Last Friday, Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO of BitPesa, paid a visit to Impact Hub for a meet up with media and bloggers to talk about BitPesa which recently launched in Ghana.
We got a chance to interact with Elizabeth and get her insights on a couple of things.
Is BitPesa coming out with an app for mobile users?
Elizabeth Rossiello: Unfortunately, we won’t be launching a mobile app any time soon, but only because we really think having a mobile responsive website is much more appropriate for the markets we’re in. It takes less data and storage space on phones. Given the frequency and applications of use of BitPesa, we think a mobile responsive website more than fulfills the needs, than having another bulky, seldom-used app on your phone.
What research was done before BitPesa decided to launch in Ghana?
Elizabeth Rossiello: We did extensive research into Ghana before we launched, as we had our eyes set on the country for a while. In addition to running focus groups with BTC customers, we produced tomes of new market assessments looking at everything from currency controls to micro-finance institutions to innovation adoption. We feel because of the tight currency controls, there is a market for our digital foreign exchange model, where we are a market maker for Ghanian Cedis.
Even when we were doing some test runs, especially with BTC trades, we saw really big uptake. One really good proxy for fintech success is mobile money, and Ghana has always been a forerunner in this area. However, we are aware that in any area that seems exciting and new there is also the risk of scams. We feel that we are not only building a brand for BitPesa, but for cryptocurrency in general– that crypto can be used for economically relevant, impactful purposes.
The BitPesa website will be undergoing some changes soon to incorporate the Ghanaian market. Users in Ghana will then be able to purchase Bitcoins for as low as 50 GHC with mobile money and eventually be able to use their bank accounts for similar purchases.
For more info about BitPesa, check out their website.