By Caroline Karen
Sending money abroad has become easier with the availability of online payment platforms. LemFi, formerly known as Lemonade Finance, is a new player in the Kenyan market for online money transfers. Despite being launched in 2020, LemFi has expanded rapidly and now operates in ten countries. With undisclosed pre-seed funding, LemFi plans to further expand its reach.
LemFi recognizes the importance of maintaining connections between Africans abroad and their loved ones, businesses, and friends back home. The company aims to provide secure and efficient means of sending and receiving money and other items.
To achieve this, LemFi offers fee-free services to ensure instant and affordable money transfers for Kenyans in the diaspora. The company has partnered with Pesa Swap, an online and mobile payments platform, to leverage their operational experience and navigate legal hurdles. LemFi is eager to collaborate with more partners in the future.
Pesa Swap CEO Chris Munyasya emphasizes the need for accessible and affordable money transfer services to keep the flow of cash to people’s homes uninterrupted. While users in the U.K., U.S., and Canada can send funds for free, individuals outside these countries incur transfer fees ranging from 7% to 12%. LemFi retains a portion of these charges to sustain its operations, while its competitor Chipper Cash offers free cross-border transfers within Africa.
Joining the LemFi ecosystem is straightforward, with Kenyans verifying their accounts using phone numbers and other markets requiring a driver’s license. The signup process is facilitated through an app available for both Android and iOS users.
In Kenya, customers receive funds in their mobile money wallets, limited to Equitel, M-PESA, and Airtel Money. In other markets like the U.K., funds can be received directly in customers’ bank accounts.
LemFi is not currently a neobank but plans to integrate virtual debit cards in the future, similar to M-PESA GlobalPay provided by Safaricom and VISA. This will allow users to have more diverse financial services.
The writer is a Brand Manager and Data Analyst