May 13, 2021 All Things Fintech in Africa

World Remit: A FinTech Startup Revolutionizing Money Transfer and Remittance  

World Remit, in short, is money transfer and remittance made easy. Within minutes of transactions, funds are being directly deposited into your account. It relieves the inconveniences of traditional money transfer; the street agents and high fees. World remit enables people who are living or working abroad to send money conveniently to their relatives, families, and friends using a computer, Smartphone or tablet. Or allows families to send money to their children, friends, and relatives living abroad. The money can either be received as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, mobile money, or mobile airtime top-up.

The Genesis of World Remit

World Remit was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed and his partners, Catherine Wines and Richard Igoe, to offer online money transfer service that provides international remittance options to migrant communities around the world.  Mr.Ismail, a former compliance advisor to the United Nations Development Programme, began to work on “World Remit” while he was studying for an MBA at a London Business school. The idea came to due to his experience with sending money to relatives in Somalia, using offline agent-based services, the frustrating and nerve-racking processes of the agencies had prompted him to work on a platform which relieves the stress. After three years of running on its own, in 2014, World Remit signed a $40 investment deal with Accel Partners. Following the investment, Accel’s Harry Nelis joined the board, and in the year 2015, it bagged another investment worth of $100m from TVC.

What are World Remit’s Market Opportunities Like? 

The problem World Remit addresses is the basic consumer issues with money transfer inconveniences.  Which involve spending time to travel to a physical location to use Western Union or Money Gram, paying a large commission fee, and then getting recipients to do the same at their end. These setbacks can be frustrating.  So typically World Remit eliminates them by providing an easy, cheap and reliable alternative.

The second is more of a business and legal issue. For financial regulators looking to de-escalate the rate of money laundering and funding of illicit activities without any trace of how money is moved, the remittance service solves that.

Services World Remit Offers.

Currently, World Remit is available in over 50 countries. They offer money transfer service to more than 140 destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and America in a variety of options.  Their services include:

Bank Transfer:

You can conveniently send money directly to the beneficiary’s account and they receive it instantly. But only supported banks in that region can offer a world remit made the transfer.

Cash Pick Up:

Alternatively, you can pick cash sent to you at any supported partner location. The requirements for picking up cash instead include a valid ID, transaction reference number( sent to you as an SMS), cash pickup transfer location and branch available in the region the money was sent.

Pay to Card:

With WR, users can fund/send money to a pre-paid card to be used to pay for goods online or in store. This option is only available in Zimbabwe.

Airtime Top-up:

WR also provides instant Airtime Top-up services. Airtime top-up can be used to make phone calls, subscribe to call and data plans.

Mobile Money:

World Remit, “Mobile Money” is an electronic wallet service that allows one to send, receive and store money, pay bills, shop online, withdraw cash, buy airtime using a Smartphone or a feature phone. This service is distributed through local mobile money agents( banks and licensed mobile telecoms providers) supported by World Remit. The mobile money is available in few countries across Africa, Asia, and other continents where World Remit operates expect the Middle East.

Door-to-Door Delivery:

The door-to-door delivery service is available only in Vietnam. It is a service where World Remit delivers money sent to a beneficiary, to their address or location.

How World Remit Works?        

The remittance Industry moves $60 billion annually. Although 90% of the industry is still offline, where you have to go an agent to process the money sent, World Remit is striving in the online space.  Their Unique selling point is digitalizing money transfer and remittance via mobile phones. When you send money it is readily made available within minutes. It is a mobile to mobile experience providing safe, reliable, fast and convenient service. How it works:

  • After you check if your beneficiary has a mobile money account, then select the country you want to send to.
  • Select the option you want to use to send the money, any medium which is more convenient.
  • Enter the amount you wish to send.
  • On the next page, create  an account
  • Enter your beneficiary’s details.
  • Finally, pay by choosing where you want the money to go.

 

How World Remit has Revolutionized Money Transfer and Remittance in Africa 

World Remit has revolutionized the way people remit and transfer money in Africa. As it launched its low-cost digital money transfer service in South Africa and over  140 destinations worldwide including Zimbabwe, Mozambique,  Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

For instance, in a report gathered by World Bank, South Africa is the most expensive G20 country to send money to, an average cost of 15% is incurred for sending $200 – which is not up to the global average cost. But with World Remit, low charge rates are provided and also allows the senders to choose from a variety of convenient payment options. Now, South Africa has become one of World Remit’s top ten remittance receiving countries with over 50% transactions.

In Zimbabwe, World Remit offers cash at over 250 locations –more than any other remittance service. Cash is made available through their supported partners which include Steward Bank, CBZ, ZB Bank, Kaah Express and Quest Financial services.

While in Kenya, World Remit customers have completed almost 2 million money transfers. Every month, 80,000 transactions are made on World Remit app and website.

The transactions made across to Africa via World Remit is nearly close to 75%. Between 2016 and 2017, the remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 11% reaching about $38 billion. Now, nearly 3 million migrants living in 50 countries can send money home from their phone to any personal accounts. World Remit continues to diversify and launch their service into more African countries including Central African Republic, Chad, Malawi, Togo, Zambia, Botswana.

Also Read:

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How To Make Interswitch Payments Using Your Mobile Phone

 

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