Malawi becomes the latest African country to be included in the list of countries, to which the UK-based digital money transfer service WorldRemit serves. This service allows the diaspora to quickly, securely, and affordably send remittance to their families and friends back home.
Other African countries where WorldRemit service covers include Ethiopia, Nigeria, Niger, DR Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Malawians living abroad can log into the site or the mobile app, and send money to their loved ones back home. WorldRemit has partnered with Airtel Money, allowing their subscribers using the mobile money to receive cash from WorldRemit to their mobile wallets.
The balance in their mobile wallet can then be withdrawn as cash, or used to pay utility bills electronically. They can also choose to use it as a savings account.
“Many Malawians rely on remittances sent by family members working overseas. With only 18% of Malawian adults holding formal bank accounts, the only option for most people was to travel to a money transfer agent to collect cash,” said Alix Murphy, senior mobile analyst at WorldRemit.
“Through WorldRemit, Malawians can now receive those remittances directly on their phones, at any time of day or night, without needing to wait in line or worry about carrying a lot of cash. It’s a dramatic shift in the way remittances are received around the world.”
Growing popularity of Alternative ways of sending/receiving money
Malawi, just like most other African countries, is recording an increasing number of users of digital money transfer service and mobile money.
The traditional money transfer services like the Wester Union and Money Gram are not only expensive but also slow. Thus alternatives like the digital money transfer service like WorldRemit, which are not only affordable but fast, are becoming popular.
On the other hand, mobile wallets such as Airtel Money are bridging the financial inclusion gaps the regular banking service are not or unwilling to fill. Take, for instance, the logistics of running a profitable banking service in rural setups is hard. Also, people making a living in the informal sector find bank charges to be high, thus mobile wallet presents them the best alternative.