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5 Apps for Running a Business Remotely in Africa

Over the past several months, I’ve grown to rely on a few apps that have made my life much easier. No, I’m not referring to videoconferencing apps such as Zoom and WhatsApp, which are staples of the remote work era and should be considered standard applications. Rather, these are five apps I’ve stumbled across that have helped me with everything from cross-border transfers to editing/signing PDFs without a costly Adobe subscription to quickly scanning receipts.

CamScanner+

Tailor

Converter+

Preview

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

If you live/operate in Africa and are operating cross-border among any of the 54 countries on the continent, one of your top concerns is transferring funds while minimizing fees and maximizing speed. In some countries, particularly Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, there are several fintech startups that are actively working on this issue and many of them have promising solutions. I wrote about several of these in a previous post. However, most of these money transfer solutions are limited to certain countries, primarily the ones with larger economies. On the other side of the equation, you have long-standing services such as Moneygram, which effectively gets money almost anywhere, but with high fees.

Also, because Wise functions as a bank (which it does by partnering with actual third-party banks in different countries in order to effectuate transfers and multi-currency bank accounts), it’s very easy to keep track of your expenses as well as show recipients that funds have been sent (I typically combine this with the Tailor app by taking a picture of the “transfer sent” screen and sending that as a proof of payment to the recipient). The downside is that transfers might take up to a few days, since Wise typically uses ACH transfers. Also, you can only open up bank accounts in certain currencies, primarily USD, the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and a few European currencies. However, as mentioned before, you can still send funds without having to open a bank account with Wise. It’s not the most perfect, fee-free solution, but it is efficient and covers multiple currencies across most countries.

Those are my top five. What about for you? What apps do you absolutely love that help you run your business remotely?

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