Fonbnk Builds Avalanche On-Ramp for Cross-Border Payments in Emerging Markets

Fonbnk, a fintech company creating financial onramps for markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, is onboarding a new subset of users to Avalanche. Historically, limited access to safe onramps and offramps in this region made it difficult for many people to join Web3. Fonbnk provides an on-ramp via phone cards, allowing users to turn prepaid airtime and mobile data into digital currencies. 

Fonbnk’s payments and treasury use Circle’s Circle Mint. This lets users swap prepaid airtime for USDC (and soon EURC), making Fonbnk a cost-effective solution for cross-border payments. 

By utilizing Avalanche as well, Fonbnk has created an even more flexible, user-friendly solution available across the region, enabling an underbanked population to add value to their digital wallets without needing a bank or local exchange partner. 

"Empowering individuals to take control of their financial destiny starts with access,” said Christian Duffus, Founder & CEO of Fonbnk. “At Fonbnk, we’re leveraging mobile technology to break down barriers to financial empowerment. Our integration with Avalanche, renowned for its speed and affordability, amplifies our vision, making financial inclusion a reachable reality for every mobile user, regardless of their economic standing."

Fonbnk presents a bridge to Web3 targeting mobile-first, cash-based economies, leveraging the substantial prevalence of prepaid SIM cards and smartphones. As of 2021, 64% of Sub-Saharan Africans own at least one smartphone. With over 8 billion prepaid SIM cards in circulation as per GSMA and nearly 6 billion predominantly across emerging markets, there’s an ample opportunity to connect these mobile-first, unbanked users to Web3.

Fonbnk has built a dedicated Avalanche on-ramp on the Avalanche C-Chain, helping to drive adoption and growth to retail users and Avalanche partners emerging in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Fonbnk takes funds generated through mobile airtime and provides tokens on-chain. With the Avalanche on-ramp, users have access to a wider range of Avalanche ecosystem tokens in addition to USDC. 

“Sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest adoption of blockchain by the percentage of the population of any region in the world and the partnership forged with Fonbnk will unlock this region for the Avalanche community," said Matthew Schmenk, Sr. BD Associate at Ava Labs.

How Developers Can Get Started

Fonbnk provides a simple pathway to accessing Web3 and the Avalanche ecosystem through its suite of No- and Low-code dApps and APIs. Leveraging Avalanche, Fonbnk offers developers the flexibility to create unique solutions, catering to retail users and builders who seek to drive adoption and expand the accessibility of blockchain technology to emerging markets. Retail users interested in Fonbnk’s services can instantly register an account using a mobile number. 

To learn more about Fonbnk, take a look at its whitepaper and join the conversation on Telegram

Provided for informational purposes only, without representation, warranty, or guarantee of any kind. None of this is as an endorsement by Ava Labs, Inc., the Avalanche Foundation Limited, or any of their respective subsidiaries or affiliates, nor is any of this investment or financial advice. Please review this Notice and conduct your research to properly evaluate the risks and benefits of any project.

About Avalanche

Avalanche is a smart contracts platform that scales infinitely and regularly finalizes transactions in less than one second. Its novel consensus protocol, Subnet infrastructure, and HyperSDK toolkit enable Web3 developers to easily launch powerful, custom blockchain solutions. Build anything you want, any way you want, on the eco-friendly blockchain designed for Web3 devs.

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