WorldRemit, one of the fastest growing digital remittance transfer company in the world, is set to boost Ethiopia’s income from remittance by partnering with Abay Bank this morning.
The addition of Abay Bank, which has 170 branches across Ethiopia, will increase to the total number of banks in Ethiopia working with WorldRemit to eight. “Ethiopia is a very key country for us…The partnership will bring a lot of support to the increase of Ethiopia’s remittance…We are very, very cost effective, affordable and reliable,” said Sharon Kinyanjui, WorldRemit head for East and Central Africa.
Reports show that there are up to four millions Ethiopians living in the diaspora. Meanwhile Ethiopia’s income from remittance is only around $3 billion, according to the World Bank’s 2015 report.
“The agreement with World Remit to work as a business partner will enhance our accessibility and efficiency in serving our esteemed customers, specifically in money transfer services,” said Belete Dagnew, Corporate Service VP at Abay Bank Share Company. He stated that Abay Bank is currently working with many known and trusted money transfer agents.
Because the traditional money transfer platforms charge up to 10% of the money to be transferred, many people including in other African countries tend to send remittances through the informal system such as relatives, who travel carrying cash with them.
It was to address such challenges that WorldRemit has entered the market in 2010 with its new application that only charges a service fee of about 1% of the money to be transferred.
The use of WorldRemit for remittance transfer will allow countries like Ethiopia, to tackle the circulation of cash in the black market and boost the country’s hard currency earning, according to Sharon Kinyanjui. “The more we are affordable, more people are likely to move away from the black market,” she said.
Indicating how Ethiopia has been facing shortage of hard currency, Mr. Belete also agrees that the partnership of Abay with WorldRemit will contribute to the increase of Ethiopia’s hard currency. Abay Bank is the only bank in Ethiopia serving customer up to 9 pm.