Entrepreneurial Effort Provides Innovative Payment System For Sustainable Goals In Africa
According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa as a region is expected to grow at 3.9% in 2023 and 4.2% in 2024, with a recovery in global demand anticipated for 2023 as global shocks lessen as an impact. Even with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pinpointing 2022 setbacks, which include food insecurity, and inflationary constraints, the region is righting the teetering with new capital inflows to increase local capabilities.
The region has a great deal of promise for future growth if the right educational and financial models are implemented to lift the individuals and raise the bar of opportunity. One such person doing his part is entrepreneur Jones Amegbor, the founder and CEO of PayAngel. He wishes to change the dialogue surrounding Africa for those in countries and abroad by providing a convenient and secure payment system designed to meet Africans’ unique needs worldwide.
Amegbor brings a wealth of knowledge and background to his present venture. After completing his MBA in Information Technology (IT), Jones worked in financial services in the UK. During his tenure at Barclays, he received several nominations and awards, including one for the Future Leaders Programme.
Originally from Ghana himself, Amegbor recognizes the area’s potential is vast, but unreliable payment systems account for significant losses. “Companies would not accept remittances due to huge fees, so people are forced to send funds to individuals instead, and all you can do is hope they use it for the intended purpose,” he says.
As a result, it promotes an environment where money can disappear with no accountability. “The government wanted to close these informal channels, but the cost of remittance fees is then a huge problem,” says Amegbor. Following a grant of $250,000 from the Remittance Grant Facility, a joint initiative of the Ghanaian and Swiss governments, Amegbor was able to scale up his revolutionary payment platform that automates processes to send money directly to merchants.
“We are responsible for creating the change we want to see,” Amegbor regularly tells his employees. Aiming to be the largest cross-border payments company for Africans globally, PayAngel is on a mission to reduce remittance charges and redirect those funds to help African countries flourish.
Amegbor founded PayAngel after learning that Africa loses nearly $2 billion annually to international remittance charges. “This amount could have a huge impact on health, education, and quality of life,” the entrepreneur says. They are focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, with 20 countries currently going live on the platform.
Recently partnering with the UN Capital Development Fund, PayAngel is securing funding to scale up the project and cover all 48 Sub-Saharan African countries. “The UN data shows that if remittance costs were lowered to 3% by every organization to poorer countries, $20 billion would be saved globally every year,” says Amegbor. PayAngel is taking their effort one step further by charging zero fees to their customers.
Founded in 2013 on a small scale, according to Amegbor, PayAngel has facilitated over $100 million in transfers to date. Its 21 employees pride themselves on customer service, with an ethos of “meeting the customer where they are,” whether it involves switching language or dedicated response times. 2022 Winner of Best Specialty International Money Transfer Service Award and Innovations in Payments & Remittances for Social Impact Award, PayAngel is being lauded for its altruistic and efficient approach.
Success is attached to Amegbor’s interest in computers and technology combined with finance for his early career in online banking. Moving through retail banking, Amegbor went on to cover risk, treasury, product control, investment banking, and digital finance.
Amegbor’s financial credentials and passion for IT were the foundation of PayAngel. “I wanted to do something meaningful,” he says. While funding a family member’s university tuition, Amegbor realized money was disappearing into the ether. Huge fees for remittance through official systems led to informal channels opening, which had very little security.
“I am always looking to improve on things and automating processes to make them more efficient,” he says. Three years of research into the area followed. “I found diversion or misallocation of funds was more likely because the official channels were not being used. They were too expensive or inconvenient, and had limited choices. But the alternative meant there was no trust in the process of online payments.”
Founding PayAngel was a passion project at first and It took a few years for Amegbor to go full-time. “It has impacted my lifestyle and family life and led to some sacrifice,” he says.”But the motivation to continue is unfailing and always boosted by people acknowledging what we are doing. I will fulfill this duty to the end, regardless of challenges.”
Akin to an explorer, Amegbor is bringing fresh opportunities to African countries. Hailing from Ghana himself, he is aware of the difficulties faced by Sub-Saharan Africa. “I returned to my village last year. It is a stunning area, but the young people are aimless because there is no industry. If there was a tech hub or touristic infrastructure, ideas and ambitions could flow.”
PayAngel hopes to support growth and care by dramatically reducing remittance fees. “The resources aren’t there yet for these places, but more funds will be available if money can be saved on payments and a trustworthy system established.” Through it all, PayAngel remains proactive in social responsibility, partnering with hospitals and other social impact groups to improve lives in Ghana and elsewhere.
The region of Sub-Saharan Africa faces unique challenges, from food insecurity to health services and educational needs. It often takes individuals like Jones Amegbor, whose firsthand backgrounds recognize that solutions exist with the right combination of finance, technology, and a deep desire to help. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) run at the heart of Amegbor’s efforts.
With Africa losing $2 billion annually in excess remittance charges, money is less available for areas that can lift populations out of poverty. “If we can make sure that money is not lost in fees, it can directly impact education, health services, and the overall quality of life for African countries,” says Amegbor. “$2 billion annually could go a long way.”