British International Investment
10 July 2024

BII supports faster, cheaper and more reliable remittance flows into Africa through a $20 million loan commitment to TerraPay

  • Remittance costs for Africa are the highest globally. Reducing remittance costs is critical to increasing capital flow into Africa and building financial resilience.
  • BII’s investment will support an increased volume of remittance transactions into Africa, by pre-funding over $1 billion worth of transactions per year.

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, today announced a $20 million senior secured loan to TerraPay, a global cross-border payments processor with a key focus on remittance transfers into Africa. This will contribute towards the continuing lower cost, higher speed, improved reliability and accessibility of remittance transfers into the continent, enhancing financial inclusion.

The remittance costs for the Sub-Saharan African region remain the highest in the world. For example, sending $200 to the region cost on average 8 per cent in 2022, while the global average cost for the same amount stands at 6.2 per cent. This is more than double the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3 per cent, according to the World Bank.

Through its network, TerraPay connects directly both traditional money transfer operators, such as Western Union, and digital-only fintechs like Wise with some of the largest mobile money operators in Africa including M-Pesa, MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Mobile Money. Its tech-enabled model facilitates real-time, lower-cost digital money transfers, tackling the bottleneck of high transfer fees and slow settlement for the African diaspora sending money back to the continent.

BII’s funding will be used as part of TerraPay’s working capital to pre-fund growing remittance volumes to Africa. It will prioritise key African corridors, with high volumes expected in Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Mozambique.

BII is committing through Lendable’s existing senior secured facility, leveraging the partner’s expertise in fintech debt investing across Africa as well as their investment monitoring capabilities.

Chris Chijiutomi, Managing Director and Head of Africa, BII said: “Sending money to Africa is expensive. That is why our investment in TerraPay is critical to help increase availability of lower-cost, efficient, accessible and reliable remittances. This aligns with our goal to support resilient financing and improve economic opportunities on the continent.” 

Suresh Samuel, Managing Director and Head of Fintech at Lendable said “We have been supporting TerraPay since 2020, as the company accelerated its growth facilitating remittances across emerging markets.  We continue to believe in the importance of increasing digital payments globally and are excited to work with BII in furthering support to TerraPay to expand this mandate.”

For media inquiries please contact:

British International Investment: Nia Tam | [email protected]

About British International Investment

British International Investment is the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. As a trusted investment partner to businesses in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, BII invests to create productive, sustainable and inclusive economies in our markets. Between 2022-2026, at least 30 per cent of BII’s total new commitments by value will be in climate finance. BII is also a founding member of the 2X Challenge which has raised over $33.6 billion to empower women’s economic development. The company has investments in over 1,470 businesses across 65 countries and total assets of £8.1 billion. For more information, visit: | watch here. Follow British International Investment on LinkedIn and X.

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