South Africa has been at the forefront of many things and one of them being the adoption of technology.
In terms of technology, South Africa is one of those countries where blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are embraced wholeheartedly.
This can be further unearthed from the fact that South Africa has the privilege of having a bank that is entirely a ‘digital-only’ bank. The bank’s name is ‘Be-Mobile Africa’ which is widely recognized as ‘neo bank’.
Like any other bank, Be Mobile also offers banking services with the exception that the entire services are completely digital.
Crypto Payment Gateway Launched
Be Mobile allows customers to open local and foreign and even multi-currency mobile-based accounts for free. Through these accounts, customers can send and spend money instantly in 160 countries by paying cheaper rates.
The new bank has recently developed a cryptocurrency gateway for allowing the local business community and vendors to accept crypto payments.
As per the bank’s announcement, users of the newly-launched gateway can conveniently convert their digital currencies into local and foreign fiats.
For instance, if a customer’s account is debited with Bitcoin, then Bitcoin can be converted into national or USD, Euro, etc. currencies.
Alternatively, the customer can store his digital currencies with the bank if he does not wish to convert or withdraw them.
It was at the end of 2019 when the local banking sector of South Africa took a stand against the crypto industry. The majority of the banks had boycotted crypto trading platforms by refusing to provide banking services to them.
The banks even went to close down accounts that they believed were associated with crypto exchanges.
However, the matter did not end there instead the banking sector went even against account holders who were associated with crypto.
Resultantly, various litigation cases were filed by exchanges and crypto traders against the banks.
Thereafter, the South African central bank intervened and urged the banking sector to facilitate crypto exchanges and traders.
Although currently, the South African banking sector and the crypto industry have come to terms with each other, however, fear remains.
Be Mobile’s CEO, Cedric Jeannot opined that sending and receiving international payments has always been painstaking exercises for the local business community.
Jeannot suggested that unnecessary costs aren’t the only issue with international payment transactions but the transaction time also is an issue.
He said that international transactions take up to 3 to 5 days, however, digital transfers are instant and cheaper.
CEO explained that “given the circumstances, crypto payment gateway would be a blessing and a game changer for the business community. He claimed that the gateway would be extraordinarily beneficial for South African SMEs.
With regard to further benefits, Jeannot stated that there is a huge incentive in the shape of lower fees for the business community.
Purpose Behind Be Mobile
The creation of Be Mobile is actually a product of the South African crypto community’s fears which they have against the country’s banking system.
The bank came into being very recently in September 2022. However, the banking sector is already under the impression that Be Mobile has the potential of disrupting the local banking system.
The banking sector is also concerned about Be Mobile’s structural design as evidently the bank has no physical headquarter nor any physical branches.
All the operations of Be Mobile are done digitally and executed digitally which also includes the delivery of services digitally.
Existing as an online entity is quite concerning for the people in South Africa. People can never fully trust a platform that has all of its operations running on the online platform.
The firm having no physical existence, automatically makes it a highly concerning entity for users in South Africa.
Given the current situation of the international online as well as the South African crypto market, it is very difficult for people to trust any online platform.