SOUTH AFRICA – VALR, one of South Africa’s largest crypto exchanges, has launched VALR Pay, a free, fast, and easy way to send South African Rand (ZAR) payments to any mobile number or email address.
VALR.com was founded in 2018 with the backing of former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan and US crypto exchange Bittrex to bridge the gap between the traditional financial system and the new world of cryptocurrencies and launched bitcoin-rand trading in June 2019 and has since processed over US$4.2 billion in crypto trades.
In early 2019, VALR had launched its digital asset trading platform after securing US$1.5 million in a funding round led by the US-based Bittrex and Michael Jordaan’s Montegray Capital.
The startup raised another US$3.4 million in Series A funding in July 2020 to help it roll out new products and expand into other regions and with over 55 coins to choose from, it now has 150,000 account holders and the largest selection of cryptocurrencies in South Africa.
The company has now launched the first of those touted new products – VALR Pay which allows VALR customers to send ZAR to each other at zero cost, using any mobile number or email address even if the recipient does not yet have an account with VALR.
The recipient will receive an email or SMS with an invitation to sign up to VALR for free to claim the funds.
The startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology to validate the identity of customers.
“The cost and friction of payments in South Africa is too high so we decided to build VALR Pay. It’s free, fast and easy. Why bother with banking details and branch codes? Just open up your VALR app, type in a ZAR amount, select a contact from your address book and you’re done!” said Farzam Ehsani, VALR co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Ehsani says the company has had discussions with regulators and senior legal advisors and is fully compliant with the South African laws and regulations.
VALR provides a digital asset platform that allows its customers to buy, sell, store and transfer cryptocurrencies seamlessly and secure and the startup helps to bridge the gap between the traditional fiat financial system and the new world of cryptocurrencies with an aim of ushering in a new financial paradigm that makes financial services available to the public with pricing that is fair and transparent, and with an experience that is intuitive and seamless.
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