WorldRemit wants to bring its service to more Africans in Germany. This is why the online remittance service provider is currently expanding its presence in the country.
The co-founder of the company, Catherine Wines, made the revelation during an interview with The African Courier in Berlin last Friday. Ms Wines, who is also WorldRemit’s executive director for corporate governance, global compliance and licensing, explains the focus of the company, which is to make remittances not only easier but also cheaper.
Founded in 2010, WorldRemit does not operate physical agent locations as transfers are done only online using a computer, Smartphone or tablet. Recipients receive money as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, Mobile Money or mobile airtime top-up.
Explaining the beginnings of the London-based company, Ms Wines said she and co-founder Somali-born Ismail Ahmed, realised that having to visit an agent and fill-out bits of paper to send money in a world of instant global communication was not only outdated but also time-wasting and expensive.
“You had to find an agent, go there before making a transfer. That takes time,” she said.
“You buy tickets online, shop online and we thought why not send your money to your family also online?” Ms Wines added. “We also found that what the fees charged for remittances were too expensive.”
“That is on the sender side. On the recipient side, we saw quickly that if people use mobile wallet at home they could as well use it to receive money from abroad,” she explained.
This is why the company, which operates in 28 African countries, partnered with mobile phone providers in places like Ghana, Kenya and Uganda early on to offer Mobile Money Transfers.
“If you have to go to an agent to receive money in some places in Africa, you can spend half of the day on the road. So, making it possible to receive money directly by mobile phone also makes it cheaper for the recipient as well.”
Ms Wines, who is in charge of her company’s expanding regional operations, said WorldRemit was now upping its game in Germany, where it has been operating since 2012.
“Germany is a very important market for us and our business has been growing from month to month,” she revealed. “The time has come for us to do more work on the ground,” explaining her presence in the German capital city.
“Germany is our target this year,” Ms Wines emphasises. And her message to prospective customers in the country? “We offer an excellent product, value for money and we’re very passionate about our customers.”