Applicant name: Thunes
Applicant type: Private Company
Headquarter City: Singapore
Headquarter Country: Singapore
Innovation Name: Interoperable Global Payment Network
Innovation Type: Solution
Category: Top Service Provider
Status of Innovation: In-market
Innovation Active Since: 04/01/2021
Innovation Description: Thunes is building a global cross-border payments infrastructure that enables anyone, anywhere to make payments – or receive them – without hassle and stress, irrespective of their location.
Thunes currently supports 80 currencies, enables payments to 130 countries, and helps to accept 300 payment methods.
In Africa we cover 35 countries, opened up over 160 intra-Africa corridors to allow real-time payments, not only cross-border, but across different networks.
With Thunes, for the first time, consumers can send money from a mobile wallet to a bank account in another country. For example, an MPESA Tanzania customer can now send funds from their wallet to a bank account in Kenya in real-time, or a customer of FDH Bank in Malawi can now send funds to any mobile wallets in Tanzania (Airtel, Tigo, MPESA) in real time.
What makes Thunes solutions unique:
  1. Speed / Real-Time Payments: We are building the world’s premier real-time/instant payment rails.
  2. Interoperability: Thunes Network offers ANY payment method – we can make payment to and from a wide range of local mobile wallets, bank accounts, cash pick-up points etc.
  3. Transparency: our clients get full visibility over FX rates and fees, avoiding high transfer fees and FX complexity with payments in local currency. We also offer real-time transaction status monitoring, so you can always track the transaction and see where your money is.
  4. Uniquely wide network: we offer global coverage and can make payments to every corner of the world.
What is your competitive advantage? Wallet-to-wallet interoperability and robust technology that can seamlessly integrate and connect previously fragmented methods and systems.
Why is your solution best in class? Thunes has built an unparalleled payments infrastructure that benefits businesses and communities across Africa and is able to take the region’s dynamic mobile money sector to the next level. We achieve this mission very simply – by filling the connectivity gaps.
Using our interoperable infrastructure across various payment platforms, Thunes can help millions of people and businesses in Africa access affordable international payments, connecting the region with the rest of the world, and enabling easy intra- and inter-regional wallet-to-wallet payments between countries.
Name one advantage of your solution versus competitors. Our global cross-border payments network is the largest in the world, currently covering over 130 countries and 2.8 billion mobile wallet users globally — and this list continues to grow.
By connecting to this global network, mobile wallets can enable multiple new payment services for their users:
  • Allow customers to receive transfers into their wallets from other countries and continents
  • Integrate cross-border payments into your user experience
  • Enable payments with local wallets on international websites and global platforms in home currencies
  • Enable payments with mobile wallets in retail and POS environment abroad
Explain your market presence globally and in your strongest market. Globally, Thunes enables C2C and B2B payments to more than 130+ countries (Asia, Europe, North, Central, and Latin America, Oceania, Africa), in more than 80 currencies, to more than 400 banking and mobile money partners.
Thunes network connects 4 billion bank accounts owners, 2.8 billion mobile wallets accunts, 1.2 billion cards.
What was the inspiration for this innovation? Government efforts during the pandemic to encourage digital transactions over cash caused mobile money usage to soar. For example, in Ghana, transaction volumes increased 36.8 per cent in 2020 year-on-year while value skyrocketed 81 per cent. In Benin, over 74% of the adult population owned a mobile banking account in 2018, while Togo and Cote d’Ivoire recorded around 70%.
While consumers have a great deal of choice with multiple payment methods like e-wallets, mobile money accounts and bank accounts, most lack interoperability. There’s a lack of harmonisation among different countries’ regulations, with no connection with each other domestically or to international payment systems. This can result in slow, costly and unreliable ways of moving money.
Who can benefit from your innovation most? With mobile phones serving as a crucial gateway for mobile wallets through apps and super apps, mobile wallets have become a convenient way to access financial services without a bank account. Experts predict that there will be 5.2 Billion mobile users globally by 2026. Our solution can enable interoperable payments among all of them, and our network already connects 2.8 Billion wallet accounts.
Why do you think you should win this category? Our digital infrastructure provides immense opportunities to local communities in Africa, by giving them access to international business, enabling travel, and connecting them to global economy.


Full Name: Sandra Yao
Role: SVP, Head of Africa


Description URL
Thunes Global Payment Network description, list of countries, and key facts