Popular Ways of Sending Money in Africa
Sending money in Africa can be done through a variety of methods, including mobile money transfer, bank transfers, money transfer operators, online payment platforms, prepaid cards, and e-wallets, bitcoin and cryptocurrency, informal methods, remittance services, cash pickup services, and postal money orders. Mobile money transfer is a popular and widely used method in Africa, as it is convenient, secure, and accessible.
However, bank transfers and other traditional methods can be slow and expensive. Money transfer operators and online payment platforms are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of use and convenience. Informal methods such as Hawala and Chit Funds are still used in rural areas, while remittance services and cash pickup services are popular for sending money internationally.
Overall, there are many options available for sending money in Africa, and individuals can choose the method that best suits their needs and circumstances.
Mobile Money Services
- M-Pesa: Launched in Kenya, M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer service operated by Safaricom. Users can deposit, withdraw, transfer money, and pay for goods and services using their mobile devices.
- MTN Mobile Money: Operated by MTN Group, this mobile money service enables users in several African countries to send and receive money, pay bills, and purchase airtime using their mobile phones.
- Orange Money: Offered by the telecom company Orange, this service allows users to store, transfer, and withdraw money using their mobile phones in various African countries.
- Airtel Money: Provided by Airtel Africa, Airtel Money allows users to conduct transactions like sending and receiving money, paying bills, and purchasing airtime using their mobile devices.
Online Money Transfer Platforms
- WorldRemit: WorldRemit is a digital platform that allows users to send money to friends and family in Africa from over 50 countries worldwide. The platform offers various delivery options like bank deposits, mobile money, and cash pickups.
- Sendwave: This app-based service allows users to send money instantly to African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana with minimal fees and competitive exchange rates.
- Azimo: A digital money transfer service, Azimo allows users to send money to multiple African countries with low fees and fast transfer times.
- TransferWise (Wise): An online platform that facilitates international money transfers, TransferWise (now Wise) offers transparent fees and real exchange rates for sending money to Africa.
- SWIFT: The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) facilitates international bank-to-bank transfers, including transfers to and from African countries.
- RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement): RTGS systems enable the immediate and irrevocable transfer of funds between banks within a country or region, providing a fast and secure method for large value transactions.
- NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer): NEFT systems allow for the electronic transfer of funds between banks within a country, offering a reliable and efficient way to send money domestically.
- EcoCash: A mobile-based digital wallet in Zimbabwe, EcoCash allows users to send money, pay bills, and make purchases using their mobile phones.
- Paga: A Nigerian fintech company, Paga offers a digital wallet that enables users to send money, pay bills, and shop online.
- Chipper Cash: A cross-border digital wallet, Chipper Cash allows users to send and receive money instantly across multiple African countries.
- OPay: A Nigerian mobile payment service, OPay offers a digital wallet for transactions like sending money, paying bills, and buying airtime.
Traditional Money Transfer Services
- Western Union: A global money transfer service, Western Union offers multiple options for sending money to Africa, including cash pickups, bank deposits, and mobile wallet transfers.
- MoneyGram: Another international money transfer service, MoneyGram allows users to send money to African countries through cash pickups or direct bank transfers.
- Ria: Ria Money Transfer provides a worldwide network of agents for sending money to Africa through cash pickups or bank deposits.
- Small World Financial Services: Small World offers a variety of money transfer options to African countries, including cash pickups, bank transfers, and mobile money.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in Africa as an alternative method of sending and receiving money. They offer fast, secure, and low-cost transactions, which can be beneficial for individuals who do not have access to traditional banking services.
Informal methods (Hawala, Chit Funds):
Informal methods of sending money such as Hawala and Chit Funds are still used in Africa, especially in rural areas. These methods involve transferring money through trusted intermediaries, who then deliver the money to the intended recipient.
Remittance services are a popular way for individuals to send money to their family and friends in different countries. Remittance companies such as WorldRemit and TransferWise offer fast, secure, and low-cost transfers.
Cash Pickup Services:
Cash pickup services are a popular way for individuals to receive money in Africa. Companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow individuals to send money to be picked up at designated locations.
Postal Money Orders:
Postal money orders are still used in Africa, especially in rural areas where there is limited access to banking services. Postal money orders allow individuals to send and receive money securely through the postal service.