By Abdi Ali
Published February 22, 2017
The increasing preference for mobile money over its costly offline remittances across the world is changing the way money is transferred and business transacted..
That digital money transfer is faster, cheaper, safer and convenient could be what is driving WorldRemit, a London (UK)-based company to consolidate its expansion into Tanzania, one of the fastest growing economies in East Africa. Remittances from migrant workers play an important role in the economy of this country that the World Bank reports received US$390 million in 2015.
As such, it may come as of little surprise to see entrepreneurs coming in to have a slice of “the growing demand for instant remittances to [Tanzania] from more than four million expatriates living abroad.”
WorldRemit announced on February 20, 2017 that its service to Tanzania had reached a “new record of 10000 unique transactions completed in December 2016” and that its service had experienced a 150% year on year growth in 2016; “driven primarily by the rapid expansion of Mobile Money accounts as the preferred receive method.”
Referring to its service as the ‘WhatsApp of money’, WorldRemit says its customers living in Britain, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Norway and elsewhere can send money to Tanzania via Mobile Money to Tigo Pesa, Vodacom M-Pesa and Zantel Ezy Pesa Mobile Money accounts, as well as bank deposit and cash pick-up.
“People in more than 50 countries,” the company says in a statement issued in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam on February 20, “can send instant, secure transfers to more than 140 destinations. WorldRemit makes sending money as easy as sending an instant message.”
Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit, says, “Our Mobile Money partnerships combined with existing services for bank deposits and cash pick-up will give more choice to Tanzanians, further supporting the transition from costly offline remittances via high street agents to faster, cheaper and safer online transfer methods”.
WorldRemit, whose regional offices are reported to be in the United States of America, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, says its customers currently send more than 580000 transfers every month.