Remitly, which sells financial services products aimed at making it easier for immigrants to send money electronically to recipients in their countries of origin, said on Wednesday (Aug. 26) that its mobile wallet network has nearly doubled in size this year.
The network now includes 300 million mobile wallet holders worldwide, the Seattle-based company said in a statement. As one reason for the expansion, Remitly cited the fact that it has added 11 new mobile wallet brands to its network, bringing the total to 25.
The additions include M-PESA, MTN Mobile Money, bKash, Gcash, Airtel Mobile Money, GoPay and Ovo, "many of which are accessible through Remitly's partnership with Thunes, a leading payments network for emerging markets," Remitly said in the news release.
Remitly's promotional materials state that the company "makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent and more affordable through its global network."
“While mobile wallets have been hyped to some degree in recent years, they are quickly transforming financial services in developing countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, and we’re seeing that transformation happen even more rapidly as a result of the current climate,” Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly co-founder and CEO, said in a prepared statement noting the increase in wallet-holders.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said in a statement circulated by Remitly: “Remittances have emerged as a critical economic lifeline for thousands of families and their communities. This partnership with Remitly will bring Kenyans abroad even closer to their families back home, providing a safe, fast, affordable and convenient way to send remittances to M-PESA, the most preferred remittance channel in the country."
The World Bank estimates that COVID-19's ultimate impact on remittances will be a significant decline.
And long-term players in the funds transfer sector, such as MoneyGram and Western Union, are ramping up efforts to capture business as it shifts to new platforms.
Meanwhile, Remitly continues to draw significant investments from private sources.