WorldRemit launches digital money transfer service from SA

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Andrew Stewart WorldRemit MD for Middle East and Africa.
Andrew Stewart WorldRemit MD for Middle East and Africa.

Digital money transfer service, WorldRemit, has launched its low-cost digital money transfer service from South Africa to over 150 destinations worldwide.

The service was announced at a press conference in Johannesburg today and will allow users to send money to global destinations including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan using the WorldRemit app or Web site.

WorldRemit currently handles money transfers from the US, UK, European and Asian countries to over 40 African countries. It has been allowing overseas users to send money to South Africa since 2011, but for the first time South Africans can now use the service to send money out of the country.

The group says that the launch of money transfers from South Africa is a major milestone as the company targets the growing money transfer market within Africa. WorldRemit also recently opened a new office in Johannesburg, as it aims to expand its partner network across the continent.

"South Africa is one of WorldRemit's top ten remittance receiving countries, with transactions to the country growing by over 50% year-on-year (YOY)," says Andrew Stewart, MD for Middle East and Africa at WorldRemit.

"With WorldRemit, customers can make quick, secure and low-cost money transfers directly from their phones. This eliminates the need to give cash to loved ones who are travelling or pay expensive fees to buses or taxis to transport cash across the border."

According to the World Bank, South Africa is the most expensive G20 country to send money from with an average cost of over 15% for sending $200, which is more than double the global average. Currently, 68% of remittances from South Africa are sent through informal channels such as unregistered courier services and buses crossing the border.

Stewart says that in South Africa the average rate that WorldRemit will charge customers will be 5%, which is a third of the average rate at the moment.

Senders from South Africa can choose from a variety of pay-out options including bank transfer, cash pick up and mobile money.

For example, for customers sending to Zimbabwe, WorldRemit offers cash at over 200 locations, which it claims is more than any other remittance service. Guaranteed cash is available through partners including Steward Bank, ZB Bank, Kaah Express and Quest Financial Services.

WorldRemit offers transparency because both senders and recipients receive notifications with details of how much money has been sent. Senders can also use the 'track your transfer' function to check the status of their transactions in real time.

WorldRemit customers complete one million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 150 destinations. WorldRemit's global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and now South Africa.

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