There may not be snow in Africa this Christmastime, but there will be cross-border payments.
The expansion focuses on facilitating remittances to underbanked consumers. Xoom customers in the U.S., Europe, and Canada can now send funds directly to mobile wallets of users in Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Xoom will add more countries to this list next year.
“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 Xoom VP and GM Julian King. “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.”
Today’s launch is an enhancement of Xoom’s existing offerings in Africa, which already enable money transfers for cash pick-up, direct bank deposits, and mobile reloads to 41 countries in Africa.
Xoom’s money transfer service not only minimizes fees, but also increases transparency surrounding fees. While the cost of sending $200 to the Sub-Saharan African region averaged $18 in 2018, Xoom’s rate to send funds to a mobile wallet in Zambia, for example, is $0.99 when sent with a debit or credit card and free when sent via a bank transfer or the user’s PayPal balance.
This lower cost helps promote financial inclusion, drive economic growth, and lift underserved communities out of poverty.