WorldRemit, MTN team up to challenge Western Union remittances dominance in Africa

In Summary

KAMPALA, JANUARY 28- International Mobile Money transfer company WorldRemit and MTN Group today announced a partnership […]

KAMPALA, JANUARY 28- International Mobile Money transfer company WorldRemit and MTN Group today announced a partnership that will allow WorldRemit customers to make instant money to MTN Mobile Money customers in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

The launch which follows the signing of a global partnership agreement earlier this year, to enable WorldRemit customers all over the world to send international remittances to MTN’s Mobile Money customers, represents perhaps the greatest challenge to traditional money transfer players such as Western Union and Moneygram.

Although mobile money transfers are still limited by caps to the amount of money that can be moved in a single transaction, the development brings choice to a market where completion has been limited. Also mobile money’s near universal reach especially to isolated communities is potentially transformational for financial inclusion.

In a joint statement with WorldRemit, Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services said the partnership makes sense for both companies, because both WorldRemit and MTN “share a disruptive approach to innovation and bringing impactful services to our customers.

“Together, we are now providing an instant, fully digital and very affordable solution to send international remittance to Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Other countries will follow soon.”

Said Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit: “At WorldRemit, we are pioneering international mobile-to-mobile remittances. Our partnership with MTN allows our customers around the world to send money instantly from the WorldRemit app to MTN Mobile Money users in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Together with MTN, we make sending money home as easy as sending an instant message.”

Alix adds that Mobile Money is a real game-changer for diaspora members sending money to friends and family back home in countries such as Uganda where Mobile Money has already overtaken cash pick-up and bank deposits as the preferred method to receive money.

“We expect this trend to continue as MTN’s Mobile Money services reach millions of people without bank accounts, giving them access to a variety of life-enhancing financial services including savings and insurance schemes,” she adds.

Currently people in more than 52 countries use the WorldRemit application to send around 400,000 money transfers every month to over 125 destinations.

To date, MTN Mobile Money is used in 15 countries across Africa, which includes Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. MTN launched a cross-border mobile money transfer service between Uganda and Rwanda last August.

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