MFS Africa and Paga Tuesday announced the launch of a partnership connecting Paga users and Nigerian bank account holders to remittance senders from around the world.
Owing to this collaboration, anyone with a Paga wallet can receive transfers from millions of other mobile money users across Africa, or from any money transfer operator connected to the MFS Hub.
Nigeria received nearly $21 billion last year in remittances, according to the World Bank. Over 30 per cent of that amount was received from other countries in Africa, primarily neighbouring West and Central African countries.
Intra-African money transfer is notoriously expensive, with costs averaging 20 per cent of transfer amount, compared to global average of seven per cent.
Discouraged by high fees from the cumbersome formal banking and money transfer channels, many turn to informal channels that carry higher risk and uncertainty.
Therefore, a statement yesterday explained that leveraging mobile wallet technology and vast agent networks, MFS Africa and Paga seek to bring these costs down dramatically while increasing accessibility and transparency.
â€œTogether with MFS Africa, Paga is linking millions of mobile wallet users and bank account holders for seamless transactions across networks and across borders,â€ the co-founder and Director of Business Development at Paga, Jay Alabraba said.
â€œPeople typically think of remittances into Nigeria in terms of flows from Europe and the Americas, but thereâ€™s over $3 billion a year coming in just from the Nigerian communities in Benin, Niger and Cameroon â€“ countries that are right next door to Nigeria.
â€œBy joining the MFS Hub, we make it easier for Nigerians in the diaspora to send money back home and we also enable them to pay directly for utility bills, goods and services in Nigeria. We look forward to growing our relationship with MFS Africa in the years to come. This is an important partnership for enabling seamless digital payment for Nigerians at home and abroad.â€
â€œFor the last few years, everyone has been looking to the Nigerian market, wondering when and how mobile money would take off,â€ the founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou said.