WorldRemit Integrates With WhatsApp, A First For The Money Transfer Business

Written by Peter Pedroncelli


WorldRemit, a U.K.-based international digital money transfer company, has integrated with mobile messaging application WhatsApp.

The digital money transfer service is the first from the U.K. to integrate with the WhatsApp Business solution, allowing customers who use WhatsApp to receive instant notifications on the status of their transactions, according to WorldRemit.

Challenges of mobile text message delivery in many markets mean customers may miss out on real-time information about their transfers if they rely on mobile operator-based texts. WhatsApp’s platform is reliable and popular. WorldRemit said in a presss release that WhatsApp will give their customers a more stable notification option.

This development affects WorldRemit users in more than 145 countries, who can now receive WhatsApp notifications about their money transfers in real time. This also encourages WorldRemit clients to use WhatsApp if they do not already do so.

Somalia-born Ismail Ahmed launched WorldRemit eight years ago. The London-based remittance firm raised $40 million in 2017 in a deal led by London investment firm LeapFrog Investments, which values the fintech firm at more than $670 million, Bloomberg reported.

Money transfer company WorldRemit is now integrated with WhatsApp. Photo - WorldRemit
Money transfer company WorldRemit is now integrated with WhatsApp. Photo – WorldRemit

While the WhatsApp integration is a first for money transfer businesses, the WhatsApp platform is tinkering with its own money transfer functionality, releasing a beta version in India earlier in the year that allows WhatsApp users to send money to each other, according to Techcrunch.

The global remittance industry is worth an estimated $600 billion a year, according to ThePaypers.

WorldRemit partnering to boost growth in African markets

WorldRemit’s growth strategy relies on building additional contact points in African markets and increasing functionality in those markets. Remittances to Africa increased by 3.3 percent to $34 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank.

The digital money transfer service has been busy on the African continent in recent years, creating partnerships with established local and international brands, as well as public enterprise in order to get a stronger foothold in Africa.

In August, Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom partnered with WorldRemit to enable cross-border mobile money transfers.

The digital money transfer service signed a partnership with the Kenyan mobile giant that owns mobile money firm M-Pesa, giving around 28.6 million M-Pesa accounts access to cross-border transfers, according to Techmoran.

Mobile money services have gained traction across Africa. East Africa is establishing itself as a global leader in mobile remittances, with a large unbanked population in many parts of the continent able to transact via their mobile phones.

In October 2017, WorldRemit partnered with Wafacash, a Morocco-based financial services firm, to provide instant money transfers to a growing set of African markets.

The Moroccan money transfer market-leader and the global remittance company already worked together in Morocco and Senegal at the time, but this extended their partnership to serve Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote D’Ivoire by the end of 2017, according to a press release.

In August 2017, WorldRemit and the National Bank of Kenya announced an agreement to expand remittance options for Kenyans and those sending money to the country, according to NairobiNews.

The partnership enabled Kenyans living abroad to make instant transfers to Bank of Kenya accounts held in both Kenyan shillings and U.S. dollars, as well as send funds in cash for collection in Kenyan Shillings at bank branches.

In July 2017, Huawei, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer and ICT solutions firm, and WorldRemit joined forces in the African context, allowing Huawei to offer WorldRemit’s international money transfer service to their African customers, according to CNBCAfrica.

The ready-made solution from WorldRemit was added to Huawei’s existing service offering, benefiting over 100 million mobile accounts that were connected to Huawei’s platform.