Transfast, a leading provider of online, cross-border p2p payments solutions, has announced the expansion of its proprietary bank network into 23 African nations – the most extensive of its kind on the continent. Transfast’s network enables people in the U.S. and Canada, and soon from the U.K. and EU, to send money online or via mobile, directly into recipients’ bank accounts at nearly 600 banks or to 6,000 cash pick-up locations inside banks in Africa.
Transfast’s African banking network will cover up to 90 percent of adult bank account holders in the 23 nations it serves. Transfast customers will be able to send money via mobile, online or even in person to recipients of funds transfers. Direct deposits are currently available at banks in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ethiopia and Mali, and another 17 countries will be deployed this summer, including Benin, Bissau, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Guinea Mauritania, Morocco Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo.
“Our direct to bank initiatives further the financial inclusion goals of governments in Africa,” says Samish Kumar, CEO. “As banking penetration grows in Africa, our bank product capability is the most efficient and cost-effective way to receive funds. For unbanked recipients, the ability to pick up cash at a bank provides a positive experience in a bank environment and is a first step toward becoming banked.”
According to the World Bank, direct bank deposits and electronic payments play an important role in building financial inclusion by further engaging account holders in the banking system. Studies show that when people participate in the financial system, they are better able to start saving, expand businesses, invest in education, manage risk and absorb financial shocks. Access to accounts and to savings and payment mechanisms increases savings, empowers women, and boosts productive investment and consumption.
Transfast.com’s Nigerian customer Victor Olowokere of New York says that Transfast’s direct-to-bank product enables him to save more money, compared with sending cash.
“When I send my family cash, it’s rare that any of it gets saved, as there are always needs – books for school or medical bills,” Olowokere says. “I send money to an account which is used only for savings.”
In addition to providing the greatest reach, Transfast’s self-owned bank network also provides the greatest value and transparency – senders pay the same flat fee and receive locked-in rates to send to all eight African nations currently online. Bank deposits arrive within a day, and sometimes instantly. Cash is delivered in minutes.