WayaPay launches digital bank for immigrants

Monday 19 September 2022 12:35 CET | News

WayaPay, a US-based Kenyan fintech, has launched its full-service digital bank and money transfer app targeting African immigrants.

Users of the WayaPay App will be able open digital bank accounts, and within minutes, send money to other Waya users for free. Moreover, they can use their Waya cards linked to their Waya account for different spendings and send money to more than ten countries in Africa. Remittances will be delivered to mobile wallets and bank accounts across Africa.

In addition, Waya allows users to make domestic bank transfers within the US to pay others or pay bills in the countries where they live and work.

It also seeks to provide other financial services like credit, savings account, and investment opportunities for African immigrants to enable them to be more financially secure and financially included in the countries where they work and live.

Wayapay’s aims to provide unlimited financial access and opportunities to everyone, especially those that are underserved, overlooked, and misunderstood by the traditional banking systems globally, with an initial focus on people living and working outside their home countries, as mentioned by the company officials.

Helping African immigrants

Although relatively small, the sub-Saharan African immigrant population in the US has grown over the last decades and is likely to continue to increase. Approximately 2.1 million sub-Saharan African immigrants resided in the US in 2019, representing 5% of the total foreign-born population of 44.9 million. This group is comprised of individuals from 51 countries, with a range of ethnic, linguistic, and educational backgrounds.

WayaPay, a US-based Kenyan fintech, has launched its full-service digital bank and money transfer app targeting African immigrants.

However, immigrants and refugees are less likely than native-born citizens to use financial services, credit, or other financing tools. Financial stress and financial anxiety are important constructs to understand how financial challenges affect individuals and families. It is equally important to explore financial capacity, which represents the combination of financial literacy and financial self-efficacy.

For regulatory agencies, like the Federal Reserve Banks, ensuring fair and equal access to financial products and services is central to their missions. Regulations that formalise this mission, like the Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Housing Act make it clear that financial institutions have a responsibility to ensure that their products and services are accessible to all sectors of society, including immigrants.

Fintech for immigrants

Banking system discrimination against communities of colour and low-income communities is already a long-dated reality that has materialised in a variety of ways, including fewer banks in non-white neighbourhoods, fewer mortgage approvals, and higher fees when members of these demographics do use financial service providers.

Luckily, thanks to the growing adoption of smartphones across demographics and technological advances in banking infrastructure, the barriers, and costs to create financial services products have fallen, allowing the rise of fintechs to change the way in which minorities are treated.

The widespread use of digital financial services already offers support for minorities to gain more control over their finances and greater economic opportunities. Banking apps, credit apps, and even investing apps are starting to democratise the financial services industry and provide new levels of access and equity to historically underserved people and locations. So, as the traditional banking approach doesn’t work anymore, underserved demographics are finally gaining the financial products for their needs.

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Keywords: fintech, startup, digital banking, money transfer, e-wallet
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: WayaPay
Countries: United States
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech


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