(Bloomberg) -- TBD, a part of Block Inc. focused on creating open and decentralized technologies to connect the financial world, has partnered with Chipper Cash, one of the largest financial technology firms in Africa to accelerate its global cross-border payments.

The partnership announced on Tuesday enables the newest business unit of the company formerly known as Square, to grow the network of countries on the continent that can benefit from the use of its technologies to 40, Mike Brock, chief executive officer of TBD, said in an interview in Accra, Ghana’s capital.

TBD was set up a little over two years ago by Block, co-founded by Jack Dorsey, who’s known for founding Twitter, to drive financial access to individuals, businesses and payment platforms.

Payment firms are looking to expand in Africa to tap a young population and provide a crucial service in a continent where banking infrastructure can be non-existent. San Francisco-based Chipper Cash already allows 5 million customers to move money to over 21 countries on the continent. 

The traditional money transfer channels are slower due to customer identity protocols that can take up to days. By integrating with the tbDEX protocol however, payment platforms like Chipper Cash can power cross border payments and decentralized identity use cases for individuals and businesses on the continent for quicker and lower-cost transactions.

“Remittances are a lifeline for many African families but the costs of sending money to the continent remain among the highest globally,” Maijid Moujaled, president and co-founder at Chipper Cash, said in a statement. “By plugging into tbDEX with numerous network participants, we believe we can collectively as an industry drive down these high costs.”

That’s made possible because tbDEX is an open messaging protocol that connects liquidity seekers with providers and equips all participants with a common language for facilitating transactions. Customers can transfer digital assets and for their recipients to get it in local currency into bank accounts or mobile wallets. Alternatively, recipients can opt to hold their value in dollars, Bitcoin or Stablecoins.

TBD’s technologies “bridge the gap between the old way of doing things and the digital asset space,” Brock said. “One of our main goals on the continent is to encourage engagement in that ecosystem - developers, fintechs, startups, banks, institutions can use these technologies today.”

(Updates with comment from Chipper Cash in sixth paragraph.)

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