Round 8
Winner
Sendit.Money
by

Cross-border stablecoin remittance for Africa

Budget request:  
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Products & Services

Remittance
As Nigerian with family abroad I frequently face challenges when it comes to sending and receiving money. It is particularly hard to send money to my son who studies in the UK. I am hit with multiple fees as I change NGN into USD and then send that on to be received in GBP. I want the same level of service I know exists in places like the UK or US where money can be sent quickly, securely and with low fees. Sendit.money is building a cross-border payment platform that will use stable coins on the Stellar network to leverage the speed and security of the Blockchain and enable individuals, initially in the UK-Nigeria corridor to send and receive money in local currency, at the best possible exchange rates & receive funds directly into bank accounts in mere seconds. No need to travel to find an agent as it can all happen from the palm of a hand.

E-Wallet & Prepaid Debit Card
My daughter lives abroad and has become very successful in her work. I am very proud of her and to top it all off she regularly sends me money to make sure I can buy what I need and pay the bills I owe. I’m used to having to get cash from agents or for an extra charge have the money sent to my bank account.  Wouldn’t it be great if I had a Visa card or the like to spend the money my daughter sends directly? Sendit.money is going to offer customers a multi-currency e-wallet that’s connected to a prepaid debit card which they can use to spend money online, at POS and to withdraw cash.  

Crypto Wallet
I was lucky enough to have been brought up during the age of digital technology and took every chance I had to learn about the latest developments. Due to this I was an early adapter when it came to crypto currencies. To be part of my financial world I want a digital wallet which empowers me to be able to use stable coins as a way of remitting to my friends and family abroad. I want to be able to buy, sell or send digital currencies and I want the user experience to be intuitive. Though integration with the Stellar coin network sendit.money will enable users to take advantage of digital currencies and transact in a affordable, fast and secure way.

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Progress so far
Goals

Our goal is to complete the build of our fiat wallet and become an anchor on the stellar chain with our own GBP stablecoin thereby enabling direct anchor to anchor remittances payments. If sufficient funding was received to enable this project, we would look to complete and launch our GBP stablecoin and integrated remittance platform by Q2 2022.

To get there, we  will use our requested budget of  
*
  to:

Work Package 1 - Project Management
Cost $80,192.31, November2021-April2022, Duration: 6 months

Work Package 2 - User Experience and Visual Design
Cost $2,456.90, November2021, Duration: 1 Month

Work Package 3 - Digital Wallet (FIAT)
Cost $27,283.13, November2021-December 2021, Duration: 2 Months.

Work Package 4 - Stellar anchor creation
Cost $128,388.93, January2022-April2022, Duration: 4 Months.

Work Package 5 - User Testing
Cost $10,430.97, November2021-March2022, Duration: 6 Months.

Overview

Problem and Solution


Remittance inequality slows economic growth. Globally, 1 billion individuals utilise remittance annually1.1. 6 billion live in emerging economies1.2  globally and 220 million send an average of £1650/year to their home country1.3. On average, an economically active individual in sub-saharan Africa is charged 8.5%1.4 of the total remittance when sending money into LMIC’s and developed countries, compared to free or at worst below 6.5%1.5 in developed economies.

Nigeria is an emerging economy, facing high fees, unreliable security and slow international transaction times with diaspora living in developed economies, i.e., £2.89 Billion was sent from the UK to Nigeria in 20181.6. Nigeria’s measurable outflowing remittance market was worth £90 Million in 20191.7. By 2025, Nigeria is forecasted to have 475 million mobile internet users and the whole industry is expected to contribute £132 Billion to Nigeria's GDP by 20241.8. Here is a rapidly growing population lacking the financial tools they need to succeed.  

 

Sendit.money is a crossborder payment platform which utilises stablecoins, to provide a money-transfer service that is affordable, fast and secure. Partnering with banks in Nigeria allows us to widen customer reach through their networks, decreasing initial customer acquisition costs. Sendit.money will integrate the Stellar's SEP-0031 Protocol and become an issuer of a GBP backed stablecoin to enable cross-border transfers between the UK and Africa.

Big players like Western Union or WorldRemit offer a highly competitive service to those living in the developed world, however their services in emerging markets are limited, involve agents and are not competitive on cost. By enabling a purely digital reverse transaction channel for the Nigeria/UK corridor we will be providing a service which is severely needed. Due to the current lack of formal reverse remittance channels, people often use informal channels such as Hawalas to make these transactions.

Instability within Africa’s currencies due to corruption, political upheaval and war has long plagued her economic performance. The potential for innovation within mobile money utilising crypto-currency can mitigate volatility of local currencies.

Women in LMICs are 20% less likely to use mobile internet1.9. Affordability is a key barrier to phone ownership among women but with cheaper mobile phones 69% of women in Nigeria who own a smartphone bought it themselves1.9. Studies show that when female-headed households in Kenya adopted mobile money accounts, poverty dropped, savings increased, and 185,000 women left agricultural jobs for better positions in business or retail1.9.



Target Market


Target customers include:
- Nigerian diaspora living in the UK who regularly send money home to their families and/or who own property back in their home country and need to send monthly mortgage payments to Nigeria.
- Economic individuals travelling from Africa to the UK to buy goods and services for resale in their home country.
- African students who have come to the UK to study and receive regular tuition and living payments from their family.
- Professionals from the UK living and working in Nigeria who need to accept their wages in Naira but also send money back to family who still reside in the UK.

The common customer value proposition across these segments is an affordable service to regularly send money easily, securely through the UK-Nigeria corridor. The average cost of remittance to Africa is 8.5%2.1 but can be higher than 17%2.2. We aim to meet the UN SDG goal 10.c of 3% or less2.3 meaning we would be an average of 6% (but could be up to 14%) cheaper than our competitors.

Revenue Model


Competitive rates, high speed transactions and low fees will convert interest into transactions. Existing users will be rewarded for referring new users who successfully sign up and transact. Regulatory requirements, including KYC/AML, are managed by our banking partners. Our platform is highly customizable and we can therefore adapt to changing regulations, as advised by our team of legal and compliance professionals in both the UK and Nigeria who inform us of upcoming regulatory changes.

Outline pricing plan:
£1.20 flat transaction fee
2% FX spread
2% Cross-border exchange fee
2% Credit card transfer fee

5-year growth plan:
Y1(2022-2023) develop,prototype, test and launch beta stablecoin remittance offering in the UK and Nigeria
Y2(2023-2024) 13,034 users generating Gross Profit of £503,000, continue platform optimisation, scale into secondary African markets
Y3(2024-2025) Scale into EEA region, 69,827 users generating GP of £7.2.8million
Y4(2025-2026) Launch additional financial tools, scale across Africa, 373,641 users and GP of £15.2 million
Y5(2026-2027) Expand operations into USA, £69.4 million GP, 1.9million users

We have created our 5 year financial plan with a modest 10% MoM customer growth with an average transaction value of £200. We estimate that 85% of our transactions will happen from the UK to Nigeria and 15% will be reverse remittance. We plan to keep a lean team as we launch but have allowed for the necessity to quickly scale up our team as we expand operations.



Market Research


Global remittance in 2020 was $666Billion3.1 (TAM) of which Nigeria alone contributed $20.9Billion3.1 (SAM). At 2% Sendit.money’s serviceable obtainable market is $418Million. Sendit.money plans to expand to secondary markets across Ghana (leading in economic growth)3.2, Kenya (fast economic growth, averaging 5.7%, 2015-2019)3.3, Cameroon (steadily growing population at 2.6% and a median age of 18.7)3.4 and South Africa (second biggest  African economy)3.5. Remittance inflows to these African markets make up an additional $144 Million (SOM at 2%)3.6 of our future target markets while also helping expand our reach to the African diaspora living in the UK.

Threats & Opportunities


Taking into account the threats which the sendit.money digital wallet faces, the first would be government regulation becoming more strict when it comes to transactions that take place on the blockchain. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is looking into strengthening the law's around the use of crypto currencies but at of the time of writing (september 2020) they are still being ratified. If passed then sendit.money would potentially be subject to a new tax class and be required to submit to the (NITDA) for permission to be able to do business. Looking at this development from the perspective of the opportunity it presents, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is looking into the creation of its own Digital Currency (CBDCs) which indicates why the regulatory body is seeking to become a gatekeeper in the first place. From a purely remittance based perspective the Nigerian Central Bank Digital Currency would be greatly helped through intergration with a platfrom which helps customers to send and receive money. The threat of regulation also pales in comparision to the oppertunities presented by the huge growth in the youth population, consistant improvement of the mobile internet coverage, accessbility of affordable smart phones & the reliance on remittance as a financial support mechanism.

Competition


Our competition falls into two groups. The first being the big players like Wise, WorldRemit and WesternUnion. In terms of market share these 3 hold more than 50%. Then there are the smaller organisations like Azimo, Paysend, Xendpay & Chippercash.

The larger players like Wise and WorldRemit & WesterUnion offer a highly competitive service to those living in the developed world, however the services offered to users remitting out of emerging markets is often limited to the involvement of agents or is not available for reverse remittance at all, such is the case for Wise for example. These well known organisations often have high costs and slow transaction times which based on our research of user feedback often leaves customers in difficult situations. Our key differentiator from these legacy remittance providers is that we will be supporting reverse remittance and we will also eliminate the need for third party Money Transfer Operators (MTO’s) by implementing stable coins and partnering with challenger banks in both target launch countries (UK & Nigeria). We will also go further to negate the costs normally associated with non-compatible currencies (i.e GBP to Nigerian Naira), double service fees and high FX rates used by MTO’s. Removing these fees means the average transfer cost from emerging markets into the developed world can drop from an average of 8.5%4.1 to at least match, most likely beating the 3.9% average cost of sending money from the UK to Nigeria 4.2. Additionally, sendit.money customers in Nigeria who receive money from the UK will never have hidden charges which is often the case with providers such as WesternUnion.

Smaller payers include Paysend and Chippercash, who are the most direct competition which sendit.money faces. ChipperCash is progressing its stable coin remittance infrastructure and Paysend is also working on its own GBP stable coin. At the time of writing Paysend would not allow reverse remittance out of Nigeria and the same is true for Chippercash.



Marketing & Sales


Route to market will build on our beta platform foundations through existing customer networks obtained from our relationship with banking partners in Nigeria also via social media outreach, and a local marketing agency in Nigeria.

Interest in our platform will be converted into transactions by offering our customers competitive rates, high speed transactions and low fees. In addition to our core offering, existing users will be rewarded for referring new users who successfully sign up and transact.

Through the integration of stablecoins we are future proofing our platform and establishing it’s foundations on technology that we believe will replace the current methods of cross border remittance (CHAPS, SWIFT, BACs). Our market penetration will increase into neighbouring countries, along with our market  share of both the inbound and outbound remittance flows. Longer term, by significantly reducing remittance fees we will be putting more money back in the hands of those who remit, establishing a community who trust & continue to use our services as they go on to prosper through their own ventures.  

Our mobile platform can easily migrate to subsequent markets by activating localities via the backend systems and is complemented by the national reach of our partner challenger banks. As the time and opportunity arises we will release and market the platform in each new location, building on previous experiences and service refinement based on market specific needs.  


This project will enable sendit.money to launch the new product ""fiat remittance"" offering for the UK/Nigeria corridor using stablecoins, therefore enabling the ease of transfer for Nigerian’s sending money to loved ones in the UK to spend on goods and services in their local communities. Our flexible technology will have the potential to open stablecoins remittance corridors between the UK and almost any emerging market as the opportunity arises.



Resources & Relationships


We have partnered with Lerex Technology as our UK banking provider who will facilitate the virtual account opening and prepaid debit card for our UK users. Lerex will also facilitate all KYC/AML checks and screening for UK customers onboarding.

Our partnership with Trulioo facilitates KYC/AML screening for Nigeria as well as all other secondary African markets that we are targeting.

Flutterwave is our African partner who will provide virtual accounts and virtual cards for our Nigerian users.

Lastly we have a strategic partnership with a consulting agency in Nigeria, Kunden Services Limited, who have a wealth of experience in the payment services industry in Nigeria and who will be helping us reach our target of onboarding 45,000 users within the first 12 months of launch.



References


1.1 Sending money home: Ten reasons why remittances matter, now more than ever. (2020, June). IFAD. https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/story/asset/41950851
1.2 Muller, D. (2018, May). Emerging Markets – Powerhouse of global growth. Ashmore. http://www.ashmoregroup.com/sites/default/files/article-docs/MC_10%20May18_2.pdf
1.3 Sending money home: Ten reasons why remittances matter, now more than ever. (2020, June). IFAD. https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/story/asset/41950851
1.4 CEICdata.com. (2018, July 7). Nigeria NG: Average Transaction Cost of Sending Remittances to a Specific Country. Ceicdata. https://www.ceicdata.com/en/nigeria/payment-system/ng-average-transaction-cost-of-sending-remittances-to-a-specific-country
1.5 Remittances. (2021, February). Migration Data Portal. https://migrationdataportal.org/themes/remittances
1.6 Migration remittances to and from the UK. (2020, May 11). The Migration Observatory. https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/migrant-remittances-to-and-from-the-uk/
1.7 Personal remittances, paid (current US$) - Nigeria | Data. (2020). Http://Www.Worldbank.Org/. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BM.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT?locations=NG
1.8 Mobile Economy 2020. (2020). GSMA. https://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/GSMA_MobileEconomy2020_SSA_Eng.pdf
1.9 gsma.com. (2020). GSMA-The-Mobile-Gender-Gap-Report-202. gsma.
https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GSMA-The-Mobile-Gender-Gap-Report-2020.pdf
2.1 CEICdata.com. (2018, July 7). Nigeria NG: Average Transaction Cost of Sending Remittances to a Specific Country. Ceicdata. https://www.ceicdata.com/en/nigeria/payment-system/ng-average-transaction-cost-of-sending-remittances-to-a-specific-country
2.2 CEIC. (2017). Nigeria NG: Average transaction cost of sending remittances from a specific country. Https://Www.Ceicdata.Com/En/Nigeria/Payment-System/Ng-Average-Transaction-Cost-of-Sending-Remittances-from-a-Specific-Country.
2.3 United Nations. (2021). Reduce inequality within and among countries. UN. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal10
3.1The World Bank. (2020). Migration and Remittances Data. Https://Www.Worldbank.Org/En/Topic/Migrationremittancesdiasporaissues/Brief/Migration-Remittances-Data.
3.2. Mitchell J. (2019, October 17). IMF: African economies are the world’s fastest growing. Https://Www.Fdiintelligence.Com/Article/75841. https://www.fdiintelligence.com/article/75841
3.3 World Bank. (2021). The world bank in kenya. Https://Www.Worldbank.Org/En/Country/Kenya/Overview.
3.4 Worldometer. (2021). Cameroon population. Https://Www.Worldometers.Info/World-Population/Cameroon-Population/.
3.5 World Bank. (2019). GDP (current US$) - South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Arab Rep. Https://Data.Worldbank.Org/Indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?Locations=ZA-NG-EG.
3.6 Calculation is 2% of the total remittance inflows to all for countries World Bank. (2021a). Personal remittances, received (current US$) - Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa. Https://Data.Worldbank.Org/Indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT?Locations=GH-CM-KE-ZA.
4.1 CEICdata.com. (2018, July 7). Nigeria NG: Average Transaction Cost of Sending Remittances to a Specific Country. Ceicdata. https://www.ceicdata.com/en/nigeria/payment-system/ng-average-transaction-cost-of-sending-remittances-to-a-specific-country
4.2 Remittance prices worldwide. (2020). World Bank. https://remittanceprices.worldbank.org/en/corridor/United-Kingdom/Nigeria?start_date=1609477200&end_date=1617249599

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Team

Michael Lawal - CEO
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-lawal-62141024/
Driven, focused and a dedicated leader, his achievements are spread across 13 years of industry experience that include becoming a second-time founder with one exit. As a Nigerian immigrant Michael deeply appreciates the challenges faced by those in emerging markets.

Julie Hendy - COO
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-lawal-62141024/
Operations professional with experience supporting startups through pivotal times such as fundraising, scaling and talent acquisition. Julie brings structural leadership by communicating effectively across teams to fully understand the needs of the business.

Rafal Skucha - CTO
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rafal-skucha/
Dynamic team leader with an ‘Everything is Possible’ mindset, and extensive experience in IT management for fast-paced organisations. Able to lead complex projects from requirements gathering and planning to coding, testing, deployment, production, and end-user training.

Bowen Hendy - Design Director
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bowenhendy/
UX designer with 11 years of experience with finance, telecoms and ecommerce. During this time he has developed a highly adaptable skill set that incorporates the iterative and flexible problem-solving methodologies of agile, user-centred design.