A Kenyan foreign exchange platform targets to cut trading costs by providing exchange rates offered by various banks to help customers choose the most competitive rates. The platform introduces transparency in an otherwise opaque market where customers had to either call many banks or walk from bank to bank in search of affordable rates.

Meta Capital, a technology company based in Nairobi, has designed SharpFX, a platform that allows registered users to access best negotiated foreign exchange rates from partner banks. With this platform anyone looking to transact in foreign exchange can do so from the comfort of their computer without the need to haggle over the phone with a bank dealer.

The foreign exchange market for big customers remains largely inefficient due to poor information exchange as rates are offered in the treasury departments of banks, which allows some players to quote large spreads. Big buyers are, therefore, able to save a lot of money even from a small difference in spreads.

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“Our partner banks will display their best rates on the platform and based on what your preferred rate is, you will select the rate you want from the list and the respective bank will make contact to confirm the order details for processing,” says Mr Sila Obegi, chief executive of Meta Capital.

The platform brings together individuals and businesses looking to transact in foreign exchange at better than average rates, and banks that are ready to offer the best exclusive exchange rates to the users on the platform.

On this platform you get the best rates available at no extra cost or fee, and the banks get access to clients who are looking to transact.

As the the platform provider, Meta Capital gets a small commission from the banks margin on each transaction.

This ensures no costs or fees are passed on down to the customers for using the platform. This service is targeted at individuals and businesses transacting a minimum of Ksh1 million at a go on a regular basis.

Clients will be required to sign a dealing mandate with the partner banks in order to create a Foreign Exchange transactional account, which is created for the purpose of processing  forex transactions from one bank to another.

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The transactional account has no setup fee or maintenance fee and exists solely to enable processing of forex transactions from one bank to another.

Kenya’s foreign exchange market has grown significantly in the last decade, boosted by rising trade between Kenya and the international market. Volumes of foreign money passing through banks has surged, providing huge earning for local banks.

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