Earlier this year, the World Bank forecasted that in the wake of the Covid-19 economic crisis, remittance flows to Sub Saharan Africa would fall by 23.1%. However today, WorldRemit, the global online money transfer service has reported that the demand for their remittance services to Zimbabwe continues to grow at an accelerated rate and has doubled in the last six months for the company.
The company reports that this accelerated growth is driven by the number of cash collection points being made available during Covid-19. Key partnerships have been formed with companies such as Mukuru and more recently OK Stores to increase its customer footprint into both rural and peri-urban areas and to further extend trading hours.
Pardon Mujakachi, Head of Sub Saharan Africa and Country Director for Zimbabwe at WorldRemit said “We are continuously looking at how we respond to the increasing demand for our product in the diaspora and innovate payout options for customers at home. The customer demand creates opportunity for growth and the expansion of our footprint especially in the hard to reach areas of Zimbabwe. Our aim is to ensure that everyone everywhere has access to our service”.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora are driving the exponential growth as they increasingly embrace the benefits of the digital platform offered by WorldRemit. The money transfer service is said to offer the lowest fees to Zimbabwe from over 50+ send countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “Our digital model offers customers the convenience to transact on the go whilst providing a fast and affordable experience for sending money home to loved ones.” Mujakachi added.
In partnership with OK Zimbabwe and powered by Countitouch Technologies, WorldRemit has launched a new payout service that allows Zimbabweans to now receive remittances, instantly shop and collect cash from across 64 OK Zimbabwe store locations. “This retail partnership with OK Zimbabwe – powered by Countitouch Technologies is a first of its kind for us. Our first retail partner offers a cash guarantee and with the convenience, speed and security we offer our customers, now everyday is a remittance day. The OK Zimbabwe retail network is the widest in the country and offers us the opportunity to expand the depth of our remittance services for Zimbabweans.” said Mujakachi.
OK Zim has a footfall of approximately 70million people visiting their retail stores per month, six days a week. Currently open from 8am to 6.30pm, WorldRemit customers can send remittances 24/7 and their recipients can receive cash with more convenience and choice across a network of over 80 branches.
Post pandemic, OK Zim stores will extend its trading hours 8am to 8pm, 7 days per week. Mujakachi adds, “Our extensive cash collection network, flexible cash collection hours and lower fees, offer value for money to our customers. This proves us to be the most affordable means of sending money to Zimbabwe.”