 February), a day after BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello spoke about the acquisition in New York at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto.

The deal will see TransferZero — which handles international remittances, payments and collections in more than 200 countries — retain its name and continue to operate in Spain.

Focus on building infrastructure across Europe and Africa

Rossiello said setting up such infrastructure across Europe and Africa has “always been a focus of ours” and that there was “just a lot of synergies in doing that”.

“We’ve just doubled our bank accounts, our infrastructure, and it’s licensed by the Bank of Spain as a payment institution,” she said. “So we are fully compliant with PSD2 regulations, [which] for those of you who know, is a new payment services directive across Europe. Which is not an easy thing to do, but something we feel is extremely important when doing global payments”

BitPesa currently operates in a number of African countries

‘Makes a lot of sense for us to dig roots there’

Explaining the acquisition, she said the startup has a number of customers in Europe, including some who request payments to the continent.

“So we could use a broker and pay a fee to that broker, or we could be our own broker,” she said.

“And so in the markets where our quarters are very strong, or where licensing is needed — and that’s one of the locations where you have the most licensed payment and money transfer companies, which is our biggest customer segment — it makes a lot of sense for us to do dig roots there to make sure we can provide the infrastructure and the customer support and the service that we’re known for, ” she added.

“Working between Europe and Africa is quite complimentary”.

BitPesa currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the DRC.

Featured image: BitPesa via Twitter

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