Mobile money transfer trend gathers pace in Africa

Mobile money transfer trend gathers pace in Africa

Another major name has recently been added to the growing list of companies driving the mobile money transfer trend in Africa – and Xoom, PayPal’s money transfer service, says it is also offering lower charges than the average for its service.

Xoom has announced that the company’s customers in the US, UK, Canada and Europe can now send secure and convenient money transfers directly to mobile wallets in key markets across Africa. It is also claiming a focus on the underbanked segment.

This new service, says Xoom, expands the company's offering to send money to mobile wallets in Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It says it has plans to include more markets in 2021.

This new service expands Xoom’s offerings in Africa. The current service already enables money transfers for cash pick-up, direct bank deposits and mobile reloads to 41 countries in Africa.

Xoom is also helping to bring down prices. The cost of sending money through traditional channels to Africa is said to be, on average, about 9.3 percent of the transfer – and double that in the southern African subregion. Xoom says it is helping to bring down this cost significantly. Sending money to mobile wallets in selected African markets will cost from 2-4 percent of the Xoom transaction.

Sending money to Africa with Xoom involves downloading a mobile app on Android and iOS or going to and setting up an account – or logging in using PayPal credentials. 

The largely cash-based approach to sending money to Africa via traditional channels is still the norm for many people but a system involving paperwork, high fees and standing in line is clearly under threat as mobile money services are being deployed rapidly across emerging markets. Could 2021 be the year everything changes for African payment systems?


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