Our site uses cookies to make it work and to help us give you the best possible user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more about cookies and how you can disable them, please read our cookies statement. 

Cookie Settings

You can manage your cookie settings by turning cookies on and off.

Click on the different cookie  headings to find out more about the types of cookies we use on this site and to change your settings. Please be aware that if you choose to turn off  cookies, certain areas of our site may not work and your browsing experience may be impacted.

For further information on how we use cookies, please see our cookies statement. 

Strictly Necessary Cookies

(Req)

These cookies are essential for the technical operation of and proper functioning of our site  and enable you to register and login, to easily move around our site, and to access secure areas. Without these cookies our site won't function properly.  

These cookies are required

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies allow us to collect aggregated and anonymous data on how our site is used, such as the number of visitors to our site, how you navigate around and the time spent on our site and also to identify any errors in functionality. These cookies also help us to improve the way our site works by ensuring that you can find what you’re looking for easily, to better understand what you are interested in and to measure the effectiveness of the content of our site. 

Marketing Cookies

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from Dimension Data only.

First Choice Global

Fintech entrepreneurs enable financial access through cloud technology

Video length: 4:11 minutes.

Middle East & Africa | Kenya | Financial Services | Hybrid IT

Equipping Africans everywhere to send money home

Kenyan Fintech start-up, First Choice Global, is reinventing the international money transfer industry using cloud-based services for quick, cost-effective solutions.

Download this case study (pdf, 1.02MB)
Exclamation icon

Challenge

Break new ground in financial services and become a global leader in money transfer options for emerging markets.

Read below
Lightbulb icon

Solution

Leveraging an existing global cloud platform and services allows First Choice Global to start operating in seven days with no capital outlay.

Read below
Growing plant icon

Result

Reshape the financial services landscape in Africa and increase foreign exchange flows.

Read below

Challenge

Kenyan start-up, First Choice Global (FCG), has broken new ground in the financial services industry by providing an instant, free, money remittance service to Africans working internationally.

For most of FCG’s customers, conventional banking facilities or money transfer systems are prohibitively expensive. The transfer process takes days. And, frequently, recipients of the transfers either have no bank account or must spend already limited resources getting to a bank to access their cash.

FCG has resolved these issues by creating an app, SAWAPay, that can be linked to a credit card or bank account in the United States. The person wanting to transfer money simply enters the recipient’s phone number and an amount and presses send. The money is received in Kenya in seconds.

On the Kenyan end, FCG’s solution uses a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing, and microfinancing service. It allows users to deposit money into an account stored on their phones, to send money, using PIN-secured SMS text messages, to other users – including sellers of goods and services, and to redeem deposits for cash. It uses a network of agents that include airtime resellers and retail outlets acting as banking agents.

FCG’s SAWAPay solution therefore makes it possible for people in remote, rural areas without access to formal financial services and the unbanked in urban environments to receive cash directly from relatives in the diaspora. The service is free to customers.

FCG’s challenge, however, was finding a cloud provider willing to support an unknown product created by a start-up and serving an untested market. The company also needed a cloud provider trusted by the global financial services industry, that had a local presence in Kenya, and, specifically, could guarantee data sovereignty in America where FCG had developed partnerships with currency exchange firms.

 
Back to top

Solution

‘Our objective is to become a global leader in the provision of money transfer solutions to the largely neglected emerging markets by creating a world class money remittance platform,’ FCG Managing Director, Alan Osoro, says. To achieve this, we need seamless integration with financial services partners across the globe and, therefore, a cloud provider who can provide a scalable, secure, and cost effective solution that ensures delivery of our service in the shortest possible time.

‘Dimension Data is the only cloud provider that meets all these criteria as well as being able to pinpoint exactly where our partners’ data will reside. So, it gives our partners the confidence to work with us. At the same time, Dimension Data is the only global cloud provider with a presence on the ground in Kenya. They understand African circumstances and solutions, such as M-Pesa. We can discuss our growth strategy with them face-to-face over a table. And, with their reach and credibility they can accelerate our expansion into different countries.’

‘We’re not the world’s largest cloud provider, but we have the largest footprint, in terms of having data centres in most regions around the world,’ says Dimension Data Business Development Manager for Kenya, Eric Mwirigi. ‘So, without having to adjust our fully automated and orchestrated platform and support services in any way, we were able to get FCG up and running in only three days and will be able to mature and scale their offering effortlessly.’

 
Back to top

Result

After its first eight months of operation, FCG has more than 10,000 users in its United States/Kenya corridor. It is on track to open additional remittance routes between America and other African countries as well as linking Africans working in Europe and Australasia with their home countries.

Increasingly, FCG’s clients are making fuller use of SAWAPay’s payment services to pay their families’ utilities, mortgages, and other accounts directly from the United States. This is creating rapid growth for FCG.

FCG is positioned to create a money remittance ecosystem that can serve as a platform for financial institutions that want to remit money from outside Africa to sub-Saharan Africa. FCG can provide to such organisations effective, low cost, turnkey solutions that can be implemented quickly and integrated with a range of other financial systems.

‘By using the cloud in innovative ways, FCG is reshaping the financial services landscape in Africa, increasing foreign exchange flows into the continent and, thereby, building economies and improving the quality of life for ordinary people,’ Eric Mwirigi says.

 
Back to top Download this case study (pdf, 1.02MB) Download the infographic (pdf, 1.61MB)