Tag Archives: remittances
remittances: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 5:07 pm
Bitcoin surged today above $1,400. Its most recent rise is attributed to strong demand in Japan, where the digital currency is designated legal tender. Most African banks charge 10-to-19% on remittances. Bitcoin has started taking a bite out of the $4B trade from international transfers to Africa, but it’s still moving slowly. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is credited with helping boost the value of bitcoin. The Winklevoss brothers — disputed founders of Facebook — applied to list a proposed bitcoin-tracking exchange-traded fund, and were initially rejected. The SEC is reconsidering.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
If Ant expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed. Mobile money is disrupting remittances and making formal transactions easier, says Ahmed, a Somali entrepreneur and CEO of online money transfer service WorldRemit. Only 5% of remittances today are sent online. The rest is cash, paid over the counter or at agents. Online remittances are projected to grow six-fold to reach at least 40 percent in the next few years.
Staff, 12:19 pm
Bitcoin remittances in Africa have not really taken off. The slowness of blockchain-based digital currency has been compared to the internet’s slow start, and how web use eventually became mainstream. Few consumer friendly applications have been created yet. Merchant adoption has been sluggish and there has been a lot of negative press regarding scams, money laundering and underground markets. Bitcoin growth is set to become exponential, especially in Africa. There are a number of reasons.
Dana Sanchez, 5:39 pm
MTN’s announcement shows how difficult it is to crack mobile payments in South Africa’s financial services market. With one door closing, MTN is entering the micro insurance business with MMI Holdings in a joint venture called aYo. The mobile financial services industry is changing, and aYo will be able to compete thanks to the combined expertise, scale and market access of both companies. Insurance penetration is low in many African countries and MTN will be able to offer relevant, accessible and easy insurance solutions to consumers, the company said.
Staff, 12:02 am
In 2015, remittances from the Zimbabwean diaspora were US$935 million — more than the country gets through foreign direct investment. Diaspora remittances could reach US$1.5 billion by the end of 2016. The government is exploring issuing diaspora bonds to entice the diaspora community to inject more money into the economy. About 2 million Zimbabweans live abroad, mostly in South Africa and U.K.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:01 am
Ethiopians living in abroad sent home over $4 billion in remittances in the first ten months of the year, more than what the horn of African nation received in a full year in 2015, the country’s Foreign affairs ministry announced last week. Demeke Atnafu, the Director General of the Diaspora Engagement said while transfers into the country had risen in recent years it was still lower than what other African countries were getting from their citizen living abroad
Dana Sanchez, 12:35 pm
In the past, Eritrean authorities were happy for disaffected youth to leave the country, a diplomat told BBC. They were a potential threat to stability and once working abroad, were likely to send remittances home if they made it safely to their destinations. But the outflow is unsustainable. Eritrea now faces a shortage of workers and is doing more to encourage youth to stay, including saying it’s upping the pay for national service.
Dana Sanchez, 6:12 pm AFKI Original
This is a story of overcoming adversity, of taking on one of the world’s most respected institutions (the U.N.) and winning, and how a Somali entrepreneur turned a $200,000 windfall into a global remittance business valued at $500 million. Ismail Ahmed is CEO of WorldRemit, a U.K.-based online money transfer service. This is how he got from Somaliland to this week being named London’s newest Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Dana Sanchez, 3:27 pm AFKI Original
Perhaps the answer lies with South Africa. In highly regulated environments, mobile money providers are forced to partner with banks in complicated joint ventures. Banks want to see the mobile money product do well, but not too well. The Ethiopian government set a 2020 target date to increase bank account holders to 80% and double the number of bank branches. Ethiopia has been saying since 2013 that it is launching mobile money. Will it work in Ethiopia?
Dana Sanchez, 12:03 am
Even as Africa’s biggest economy struggles with lower oil prices, foreign-exchange controls and scarce dollars, MoneyGram expects accelerated growth in Nigeria. Remittance is the No. 2 source of foreign exchange in Nigeria after oil. Nigeria accounts for around two thirds of total remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank. Nigerians can receive money from friends and family in 129 countries directly into their bank accounts.
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