Currency transfers within East Africa

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Currency transfers to Africa

Most of the East African economies rely greatly on Diaspora remittances to boost their foreign cash reserves. Kenya and Uganda for instance received at least $3.5 billion in remittances in 2015 alone according to a report. With such numbers, a need to offer better, reliable and efficient services for wiring these funds arose. America, Canada, the UK and UAE are some of the countries that record the highest figures of remittances. Some of the top service providers in currency transfers include:

Eastpesa has partnered with all mobile money providers in East Africa. This enables easy transfer of money to any working mobile number in the region from anywhere in the world. It’s purely internet based meaning people do not need to visit any agent when sending. The recipients collect cash from the respective mobile money agent. It was voted among the most affordable, considering their service charges and dollar rate. A cheap bet for those sending Kenyan, Ugandan or the Tanzanian shilling.

Western Union
Western Union is an American company where its headquarters are in Meridian, Colorado. It is a pioneer in the money transfer industry. It boasts networks with several banks to act as their agents all over the world. Though struggling with technological advancements, it still occupies the greatest market share in the region.

Dahabshiil is the largest Africa-based money transfer business with a presence in 126 countries worldwide. It has continually served people for the last 40 years and anchors its service on integrity, trust, reliability and customer focus. Sending and receiving money on this platform is quick with a notification message reaching the recipient once the money is channeled to a collection centre. Mostly known for its remittances to Somalia. Its model is agent based whereby senders and recipients visit an agent to transact. It enables bulkier transactions compared to the others. It transacts on a broad range of currencies including the sterling pound, euro, the US dollar and almost all African currencies.

Wave is a UK owned service that rides on tech to grow its market share in the East African region. Just like Eastpesa, it offers instant transfer to mobile phones. Plans are underway for this service to enter the Ethiopian market as part of an expansion strategy.

Money Gram
Has been around for several years and depends on local banks as cash collection points. It’s very trusted and competes with Western Union in the traditional agent-based money transfer platform.

This is a money transfer system launched in 2007 by Safaricom-a telecom service provider with its base in Kenya.The rapid growth of M-Pesa has seen it gain traction in Asian countries such as Afghanistan, India and European countries such as Romania-2014 and Albania-2015.Through M-Pesa,one can pay bills,buy goods, deposit, withdraw or send money to other M-Pesa registered users.
One is able to borrow low-interest loans through M-Shwari- a banking system within the M-Pesa platform.

The ease of money transfer within or between countries has a direct influence on how countries conduct their businesses.Withing the East African region, imports and exports of goods or services has grown tremendously and it is expected to be a significant economic bloc in Africa by 2030.

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Currency transfers to Africa

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