Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has joined forces with First Bank of Nigeria Limited (First Bank) for instant money transfers to all First Bank accounts in Nigeria.
The new strategic partnership considerably expands WorldRemit’s footprint in the country and allows its customers in over 50 countries to send money to 14 million First Bank accounts directly from their phones. The deal supports WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020.
First Bank is collaborating with WorldRemit to drive convenience and ease of banking for its customers as well as provide the much-needed push for financial inclusion initiatives. Established since 1894 and with footprint in 6 African countries and a full-fledged branch in London, First Bank has over 14 million customer accounts and more than 750 business locations providing a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services across these markets.
With a diaspora of over 15 million people living in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, remittances play an increasingly important role in Nigeria’s economy. The World Bank estimates that in 2017 alone Nigeria received over $22 billion in remittances, making it the largest recipient in Africa.
Sub-saharan Africa still remains the most expensive region to send remittances to, with an average cost of 9.4 percent for sending $200, according to the World Bank.
The Deputy Managing Director of First Bank, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, said Over the years the bank has taken the lead in providing relevant e-payment options for its customers.
Hs words: “We pioneered with Western Union Money Transfer in 1996, then Transfast Money Transfer, MoneyGram, Ria, PayPal, Pay Attitude and now, WorldRemit.
“FirstBank has extended its frontiers to WorldRemit in order to leverage the wide e-platform capabilities it offers to further ease the money transfer process for our numerous customers across the globe who seek new and easier payment transaction options regularly.
“WorldRemit’s mobile-first, digital model complements FirstBank’s digital strategy to drive convenient banking transactions from the comfort of homes and offices using the FirstMobile and FirstOnline banking platforms”.
Andrew Stewart, Regional Head of Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with First Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading banks, to give its 14 million customers access to our best in class money transfer experience. Nigeria remains our largest and fastest growing market in Africa, and WorldRemit’s second biggest market globally.
This is a key partnership in the country that will further support Nigeria’s transition from offline remittances to online, safer, faster and lower-cost money transfer methods.”
Abiodun Famuyiwa, Group Head of Products and Marketing Support at First Bank, added: “The bank is excited to be working WorldRemit in delivering swift digital remittances to its customers in Nigeria. This partnership is one of the numerous ways the Bank would continue to put customers first by leading the industry in the use of technology to provide safe, convenient and fast banking solutions”.
Last year WorldRemit became Arsenal FC’s first-ever online money transfer partner in a global sponsorship deal. WorldRemit customers complete 1 million transfers every month from 50 countries to over 145 destinations. More than half of its transfers go to Africa.
By Bamidele Ogunwusi, DAILYINDEPENDENT.NG
Bamidele Ogunwusi is a financial journalist with a strong analytical mind on issues that surround the financial sector. A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has garnered experience both locally and internationally in finance reporting. He has received awards and certificates from notable organisations like: the Centre for Investigative Journalism, Lagos, Bloomberg and Press Association, UK.