How the digital revolution in Africa could drive online money transfer

11 Jun 2020 - Category: Blog /
send money to nigeria

So much is uncertain at the moment, but one thing we can be confident of is that Africa’s digital revolution is here to stay.

Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated a change that has been happening for a long time. Social distancing and the temporary closure of many physical businesses has caused companies and individuals to find new ways of providing their services remotely.

In this way, the digital world offers support. As The African Report states: “Digitizing has moved from a good to have, to a survival gamechanger in what has become the new norm…”

Online money transfer is a key part of this shift, allowing quick access to funds for both individuals and businesses.

Money transfer and changing habits

Reported by Forbes, mobile money has been growing across Sub-Saharan Africa for the past decade – with a 23% increase in 2011 and 43% in 2017. Last year (2019) was also a record year for investment in African tech startups, with Kenya and Nigeria receiving the most money from investors.

The same article by The African Report mentioned above says that more than 66% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa are without access to a traditional bank account. Mobile money provides them with an alternative, helping to explain why 46% of the total global mobile money accounts are in Africa.

Similarly, to send money online is not a new idea, bank deposits (online or through an app), mobile top-ups and using a mobile wallet are all available (although varied in usage) ways of sending money. Some beneficiaries still prefer to collect cash in person from agents and bank branches, often having travelled a long way to pick up their money.

These habits have been severely disrupted by Covid-19. Providing safe and fast access to funds for both businesses and individuals is more crucial than ever.

Safe and secure money transfer

With many people wanting to continue supporting their friends and family in a safe, secure and convenient way, digital money transfer offers a solution.

Once new habits have been formed, these services, with user-friendly interfaces allowing recipients to receive money instantly, will become a convenient new normal.

So, what does this mean for customers who transfer money from the UK? Remittances are a crucial part of the African economy. As reported by the African Union’s study, “Impact of The Coronavirus on The African Economy”, remittances have been the largest source of international financial flow to the continent since 2010, exceeding 5% of the GDP in 13 countries. The total of remittance inflow in 2017 alone was the equivalent of $77,395m.

It is therefore no surprise that African countries are some of the most popular destinations for customers making a money transfer and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

There are different digital options available depending on where you are transferring money to. These offer an alternative to cash pick-up, meaning that funds can be sent and received without anyone having to leave their house.

Send money to Nigeria

Even though it is entering the second phase of eased lockdown (you can find the latest advice on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s website), the rise of customers sending money to Nigeria is expected to continue.

It is easy for anyone in the UK to open a Small World account. Using our online service or mobile app, you will then be able to instantly deposit Naira directly to a bank account in Nigeria.

When transferring money to a beneficiary in Nigeria, you will need to know the recipient’s full name, phone number, bank name and account number (10-digit Nigerian Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN)).

This information will be stored in your account for future payments so that transactions can be easily repeated meaning that both the person sending the money and the recipient will experience the benefits of going digital.

Going digital is simple and easy, with the few clicks of a button you could have an account set up and be ready to send money internationally. It also allows users to embrace Africa’s digital revolution while providing friends, family and businesses with continued financial support

The most popular ways to send money to Nigeria:  

  • Cash pick up  
  • Bank deposit   
  • Anywhere pick up  

Our main partners in Nigeria are Polaris Bank, Fidelity, First Bank, GT Bank, access, UBA.

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