Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Paychant - Enabling businesses and individuals in Africa to accept digital currencies as payment in their day-to-day commerce.
It has always been an aspiration of ours to attend a virtual accelerator program and the idea of joining Celo Camp was a recommendation from one of Paychant's advisors. Luckily for us, after we applied in mid-August 2020, we were accepted into Pre-Camp and received an invitation for a Hangout interview with Alon Shavit and Tomer Weiss, the organizers of Celo Camp. After the Pre-Camp activities, we were accepted into the Celo Camp Batch 2 and we'd love to share our Celo Camp and Paychant journey with you!
In 2019, we started Paychant, a revolutionary payment platform that lets buyers use their favorite cryptocurrency to shop online and pay sellers for items purchased in store.
Paychant began as a direct result of a problem we encountered with receiving cross-border payment from our clients abroad. Since 2013, we've been working as freelance web developers, and then in 2017, our employer (of a remote job in London), decided to start paying us in cryptocurrency because of it's lower cost advantage for cross-border remittance over traditional remittance services. As we began to receive monthly payments in crypto, we discovered that it wasn't directly spendable for us. Most Nigerian merchants did not accept it as a form of payment, so every month we had to sell these cryptos on exchanges simply to get cash in our national currency. We realized then that 80% of our monthly spending went to shopping, and it gradually became a waste of time and exchange fees for us to always sell cryptocurrency for fiat, even to purchase an item less than $1.
Since then we've seen that the adoption of cryptocurrency is growing rapidly in Africa, a continent that already embraces mobile money, digital currency offers huge advantages to Africans, making it cheaper to transfer money from one person to another. Africa has seen greater ownership of cryptocurrency and trading volume. Over the past year, monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa rose by 55%, reaching a peak of $316 million in June. But despite this huge adoption, 99% of retails shops and online stores still do not accept crypto as a method of payment.
This is why we created Paychant in 2019, a cryptocurrency payment gateway that enables businesses and individuals in Africa to accept digital currencies as payment online and in retail stores, giving buyers a more streamlined and secure cryptocurrency checkout process.
The cost of sending cross border remittance to Africa is very high, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) being the most expensive remittance corridor in the world, with the average cost of sending $200 29 percent higher (9.4 percent) than the global average (7.1 percent). Paychant is solving this problem by putting Celo Dollar at the forefront as a currency to send remittances to Africa in a cheaper and secure way.
We are happy to align with Celo's mission in banking the unbanked in Africa. Celo will help Africans gain access to a cheaper, fast, and secure form of money remittance without having to rely on cost and inefficient local banking infrastructure.
We are proud to have participated in Celo Camp. Our journey with the Camp and Celo, has been a great experience. During the 8 weeks program, we built a decentralized web wallet, to store, send, and receive CELO and cUSD on the Celo blockchain. We also built an e-commerce platform that uses Celo Dollar as a payment currency. All these are open source projects and can be found on GitHub here:
Celo web wallet (https://github.com/paychant/celo-web-wallet)
E-commerce platform (https://github.com/paychant/celo-merchant/)
Through the Camp, we also had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from the U.S, Mexico, Latin America, South America, Asia, and Australia. All 18 finalists brought with them a different perspective in approach to business, problem-solving, and culture that we have never been exposed to before.
The network alone from Celo Camp meant a lot to us. Not to mention the mentorship, advisory, and resources. As developers, we learned so much from Celo's world-class engineers (cLabs) team, who offered us a series of technical guidance and the overall business positioning strategy.
One and the most memorable moment for us at Celo Camp were the weekly Prosper sessions. Thanks to Adriana, Julian, and Deepak for leading those sessions!
The next step moving forward for us is to launch the Paychant mobile money agent service across all States in Nigeria, this will enable an instant cash pickup of transfers at various locations in Nigeria. Paychant also plans to launch its crypto plugins for popular e-commerce platforms in Q1 2021.
Author: Moses Adeniji - Paychant, co-founder
Gabriel Adeniji and Moses Adeniji, Paychant, co-founders