WorldRemit to set up Nairobi office this year
Money transfer firm WorldRemit says that it will set up an office in Kenya this year as it seeks to diversify its business to intra-African remittances.
Kenya counts as WorldRemit’s second largest receiving market after the Philippines. About 93 per cent of transfers to Kenya are received via mobile money accounts.
The UK-based company said that the Nairobi office will focus on growing the WorldRemit brand and setting the stage for cross-border mobile money transfer services within the region.
“Because we have a treasury platform with many African currencies and because we’re connected to most of the major mobile money platforms, it is easier for us to help cross border transfers in Africa… this is part of the business we’re looking at now,” said WorldRemit chief executive Ismail Ahmed. WorldRemit said that it can execute money transfers directly to 112 million mobile money accounts globally.
The company has already been making some strides in intra-African transfers after it signed a deal with Kenya Commercial Bank to enable real-time money transfers from the diaspora to Kenya and five other countries in the East African region.
The Nairobi office will be the company’s second in Africa after Zimbabwe. The firm is also considering setting up shop in South Africa, a key source market for intra-African remittances.
Sending money within the continent is complicated. It costs more to send money to Africa than any other regions. World Bank data shows that on average those sending money to the region will spend approximately 10 per cent the value of transfer.