It is a well known fact that the cost of sending money transfers to Sub-Saharan Africa remain the highest in the world. Data suggests that for every $200 that an African migrant sends home, he or she is charged almost 12% of that in remittance fees, nearly 3% higher than what migrants from other countries end up paying. Set aside the cost of international money transfers to Africa, some of the world’s most expensive remittance corridors are the ones within Africa itself, i.e, internal remittances that happen between the African countries.
There has been a lot of analysis as to why the cost of remittances for within Africa remain so inflated; one of the biggest culprits is the fact that the African remittance market is highly concentrated with handful of banks and money transfer operators dominating the scene. The entry of new money transfer operators to this geography has been slow; however, Xpress Money services have been available in Africa for over a decade. Today, we have a wide spread network within the continent (excluding North Africa), with close to 5000 physical locations. The entry of more players in the market, helps open up the market by providing customers with greater choice.
But a greater pool of money transfer companies to choose from is solving only part of the problem, the high cost of sending money within Africa still looms large. A rationalization of the transfer fees is key, too. Says Arvind Mylar, Vice President – Business Development for MEASA & CIS, Xpress Money, “Money transfer operators should not be charging the customer an arm and a leg for providing them a simple service. At Xpress Money it has been one of our guiding principles to provide our customers with better value for their money, which is why we introduced a special East Africa pricing for our customers.”
Xpress Money’s special East Africa pricing is nothing but a special rate at which our customers living in East Africa can send money home. It covers the countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and DR Congo, and offers money transfers at a much lesser cost than what is prevalent in the market. For eg. The cost of sending money from Kenya to any of the African country starts at KES 60, which is 50% lesser than the nearest competitor.
Innovative, technology backed methods of sending money such as mobile money transfers are also being hailed as catalysts for reducing the cost of sending money in Africa. Kenya, with m-pesa has been a frontrunner in this regard; Xpress Money tied up with m-Pesa last year to introduce the popular mobile wallet service to our customers. With this tie up, our services are now available to over 15 million customers and across 40,000 locations of m-Pesa in Kenya. We have also tied up with MTN in Ghana, to enable our Ghanian customers to send money on mobile or to be received at the 16000 locations of MTN in the country.
With the introduction of special prices and innovative ways of sending money, Xpress Money hopes to make a significant difference in the way remittance services are priced at, in Africa. We remain committed to the cause of providing affordable, yet dependable, money transfers for every customer around the world.