The absence of a generally accepted local currency and the volatile nature of individual currencies in Africa makes it difficult for merchants to engage in commercial activities across borders and expand the reach of their business. Cross-border payment within Africa is done majorly in dollars which is not easily accessible to SMEs. This is especially true for online merchants, e-commerce vendors, online creators and freelancers who even with the availability of third-party remittance app still find it difficult to receive payments from their global audience.
In recent times, the adoption of digital currencies and payment systems has proved to be of great benefit to consumers, merchants and the society at large. Stablecoins are gradually gaining grounds as the most acceptable means of payment due to its fast, secure, affordable and easily transferable nature; however businesses in Africa still struggle to integrate crypto transactions into their platform. It is as a result of these challenges that the idea of Lazerpay was birthed.
Lazerpay is a Nigerian crypto payment gateway startup founded by Njoku Emmanuel in October 2021, alongside Abdulfatai Suleiman and Prosper Ubi with the aim of helping African businesses and creators get paid from anywhere around the world in cryptocurrencies, specifically stablecoins.
In February 2022, the startup came out of private beta and has proceeded to evolve and upgrade the features of its previous version in other to better cater to the challenges of its users as observed from user feedback.
Speaking on the updates, the CEO Lazerpay, Njoku Emmanuel said, “The first version of Lazerpay was simple in that all businesses could do was accept and pay out in stablecoins. It currently serves over 2,000 businesses spread across five continents. However, we quickly realised that an additional layer of converting stablecoins to fiat was needed. To improve our users’ experience, we decided to build the second version of our payment gateway to allow merchants to withdraw their crypto payments in fiat, directly from their dashboards.”
The new features that have been tested over the weeks and are to be available for users to explore include:
Payouts by Lazerpay
Prior to the update, the platform only facilitated transactions in stablecoin. With the update comes the fiat payout option, meaning that users can now transact in multiple (though limited) supported currencies such as Naira, Cedis, Dollar, Pounds and so on.
Products by Lazerpay
Products by Lazerpay is a flexible, yet effective storefront for small business owners and creators. Using Products, a Lazerpay merchant can upload and create multiple product listings, indicating the number of items they have in stock. The previous version required merchants to manually create payment links for each product they wanted to sell. However, with the update, users can combine multiple product listings in just one payment link, helping them get paid faster.
A Data-Informed Dashboard
The improved dashboard gives an overview of transaction history, financial performance and wallet balance. It also features a customer dashboard which gives access to customer details and provides insight on customers. There are also investment options.
Other features include:
Improved Onboarding and compliance
Improved simplicity for non-technical users