The long-awaited association is now a reality. Just of recent, Bitcoin Exchange FastBitcoins and prepaid voucher provider Flexepin have put hands together in order to enable Africans to buy bitcoins through mobile money. Users in Africa can buy a Flexepin voucher using mobile money. Ensuing, they can redeem it for Bitcoin on FastBitcoins. Some examples of mobile money platforms that users can make use of are M-PESA and MTN Mobile Money.
Announced on Thursday, the deal with Flexepin (a subsidiary of ASX-listed payments company Novatti) expands FastBitcoins’ coverage to some 20,000 point-of-sale locations in Australia where Flexepin is based, as well as across Canada and Europe.
Danny Brewster, CEO of FastBitcoins, stated that “The big one for me, personally, is we can accept mobile money payments in 14 countries in Africa. We charge only 4.5 percent. The best price equivalent on, say, Paxful, is 40 percent. That is all through this Flexepin deal.”
It is worth noting that Flexepin facilitates online payments without the need for a debit or credit card. Thus, users can carry out secure, private, and online shopping activities. On the other hand, London-based FastBitcoins allows users to receive BTC through the lightning network and redeem vouchers. Flexepin operates in Canada, Australia, and Europe. FastBitcoins also operates in Australia.
Interestingly, a significant number of financial institutions were previously reluctant to work with companies dealing with cryptocurrencies. For example, in 2015, Safaricom made an announcement that it would not allow Bitcoin transactions over M-PESA to avoid the Central Bank’s anti-money laundering penalties. Nevertheless, this partnership indicates that these institutions are changing their perspective of crypto.
“Today, the regulatory and AML environment surrounding Bitcoin is a far throw from what it was in 2013 and 2014,” said Brewster. “Also, our agreement with a publicly-traded company like Flexepin provides leverage with all sorts of partnerships.”
However, at the time of press release, M-Pesa did not return requests for comment.