Transfast enters tight remmitence market

Transfast, an online and mobile phone cross-border money transfer service, has launched a new electronic banking service that allows Africans in the Diaspora to send money via direct bank deposits.

Transfast’s propitiatory payout network, believed to be the largest in Africa, delivers remittances directly from a sender’s bank account to a receiver at partner banks across 23 African countries within 24 hours.

The company said the electronic bank-to-bank transfer system is efficient, and more cost effective than other traditional methods of sending money electronically, such as SWIFT, that are laden with higher and often hidden fees and takes more than a week to reach the recipient.

Transfast chief executive officer Samish Kumar said Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ivory Coast are among the countries in Africa where the company’s direct deposits are currently available.

In the case of Kenya, he said people with M-Pesa accounts can also receive mobile money.

The African Banking Corporation, First Bank of Nigeria and Fidelity Bank are among the banks on Transfast’s network.

The new system Kumar said will run alongside the company’s online and mobile phone money transfer services.

Kumar said financial inclusion starts with having a bank account and that only with regular use do people fully benefit from having an account. Hence, electronic payments and deposits play an important part, Kumar said.

Unlike mobile money transfers, Kumar said direct bank deposits better position recipients to take advantage of full benefits offered by banks including savings, loans and credit cards.

“While central banks in certain jurisdictions are examining rules and regulations around mobile transfers, bank transfers are a safer way to deliver funds economically. Our initiatives in Africa further the financial inclusion and economic development goals of governments there,” Kumar said.

The African market is awash with online and mobile money transfer services competing against each other, owing to the fact that many Africans do not have bank accounts.

Transfast says although the cost of sending money through the bank deposit system varies from one location to another, its charges are far cheaper than sending money through other systems including Western Union and WorldRemit.

Sending money to Nigeria, for example, Kumar said Transfast charges a flat fee of $4.99 while Western Union charges $12 to send $500 from a bank account and WorldRemit charges $11.99 respectively.

In addition, the company said its new bank deposit system delivers money to the recipients within two days or less while other systems takes at least four days to deliver money to the recipients.

As a result, the company feels it will survive the storm of competition in the provision of money services in Africa.

Based in the USA, Transfast provides cross-border payments solutions to consumers and business globally and operates a propitiatory network of over 200, 000 payment points across more than 100 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa.

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