Digital money transfer service WorldRemit has signed a direct partnership with Safaricom to enable instant cross-border money transfers to 28.6 million M-PESA mobile money accounts in Kenya.
The direct partnership marks the culmination of years of rapidly growing volumes of international money transfers to M-PESA accounts by WorldRemit users, and supports the company’s plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020.
As WorldRemit’s service continues to grow at over 50% year-on-year, Kenyans abroad remain the biggest mobile-to-mobile senders, making WorldRemit one of the largest remittance companies serving the Kenyan diaspora.
Remittances play an important role in Kenya’s economy – inward remittances reached a record value of $1.95 billion (196 billion KSH) according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one the nation’s top earners. Currently around three million Kenyans live abroad, with large communities in North America, Europe and Australia. Top remittance-sending countries include the UK, Australia, US, Germany, Canada and the Nordic region.
“Every day, M-PESA empowers more than 28.6 million customers with diverse financial capabilities to send and receive money, and to make seamless payments. Partnerships have been the cornerstone of this transformation and we are glad to have WorldRemit as a key partner to provide our customers with a world-class remittance experience,” commented Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Director of Financial Services at Safaricom.
Sharon Karuga Kinyanjui, Head of East & Central Africa at WorldRemit, added: “Our direct integration with Safaricom comes as both companies recognise the impressive growth in international remittances to M-PESA accounts and WorldRemit’s leading position in sending to mobile money. Our partnership will enable us to work even more closely to serve customers abroad and back home in Kenya, offering its 3 million strong diaspora access to our best in class money transfer experience.”
WorldRemit is currently connected to one fifth of all mobile money accounts globally, while 74% of all international remittances from money transfer operators to mobile money accounts are now sent through its service.
WorldRemit customers make 1 million transactions per month, using its mobile app or website.