WorldRemit, an international digital money transfer platform, has launched a new service that allows remittances received from the diaspora to be cashed out at any branch of FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, and Polaris Bank across Nigeria.
Speaking about the new service, Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa at WorldRemit, expressed delight that the company’s expansion into Nigeria will introduce more customers to a fast and convenient service.
“WorldRemit is delighted to expand its service offering in Nigeria, and introduce more recipients to our award-winning fast and convenient service. We recognise that the future of international payments will increasingly be defined by diversity and choice as more countries across the world strive to achieve universal financial inclusion.”Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa at WorldRemit
He added that with the use of the WorldRemit app or website, customers from over 50 countries across the world can send money directly from their phones with just a few taps.
“Using our app or website, customers living in over 50 countries can now send money home for collection as cash in just a few taps from their phones. We also offer notifications to both senders and recipients when the money has been sent and received for complete peace of mind.”Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa at WorldRemit
WorldRemit was established in 2010 to offer a simpler and cheaper way for people in the diaspora to transfer money.
In 2018, it launched transfer services within Africa and is now present in 50 countries around the world completing nearly a million transactions monthly.
There are currently 1,800 cash pick-up locations across Nigeria where customers can securely and swiftly pick up remittances and the company plans to bring this number up to 5,000 by the end of the year.
WorldRemit’s cash pick-up option is also available in other African countries like Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Morocco.
Digital money transfer in Africa
In Africa, sending and receiving money across borders has always been a strenuous and costly endeavour. According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send remittances to, with an average cost of 9.4% for sending $200.
Data shows that in 2017, a total volume of across border money transfer in Sub-Saharan Africa rose to a record $46 billion in 2018.
With over 15 million Nigerians living in the diaspora including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the stable inflow of remittances plays a significant role in Nigeria’s economy.
Consequently, during the ADEPT Fifth Diaspora Development Dialogue (DDD5) in Nairobi in 2016, the IMF, World Bank and the Africa Institute for Remittances constituted a UN SDG project with plans to reduce the cost of remittances to less than 3% by 2020.
Results from the summit represent the introduction of technology-savvy players like WorldRemit whose digital model saves customers time and money as they do not have to visit physical agents to move money.
With many Nigerians needing to send money to loved ones without worrying about distance and cost, the expansion of WorldRemit is a good starting point. But overall there’s still a long way to go before remittances effectively reach the individuals who need them the most.
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