Grey, a Y-combinator backed fintech startup has announced the launch of its service in East Africa starting with Kenya in partnership with Cellulant, an African payments company
Through the partnership, products and services such as foreign bank accounts, instant currency exchange and international money transfers, are now available to Kenyan residents who sign up on Grey.
The partnership has enabled Grey to expand its services into East Africa, kicking off with Kenya to address the difficulties of sending and receiving money abroad. The company offers an international money transfer service that enables its users to send and receive international payments without restrictions. Cellulant is the company’s payments processor, powering its payouts to thousands of Grey’s customers.
In a ceremony attended by senior management from Grey and Cellulant at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Upperhill, Nairobi, on 25 May 2022, the company showcased how users could create a virtual foreign USD, GBP, and EUR bank account for free. Users can receive payments and convert directly to Kenya Shillings or the Nigerian Naira.
The instant currency exchange service offered by Grey enables its customers to have virtual international bank accounts for free, helping small businesses, freelancers, remote workers, and content creators in Kenya to enjoy a seamless payment process.
According to Grey, thousands of young Kenyans access work opportunities through digital platforms in a rapidly growing gig economy. The online gig economy is fuelled by a burgeoning young workforce, internet and smartphone penetration, and mobile money proliferation. With Africa having the youngest workforce yet with high unemployment rates, online gig work provides alternative and accessible employment opportunities and a path to economic prosperity for the youthful workforce.
Idorenyin Obong, Grey’s CEO said that he worked remotely for international companies but faced numerous challenges in accessing the foreign currency in his accounts and it was in this environment that Grey was conceptualised. The company was launched in 2021 by Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo, who wanted to help Nigerians easily exchange to local currency and access the foreign currencies in their accounts.
Grey allows Kenyans to get paid in their preferred foreign currency and withdraw directly to M-Pesa or their local bank account. International travellers can also avail of services in Kenya and are able to convert any supported currencies to Kenyan Shillings, pay for services directly to M-Pesa, or withdraw to a local bank account.
Grey services are now available in Kenya and Nigeria with this launch via the Grey website and will soon be made available on the mobile app stores.