Africa is the birth place of human migration. It is believed that around 70,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens began migrating from Africa to Asia, eventually traveling as further as Europe and Australia; thus, kickstarting a phenomenon that, even today, is constantly reshaping our world. In the present-day scenario, Africa has the largest population of migrant populations around the world. Millions of people from various countries in Africa leave their homelands to earn a better living in other countries to financially support their loved ones at home. Various African countries rely heavily on remittances to maintain their national GDP. In fact, remittances are the continent’s second largest source of foreign inflows after Foreign Direct Investment. Based on recent trends in migration, the African Remittance Corridor is expected to grow phenomenally in the next few years and innovation is going to be at the center of it all.
Owing to a weak financial infrastructure in the region, Africa has often been an early adopter of various financial innovations designed to simplify remittances and transactions. Kenya, for instance, led the way in the mobile wallet revolution; and today, mobile wallet presentation in Kenya and other African countries is unprecedented. We are now seeing countries like Nigeria opening doors to blockchain technology to better various aspects of governance and business, including remittances. The adoption of technology will surely bring a whole new era of inclusion to the previously unreachable population.
As one of the world’s most dependable money transfer companies, we, at Xpress Money have always focused on the African Corridor by creating partnerships with various banking, telcos and online remittance players to enable migrants around the world with sensible, affordable, and convenient money transfer options. To meet the challenges and opportunities of an exciting future, we are all set to expand our presence and reach across Africa through collaboration and innovation.
Currently, we offer mobile wallet money transfers to 5 countries in Africa and plan to expand to 5 more countries in 2018. With our recent associations with TerraPay and Huawei, we now have the potential to reach out to over 100 million people in the continent. We are also working towards doubling our presence in Africa with large pan-Africa bank partnerships in the pipeline. When it comes to the African Corridor, cost remains to be a big challenge. While we are witnessing a regular growth in remittances to the region, remittance costs, compared to the rest of the world, remain high. While the average cost of sending money to Sub Saharan Africa is 9.27 percent of the transfer amount; with key partnerships, Xpress Money has brought down its average cost to 4% in the region.
Remittances are about people, and as a remittance company, our plans and initiatives are focused around people. The idea is to bring more and more people around the world into the network of formal remittance channels. While migrants work hard to build a strong future for their loved ones, our goal is to provide them with a stress-free and affordable money transfer solution. The African remittance corridor is a constantly evolving one; and we are staying ahead of the curve with creative solutions and game-changing collaborations.