Our Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy governs your use of products, services, content, features, or technologies offered by BitPesa and all related sites, applications, and services (collectively “BitPesa Services”) including, without limitation, when you provide any information to us in relation to your use of BitPesa Services.

You accept and consent to this Privacy Policy when you sign up for, access, or use the BitPesa Services. By accepting and consenting to this Privacy Policy, you expressly consent to our use and disclosure of your personal information and direct us to do so in the manner described in this Privacy Policy.

Overview

In order to operate the BitPesa Services and to reduce the risk of fraud, BTC Africa S.A. ("BitPesa", “our”, “us” or "we"), the data controller, must ask you to provide us with information about yourself, including your bank account details and information about any other financial instruments that may be connected to your BitPesa account, as well as any other types of information specified in section 2 of this Policy. By consenting to, and agreeing to the terms of, this Privacy Policy, you expressly consent and agree to us processing your data in the manner set out herein. This Privacy Policy describes the information we collect and how we use that information. BitPesa takes the processing of your information very seriously and will use your information only in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, the term “information” means any confidential and/or personally identifiable information or other information related to users of BitPesa Services, specified in section 2 of this Policy.

We will not sell or rent your information to third parties for their marketing purposes without your explicit consent. However, in order for us to offer BitPesa Services to our users; enhance the quality of BitPesa Services from time to time; and protect the interests of our users, we will in limited circumstances share some of your information with third parties under strict restrictions, as described in greater detail in the following sections of this Policy. It is important for you to review this Privacy Policy as it applies to all BitPesa Services.

This Privacy Policy is intended to govern the use of BitPesa Services by our users (including, without limitation those who use the BitPesa Services in the course of their trade or business) unless otherwise agreed through contract.

Changes to this Privacy Policy: All future changes to this Privacy Policy are incorporated by reference into the Terms and Conditions (our framework contract) with you and will take effect as specified in the Policy Updates, when they may occur. “Policy Update” means a prior notice of changes to any of your agreements with BitPesa, which BitPesa may make available to you in writing, including in electronic form. If you disagree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not register for or use the BitPesa Services.

Notification of Changes: This Privacy Policy may be revised over time as new features are added to BitPesa Services, or as we incorporate suggestions from our customers. We may change this Privacy Policy at any time by posting a revised version of it on our website. Unless we have legal grounds to do otherwise, we will provide you with at least 30 days' prior notice of the effective date of the revised Privacy Policy. We may post the notice on our website and/or send the notice by e-mail. As of the effective date of the revised Privacy Policy, you will be considered as having consented to all changes to the Privacy Policy. If you disagree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, you may close your account at any time.

Third Party Websites: Some pages on the BitPesa website include links to third-party websites. These sites are governed by their own privacy statements, and BitPesa is not responsible for their operations, including, but not limited to, their information practices. Users submitting information to or through these third-party websites should review the privacy statements of these sites before providing them with personally identifiable information.

Information We Collect

Required Information: To open a BitPesa account or use the BitPesa Services, you must provide your name, address, phone number, date and place of birth, nationality, the details of your identification document, and email address, or other information to be determined by BitPesa from time to time. In order to fund your balance with BitPesa account or make certain payments through the BitPesa Services, you must provide (where applicable) your bank (or another payment instrument, such as mobile wallet) account information. We may also ask you to choose different security questions to answer.

We will also require other commercial and/or identification information if you send or receive certain high-value transactions or high overall payment volumes through the BitPesa Services, or as is otherwise required in order for us to comply with our anti-money laundering obligations under applicable laws.

Using your device: When you use BitPesa Services using any device (whether connected to BitPesa wirelessly or by a fixed line or otherwise), we may additionally collect and store device sign-on data (including but not limited to device ID) and geolocation data, in order to provide BitPesa Services.

Photographs: If you use certain functionalities provided by us, we may ask you to upload a picture of you (for example, the photo of your ID) in order to provide these specific services. Your face must be recognizable.

Transaction Information: When you use the BitPesa Services to send funds to someone else or request money from someone else, we ask you to provide information related to that transaction. This information includes the amount and type of the transaction (purchase of goods, purchase of services, or simple peer-to-peer transfer), other purchase/transactional details and the details pertaining to the identity of the third party. Also, when you send money or funds to another BitPesa customer, you may be asked to provide personal details of that customer to complete the transaction. Those details may also be passed on to us from that customer. We also collect the Internet address (IP address) and other identifying information about the computer or device you use to access your BitPesa account or use the BitPesa Services, in order to help us authenticate you and detect possible instances of unauthorized transactions.

Information About You From Third Parties: In order to protect all our customers against potential fraud, we verify the information you provide with Payment Partners and/or Credit Reference and Fraud Agencies as well as information available through internet and publicly accessible social network data. In the course of such verification, we may receive personally identifiable information about you from such services. In particular, if you connect a debit or credit card or register a bank account connected with BitPesa account, we may use card authorization and fraud screening services to verify that your bank or card or mobile wallet information and address match the information you supplied to BitPesa, and that the card has not been reported as lost or stolen.

If you send or receive high overall payment volumes or display inconsistent transactional patterns through the BitPesa Services, or if you have a limited transactional history with us, in some circumstances we will conduct a background check on you by obtaining information about you and your business, and potentially (if legally permitted) also about your directors, shareholders and partners, from a credit reference or a fraud agency. If you owe us money, we may conduct a credit check on you by obtaining additional information about you from a credit reference or a fraud agency, to the extent permitted by law. BitPesa, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to periodically retrieve and review a business and/or consumer credit report supplied by such credit reference or a fraud agency for any account, and reserves the right to close an account based on information obtained during this credit review process.

If you use your BitPesa account to receive payments for goods or services, we may also collect public information about your business and your behavior on social media platforms (such as the e-mail address and the number of “likes” and “followers”), to the extent relevant to confirm an assessment of your transactions and/or your business, including its size and the size of its customer base.

Information About You from Other Sources: We may also collect information about you from other sources, including from other entities of the group to which BitPesa belongs, other companies (subject to their privacy policies and applicable law), and from other accounts we have reason to believe you control (whether in part or in whole).

Additional Verification: If we cannot verify the information that you provide, or if you request a withdrawal to an account, payment instrument or digital wallet not previously used by you, we may ask you to upload or send us additional confirmations or to answer additional questions online to help verify your information.

Website Traffic Information: Because of the way Internet communication standards work, when you arrive at or leave the BitPesa website, we may automatically receive the web address of the site that you came from or are going to. We also collect information on which pages of our website you visit, IP addresses, the type of browser you use and the times you access our website.

Cookies, Web Beacons, Local Storage and Similar Technologies: When you access our website, or use BitPesa Services, we (including companies we work with) may place small data files on your computer or other device. These data files may be cookies, pixel tags, "Flash cookies," or other local storage provided by your browser or associated applications (collectively "Cookies"). We may use Cookies to recognize you as a customer, customize BitPesa Services, content and advertising, measure promotional effectiveness, help ensure that your account security is not compromised, mitigate risk and prevent fraud, and to promote trust and safety across our sites and BitPesa Services.

You are free to decline our Cookies if your browser or browser add-on permits, unless our Cookies are required to prevent fraud or ensure the security of websites we control. However, declining our Cookies may interfere with your use of our website and BitPesa Services.

Communications: When you communicate with us for customer service or other purposes (e.g., by emails, phone calls, tweets, etc.), we may retain such information and our responses to you in the records of your account, for the purpose of proof of commercial transactions and communications.

Questionnaires, Surveys, Sweepstakes and Profile Data: From time to time, we offer optional questionnaires, surveys and sweepstakes to our users for such purposes as collecting demographic information or assessing users' interests and needs. If we collect personally identifiable information from our users in these questionnaires, surveys, and sweepstakes, the users will be given notice of how the information will be used prior to their participation in the survey, questionnaire or sweepstake.

Account Information: For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, account information (“Account Information”) includes without limitation: name, address, date and place of birth, nationality, email address, phone number, username, photograph, IP address, device ID, geolocation information, account numbers, account types, details of funding instruments associated with the account, details of payment transactions, details of commercial transactions, customer statements and reports, account preferences, details of identity collected as part of our "know your customer" checks on you, and customer correspondence.

How We Use the Information We Collect

Internal Uses: We collect, store and process your information on servers located in the European Union. Our primary purpose for collecting your information is to provide you with a safe, smooth, efficient, and customized experience. You agree that we may use your personal information to:

  • Process transactions and provide the BitPesa Services;
  • Verify your identity, including during account creation and password reset processes;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Manage risks, or to detect, prevent, and/or remediate fraud or other potentially illegal or prohibited activities;
  • Detect, prevent or remediate violations of policies or applicable user agreements;
  • Provide you with customer support services;
  • Improve the BitPesa Services by customizing your user experience;
  • Measure the performance of the BitPesa Services and improve their content and layout;
  • Manage and protect our information technology infrastructure;
  • Provide targeted marketing and advertising, provide service updates, and deliver promotional offers based on the communication preferences you have defined for your BitPesa account (please refer to the section "Our Contact with BitPesa Customers" below) and your activities when using the BitPesa Services; and
  • Perform creditworthiness and solvency checks, compare information for accuracy, and verify it with third parties.
  • Questionnaires, Sweepstakes, Surveys and Profile Data: If you choose to answer our optional questionnaires or surveys, we may use such information to improve BitPesa Services, send you marketing or advertising information, manage the sweepstakes, or as otherwise explained in detail in the survey itself.

Our Contact with BitPesa Customers: We communicate with our users on a regular basis via email and chats to provide requested services. We may also communicate with our users by phone to:

  • Resolve customer complaints or claims made by users;
  • Respond to requests for customer service;
  • Inform users if we believe their accounts or any of their transactions have been used for an illegitimate purpose;
  • Confirm information concerning a user's identity, business or account activity;
  • Carry out collection activities;
  • Conduct customer surveys; and
  • Investigate suspicious transactions.

We use your email or physical address to confirm your opening of a BitPesa account, to send you notice of payments that you send or receive through BitPesa, to send you information about important changes to our products and services, and to send notices and other disclosures required by law. Generally, users cannot opt out of these communications, but they will be informational in nature, and not promotional.

We can also use your email address to send you other types of communications that you can control, including "news”, “customer surveys” and “notice of special promotions”. You can choose whether to receive all or none of these communications when you complete the registration process, or at any time thereafter, by logging in to your account and then selecting settings, and updating your communication preferences.

In connection with independent audits of our financial statements and operations imposed by applicable law, the auditors may seek to contact a sample of our customers to confirm that our records are accurate. However, these auditors cannot use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

Marketing

If you don't wish to receive marketing communications from us, or to participate in our ad-customization programs, simply update your preferences.

How We Share Information with Other BitPesa Users

If you are a registered BitPesa user and you are sending funds or transacting with another registered BitPesa user, as a part of the transaction, some personal information of both parties (name, e-mail address) may be shared as a part of transaction notification. However, your card number, bank account and other financial information will not be revealed to anyone whom you have paid or who has paid you through the BitPesa Services or third parties that use the BitPesa Services, except with your express permission or if we are required to do so pursuant to credit card rules, a court order or other applicable legal obligation.

We work with third parties to enable them to accept or facilitate payments from or to you using the BitPesa Services. In doing so, a third party may share information about you with us such as your email address or phone number, when a payment is sent to you or when you are attempting to pay that third party. We use this information to confirm that you are a BitPesa customer and to ensure that we are able to properly authenticate and authorize the transaction and to complete a payment order, or (where a payment is sent to you  by a third party) to send you a notification that you have received a payment. Please note that third parties you receive funds from, may have their own privacy policies, and BitPesa is not responsible for their operations, including, but not limited to, their information practices.

By accepting this Privacy Policy, you expressly agree and consent that each time you pay or attempt to pay another BitPesa customer using your BitPesa account, BitPesa may transfer the aforementioned relevant data to such BitPesa customer, who may be located outside the European Economic Area (EEA), in order to process, execute or otherwise deal with and provide information about the payment. You also expressly agree and consent to BitPesa providing transactional information and other information necessary for the use of a BitPesa Services to our banking and payments services partners. Such transfers are necessary for the performance of your contract with BitPesa.

How We Share Information with Other Third Parties

Just like most banks or financial/payment service providers, BitPesa works with third-party service providers which provide important functions to us that allow us to be an easier, faster, and safer way to make payments, and other business partners. We need to disclose user data to them from time to time, so that the services can be performed.

BitPesa will not transfer, disclose, sell or rent any of your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes without your explicit consent, and will only disclose this information in the limited circumstances and for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy. This includes transfers of data to non-EEA countries, which BitPesa will always endeavor to carry out in compliance with the requirements of the applicable data protection law. In this regard, transfers to non-EEA countries may notably be carried out on the basis of adequate contractual arrangements, a copy of which may be obtained by you by simple request sent to BitPesa.

In order to provide the BitPesa Services, some information we collect from or about you, may be required to be transferred to other BitPesa group entities or other entities, in their capacity as payment providers, payment processors or account holders (or similar capacities). You acknowledge that according to their local legislation, such entities may be subject to laws, regulations, inquiries, investigations, or orders which may require the disclosure of information to the relevant authorities of the relevant country.

Specifically, you consent to and direct BitPesa to do any and all of the following with your information:

  • Disclose necessary information to: the police and other law enforcement agencies; security forces; competent governmental, intergovernmental or supranational bodies; competent agencies, departments, regulatory authorities, self-regulatory authorities or organizations  and other third parties, including BTC Africa Group of companies, that (i) we are legally compelled and permitted to comply with, including but without limitation the Luxembourg laws of 24 July 2015 on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA Law”) and 18 December 2015 on the OECD common reporting standard (“CRS Law”); (ii) we have reason to believe it is appropriate for us to cooperate with governmental agencies or payment or processing partners in investigations of fraud or other illegal activity or potential illegal activity, to the fullest extent permitted by law, or (iii) to conduct investigations of violations of our User Agreement (including without limitation, your funding source or mobile wallet or credit or debit card provider).
  • If you are covered by the FATCA or CRS Law, we are required to give you notice of the information about you that we may transfer to various authorities. If we believe your account may be subject to these regulations, we may notify you separately.
  • We and other organizations, including financial institutions that cooperate with  BitPesa, may also share, access and use (including from other countries) necessary information (including, without limitation the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies) to help us and them assess and to manage risk (including, without limitation, to prevent fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing).
  • Disclose necessary information in response to the requirements of other financial institutions, credit card associations or a civil or criminal legal process.
  • Disclose necessary information to the payment processors, auditors, customer services providers, credit reference and fraud agencies, financial products providers, commercial partners, marketing and public relations companies, operational services providers, group companies, agencies, marketplaces and other third parties listed here. The purpose of this disclosure is to allow us to provide BitPesa Services to you.
  • Disclose necessary information to your agent or legal representative (such as the holder of a power of attorney that you grant, or a guardian appointed for you).
  • Disclose aggregated (i.e.: anonymized) statistical data to our business partners or for public relations. For example, we may disclose that a specific percentage of our users live in a certain city. However, this aggregated information is not tied to personal information.
  • Share necessary Account Information with unaffiliated third parties (listed below for their use for the following purposes:
    • Fraud Prevention and Risk Management: to help prevent fraud or assess and manage risk, as permitted by applicable law.
    • Customer Service: for customer service purposes, including to help service your accounts or resolve disputes (e.g., billing or transactional).
    • Legal & Compliance service providers: to help us comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing verification requirements, as permitted by applicable law.
    • Service Providers: to enable service providers under contract with us to support our business operations, namely fraud prevention, bill collection, marketing, customer service and technology services. Our contracts dictate that these service providers only use your information in connection with the services they perform for us and not for their own benefit.
    • Mergers or Acquisitions: As with any other business, it is possible that in the future BitPesa could merge with, or be acquired by, another company. If such an acquisition occurs, you consent to the successor company having access to the information maintained by BitPesa, including customer Account Information, and such successor company would continue to be bound by this Privacy Policy unless and until it is amended.

Cross Border Transfers of your Information

BitPesa is committed to adequately protecting your information regardless of where the data resides and to providing appropriate protection for your information if your data is transferred outside of the EEA. In this regard, transfers to non-EEA Member States may notably be carried out on the basis of adequate contractual arrangements, a copy of which may be obtained by you by simple request sent to BitPesa.

Your Use of Information and BitPesa Services

In order to facilitate the transactions between BitPesa users, BitPesa Services allows you limited access to other users' contact information. As a user, you may have access to another user’s ID, email address and other contact information as a part of transaction notification and confirmation process.

You agree that, with respect to other users' personally identifiable information that you obtain through the BitPesa Services or through a BitPesa-related communication or BitPesa-facilitated transaction, you will only use this information for: (a) BitPesa-related communications that are not unsolicited commercial messages, (b) ancillary actions in relation to the BitPesa payments or the transactions for which BitPesa has been used (e.g. insurance, delivery and fraud complaints), and (c) any other purpose that such user consents to after adequate disclosure of the purpose(s).

In all cases, you must provide users with the opportunity to remove their data from your database and review any information you have collected about them. More generally, you must comply with all applicable privacy regulations, in particular as they relate to the sending of marketing emails.

BitPesa does not tolerate spam. We strictly enforce our Anti-Spam Policy. To report BitPesa-related spam to BitPesa, please contact us.

Information Security

BitPesa is committed to handling your customer information with high standards of information security. We use computer safeguards such as firewalls and data encryption, we enforce physical access controls to our buildings and files, and we authorize access to personal information only for those employees who require it to fulfil their job responsibilities, and who have committed themselves to confidentiality undertakings.

The security of your BitPesa account also relies on your protection of your BitPesa password. You may not share your BitPesa password with anyone. BitPesa representatives will never ask you for your password, so any email or other communication requesting your password should be treated as unauthorized and suspicious and forwarded to us. If you do share your BitPesa password with a third party for any reason, including because the third party has promised to provide you additional services such as account aggregation, the third party will have access to your account and your personal information, and you may be responsible for actions taken using your password. If you believe someone else has obtained access to your password, please change it immediately by logging in to your account and changing your Profile settings, and also contact us right away.

Accessing and Changing Your Information

You can review the personal information you have provided to us and make any desired changes to such information, or to the settings for your BitPesa account, at any time by logging in to your account on the BitPesa website. If you close your BitPesa account, we will mark your account in our database as "Closed", but will keep your Account Information in our database for a period of 10 years. This is for instance necessary in order to fulfill our data retention requirements to comply with applicable laws and regulations, and for other legitemate business reasons, such as to deter fraud, by ensuring that persons who try to commit fraud will not be able to avoid detection simply by closing their account and opening a new account. However, if you close your account, your personally identifiable information will not be used by us for any further purposes, nor sold or shared with third parties, except as necessary to prevent fraud and assist law enforcement authorities, or as required by law. The information you provide us with will not be kept for longer than necessary with regards to the purpose of its processing described above, subject to statutory retention periods imposed by applicable law.

Contact us and Exercising Your Rights:

Our legal and privacy department is responsible for ensuring that our day-to-day procedures comply with this Privacy Policy. If you want to exercise your right to access your information, make changes or have any questions about this privacy statement, BitPesa information practices, or data protection, you can write to us at [email protected]

By writing to the above address, and subject to certain conditions set out by applicable data protection law, you may also exercise your rights to:

  • object to the processing of your information;
  • ask for erasure of your information within the limits permitted by applicable laws and regulations;
  • ask for portability of your information ;
  • object to the use of your information for marketing purposes.

Finally, you acknowledge the existence of your right to lodge a complaint with a competent data protection supervisory authority.