Welcome!

News Feed Item

We Must Break Money Transfer Monopolies in Africa, Says WorldRemit

Following today’s launch of the 2014 Africa Progress Panel report, Dr Ismail Ahmed, CEO of WorldRemit and former adviser to the United Nations, called for regulators around the world to take action against the anti-competitive business and lobbying practices of Western Union and MoneyGram.

WorldRemit founder and CEO, Dr Ismail Ahmed. (Photo: Business Wire)

WorldRemit founder and CEO, Dr Ismail Ahmed. (Photo: Business Wire)

Dr Ahmed, an African himself, is a leading expert on remittances. In the early 2000s he was appointed as compliance adviser to the United Nations Remittance Programme. The programme was mandated by the UN Security Council under the stewardship of Kofi Annan, who launched today’s report.

Dr Ahmed comments: “The remittance ‘super racket’, as highlighted by Mr Annan and the Africa Progress Panel report, has plagued some of the poorest communities in Africa for far too long. Western Union and MoneyGram operate a money transfer duopoly in many countries, charging extortionate fees which eat into vital payments for developing economies.

“In certain remittance corridors, prices are so high that as much as 70% of the total transaction can be lost. The report says that, on average, a transfer of $200 to sub-Saharan Africa loses $25, or 12% of the total transaction. The reality of the situation is that many sub-Saharan migrants send much smaller amounts than $200 on a regular basis and so lose a much higher percentage of the payment.

“In fact, the technology already exists to dramatically reduce fees on remittances to Africa. Remittance firms that operate online or mobile-only remittance models have much lower operating costs and more streamlined infrastructures than the traditional agent-based model of Western Union or MoneyGram, and subsequently can reduce fees for users.

“The report also cites financial inclusion as a major problem for money transfer in Africa. In rural parts of Africa, great swathes of the population do not have access to traditional financial institutions but do have mobile phones. Mobile payments innovations, such as M-PESA in Kenya and Tanzania, can provide a quick and secure means for unbanked Africans to receive money transfer from friends and family abroad.

“However, technology alone cannot solve the African remittance problem. Regulators in African nations must take a strong stance against the anti-competitive practices of the big money transfer organisations. Western Union in particular holds such a large market share in some parts of Africa that it forces local banks to sign exclusivity deals preventing them from dealing with other money transfer firms. This allows Western Union to charge cripplingly high fees and stifle competition.

“In ‘send’ countries such as Europe and North America, regulators must ensure that they are not swayed by powerful money transfer lobbying groups which exist to protect the interests of the market incumbents.

“In the last few years we have already seen innovative money transfer firms emerge which use technology to offer dramatic improvements on the Western Union and MoneyGram offerings, such as transparent and low pricing, a multitude of pay in and pay out options, and almost instant payments. But innovations in technology are not enough to break the money transfer monopolies in Africa. Africans deserve a fairer deal on money transfers. To achieve this, governments as well as technology must provide the solution.”

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a global online money transfer business. Migrants and expats from 35 countries can make online payments to families and friends in over 100 destinations. WorldRemit offers a wide range of options to send and receive payments. Senders can make payments online, through smartphones or tablets, by debit or credit card, or via bank transfer. Recipients can get paid via bank deposit, direct transfers to mobile wallets, cash pickup or delivery, or airtime top-up for their mobile phones.

WorldRemit is headquartered in London, UK, and has regional offices in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

www.worldremit.com

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.