Data shows that Africa is one of the few continents where remittance inflow has surpassed foreign aid and the Official Development Assistance (ODA), with remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa increasing 11.4 percent to reach $38 billion last year. Nigeria is the highest recipient of remittances at $21.9 billion, followed by Senegal and Ghana.
The average cost for money transfers in the region, though, stood at 9.07 percent in Q2 2018, compared to the global average of 6.99 percent in the same time frame. A major issue is the exclusivity contracts in certain African countries.
In an effort to bring down those costs, Xpress Money has streamlined its efforts in the African market and partnered with major financial institutions (FIs) across the region, including Co-operative Bank in Kenya, DFCU Bank in Uganda, I&M Bank Rwanda, ADB Bank of Ghana, GAS in Ghana, UMB in Ghana, Zenith Bank in Ghana, FBNBank in Senegal and Real Transfer in Namibia. Its network now includes 7,500 agent locations, and the company expects to hit 10,000 by the end of 2019.
The company offers mobile wallet services across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Cameroon, and plans to add eight more countries over the next 15 months.
“I strongly believe that the future of remittances lies in embracing partnerships and collaborations that will help lower remittance costs and in reaching out to the ‘unbanked,’ thus, enabling the end customer,” said COO Sudhesh Giriyan of Xpress Money in a press release. “The success of digital remittances in Africa endorses the customer’s appetite for convenient money transfer methods. This puts the onus on global money transfer organizations, like Xpress Money, to make conscious efforts [toward] leveraging the right partnerships to build a formidable brand presence.”