Some of you may remember Study 263 -the remittance company that was making it possible to send money from Zim to SA or vice-versa using Bitcoin. They recently turned 1 this past weekend and they have been working on some interesting new packages to keep their business relevant.
How did it work?
Well Study 263 proposed a simple way of sending money to your relatives in SA:
- Send money to a Study 263 agent
- Study 263 agent buys Bitcoin
- Study 263 agent sends Bitcoin to another agent in SA
- SA agent then converts Bitcoin to Rands and transfers the money to a beneficiary in 2-3 days
Among other things, Study 263 is now using other cryptocurrencies for their remittance service. Speaking to Jeffrey Gogo of business weekly, Tinashe Jani –one of the co-founders of Study 263- said:
We don’t only use bitcoin but any other available cryptocurrency. It is a good idea because of three important attributes — it has cheaper transaction costs — one can move $1 000 and be charged $10. No other money transfer system allows that. It is also faster — the traditional money transfer systems take 5+ working days, with cryptocurrencies — one can send money to the UK in less than 30 minutes and the recipient just has to have a phone that has an app.
Study 263 is also now processing DStv Payments and they way of going about this is largely the same. You still send your money to one of their agents (along with your account and smartcard number) and a local agent buys Bitcoin and sends it to an agent in SA who then does the conversion and pays your DStv account.
Effects of the ban
Everyone who has interests in the crypto field was affected by actions taken by the RBZ a few months back. The crypto ban by the central bank has forced Study 263 to shift to a peer to peer network to ensure they always have some cryptos available when customers need.
Plans to expand
Study 263 are also looking to expand to a number of countries that have a sizeable Zim student community. They are looking to go into at this time include China there are plenty of Zimbabweans studying in the country. It only makes sense that the service expands there as card payments have become more and more strenuous since Study 263 launched last year.