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How we help foster financial inclusion in Africa

HomeSend contributes to financial inclusion by enabling remittances from and to mobile wallets at a lower cost for the end user that are also faster and more secure and convenient than traditional remittance channels.

The Challenge:

Many consumers in Africa don’t have access to formal financial services and have to rely on informal channels for cross border payments and remittances. Intra-Africa corridors are underserved by the traditional money transfer operators.

The Solution

MTN and Airtel launched a landmark collaboration to allow MTN Mobile Money customers in Côte d’Ivoire to transfer money to Airtel Money customers in Burkina Faso. It was the first time two operators from different groups interconnected their mobile money services internationally to offer cross-border remittances.

Given their limited experience with international money transfers, MTN and Airtel were keen to work with HomeSend who serves as an intermediary between their two services. HomeSend provides two main services to MTN and Airtel: a real-time money transfer messaging platform and interface, and real time velocity checks to support anti-money laundering activities. Technical integration was completed within four months. HomeSend also played a critical role in creating a commercial model that would be straightforward to implement and reward all parties fairly for their efforts. In doing so, MTN and Airtel decided to compete strongly on pricing, with fees averaging only 2.5% of the face value of the transfer. In fact, low-value mobile money remittances from Côte d’Ivoire to Burkina Faso cost the same for MTN users as domestic transfers.

The service has been a huge success and now represents more than 15% of total transfers between these two neighbouring countries.

The IFAD's Global Forum on Remittances and Development has recognised the solution put in place by HomeSend with its partners Airtel and MTN for having achieved a world-first in the remittance industry by making it possible for consumers in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso to transfer funds in real time and securely simply using their mobile phones

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