Block, the company behind Cash App and Square, has partnered with Yellow Card, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa, to enable cross-border payments between 16 African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa.
Africa has the highest fees for sending remittances in the world, according to the World Bank, as this Techloy chart below shows.
March, Yellow Card and TBD tested their cross-border payment infrastructure to send money between the US, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. TBD plans to make its cross-border payment infrastructure available to other developers beyond Yellow Card.
The system leverages stablecoins and Bitcoin to decrease the fees needed to send money across borders, according to Block's TBD, a developer platform focused on making the decentralized financial world accessible for everyone.
TBD built a legally compliant “bridge” to connect each of the 16 countries, while Yellow Card provided the software to connect each country's financial network. The partnership follows Block co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey's investment in Yellow Card two years ago.
Block has been expanding its cross-border payments strategy, including remittances, and leading a funding round for Gridless, a Kenyan Bitcoin mining firm that hopes to promote renewable energy development. The partnership addresses the international payments space’s need for innovative solutions, according to Chris Maurice, Yellow Card's CEO.