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Meet the partner: Thunes

Meet the partner: Thunes


At BR-DGE, our partners are an integral part of our ecosystem and critical to our customers’ success.

In our Meet the Partner series, we highlight our collaboration with key partners, showcasing the products, functionality and benefits they deliver.

We sat down with Shaheen Budhrani, Strategic Partnerships Director at Thunes, to delve into their singular global payment system. We discuss the significance of partnerships in payments, our collaborative efforts with merchants and the essential elements for a successful collaboration.

What does Thunes do?
Thunes has built an extensive, cross-border payments network that allows businesses to collect and send funds across the globe. We work by directly bridging gaps between domestic payment endpoints– bank accounts, cards​ and ​​digital wallets. Our infrastructure eliminates the painful complexity around traditional international transfers.

We’re unique. Through a single API connection and relationship, businesses can process payments between 130 different markets and 85 currencies. This includes some of the most challenging yet rapidly expanding markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

We streamline transactions into bank accounts and major digital wallets like mPesa, WeChat, bKASH, and GrabPay, removing the need for extra banking ties. Our payment rails support real-time transfers with guaranteed fees - cutting out intermediaries to make transactions more efficient.

Thunes empowers top global brands like Revolut, Visa, Western Union, Adidas, Sephora, Grab, TikTok, Uber and Airbnb, driving payment innovation.

How was your organisation founded and what was the market need?

Thunes was founded back in 2016 with the mission to make the global economy more accessible to all, including under and unbanked populations in emerging economies. By connecting payment networks worldwide, we help people and businesses move funds directly to four billion bank accounts and three billion individual wallets globally.

There is a massive market need for what we do. Payments and the internet economy have digitised the world over, but most of these payment methods and systems are domestic and operate in silos. By directly connecting to these payment methods, we enable commerce to flourish, overcome complexity and operate in a borderless, frictionless way.

What current trends in digital payments are we seeing at Thunes?

The global surge in mobile wallet adoption has been an interesting one for us to watch, since it has transformed payments for individuals and businesses alike. Digital wallets are becoming the norm, and by 2026, 60% of the world’s population is expected to use them daily. We’re seeing an increasing number of direct integrations with digital wallets, which allows payers to bypass the intermediaries and card rails often involved in moving money between digital wallets. This trend supports greater efficiencies for businesses and consumers, so we expect it to continue gaining momentum.

The growth of real-time payments (RTPs) is also an important trend—they're set to become one of the fastest-growing segments this decade, with an annual growth rate of 35.5%. There are now 80 countries supporting RTPs, and they’re a particularly important payment mechanism in emerging markets—that's why one of our focus areas is to enhance interoperability in this area.

How do Thunes and BR-DGE work in partnership?

Thunes enriches the BR-DGE platform, giving merchants access to over​ 300​ ​alternative payment methods, seamlessly integrated to offer customers diverse payment options. Alternative payment methods including mobile wallets, local bank payments and buy now-pay later (BNPL) options are integrated into the BR-DGE orchestration platform, ready for customer use.

Through our partnership, BR-DGE merchants can effortlessly tap into new markets and conduct cross-border commerce without the complexities of currency settlement or extensive technical development.

What are the key ingredients for a successful partnership?

Successful partnerships rely on close collaboration, transparency, and shared goals. Thunes and BR-DGE prioritise these elements, fostering innovation and value creation. Our collaborative effort showcases our aligned objectives around​ supporting and enabling global merchants to grow and transact across borders seamlessly. ​

For further information on accessing Thunes' global payment solutions and maximising the partnership through BR-DGE's orchestration suite, get in touch with the team.

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