Xoom offers transfers to mobile wallets in 12 African countries

18 February 2021

Xoom, PayPal’s money transfer service, said customers in the US, UK, Canada and Europe can now send secure and convenient money transfers directly to mobile wallets in 12  key markets across Africa.

This new service, which has a focus on the underbanked segment, 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. There are also plans to include more markets in 2021.

In Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe for example, over 60% of adults have mobile money accounts. This new service expands Xoom’s offerings in Africa as the current service already enables money transfers for cash pick-up, direct banks deposits and mobile reloads to 41 countries in the continent.

“Sending money to Africa through traditional channels has always been expensive. We wanted to help bring down the cost and speed up the process to boost financial inclusion,” said Julian King, vice president and general manager, Xoom. “There is nowhere else in the world that moves more money on mobile phones than sub-Saharan Africa. While there are only five bank branches per 100,000 people as of 2019, there are 1.04 billion registered mobile money accounts in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The cost of sending money through traditional channels to Africa is one of the most expensive in the world -  making it prohibitively expensive to a number of people - with an average cost of 9.3%. The cost of sending $200 to the Sub-Saharan African region averaged 9% in 2018 and in the southern African subregion, the average cost was 18.7 percent, almost three times higher than the global average according to the World Bank.