Amidst Ivory Coast’s rapid tech evolution, a fintech dynamo is making strides at becoming a global force. The startup in question is PayQin, a shining example of nation’s burgeoning innovation and a testament to a landscape ripe for disruption.

Startup: global payment made simple

In the aggressive world of fintech, where every startup claims to be a game-changer, PayQin stands out as a cross-border payment app with a unique twist. It’s not just about transactions; it’s about bridging the financial gap for individuals and businesses globally.

The vision behind it: to allow everyone to have access to financial services through mobile phone.

A true beacon of financial inclusion, with a vision to democratize financial services, PayQin embarked on its journey in 2019, navigated through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, affirming the importance of online solutions. Now boasting a team of 17 in the Abidjan office, plus five part-timers, the startup is in the midst of a growth spurt.

Fabrice Amalaman, CEO & Co-founder of PayQin

Origin: a card, a cousin, and a calling

PayQin’s roots trace back to Ivory Coast, where its founder, Fabrice Amalaman, experienced firsthand the struggles people faced in making payments. The lightbulb moment? A cousin that wanted to make an online purchase from Amazon but lacked the necessary card and asked Fabrice who was living in France to do it for him.

At that moment he realized the potential of using technology to solve the pervasive financial problems in Africa and a desire for something more meaningful was born.

Fast forward through a stint in a French bank, some management consulting – and Fabrice returned to Ivory Coast with a mission. Armed with a passion for finance and a knack for technology, and PayQin was born.

Even the name itself turned out to be a good omen: chosen because of how cool it sounds, it turned out to mean “pay often” in Chinese.

PayQin team

Solution: from virtual cards to cross-border payments

Starting with virtual cards for online purchases, PayQin soon expanded its offerings. The initial focus on Ivory Coast and Cameroon expanded to seven countries, and the app addressed the limitations of virtual cards, partnering with local banks to issue physical cards.

However, recognizing the constraints of prepaid cards for growing businesses, PayQin launched cross-border payments too. Now, it facilitates money transfers not only within seven countries but also to global destinations like China, the US, and Europe, with a focus on both individual and business transactions. A one-stop-shop for global payments in the making.

As Fabrice puts it:

We want our clients to be able to do all of their payments from one app: from cross-border transactions to paying bills, TV subscriptions…Cue our new slogan: global payment made simple.

Tribe: a helping hand

Amidst the challenges of regulatory compliance and varied banking regulations across seven countries, PayQin found a reliable partner in Infobip Startup Tribe after an encounter at Startup Grind in San Francisco.

It kickstarted a fruitful collaboration, providing valuable credits and a lifeline in the form of One Time PIN (OTP) SMS solutions. The impact? Increased sign-ups, improved customer retention, and a smoother operational flow.

Fabrice states:

We have streamlined the OTP process resulting in more sign-ups and are losing fewer customers on it, which is very important for us.

As the startup continues to grow, the partnership with Infobip Startup Tribe remains instrumental. The focus now shifts to exploring more products, such as push notifications and chatbots, to enhance the overall user experience.

What’s next: beyond borders and boundaries

In a world where financial technology is evolving rapidly, PayQin stands out as a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Reflecting on the startup’s journey, the founder highlights the driving force behind PayQin:

I think it’s passion. The fact that you’re doing something that people actually need, being convinced that you’re solving a real problem. Making a difference.

As PayQin looks ahead, the vision is clear. In the next few years, the goal is to be live on three continents—Africa, Europe, and North America—with 2-3 million users. The CEO’s mantra, “Impossible is nothing,” echoes the determination driving PayQin’s quest to revolutionize global payments. 🤘

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