VP of Product at World Remit, Alice Newton Rex

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Recipients of monetary remittances from loved ones; friends and relatives  abroad will now have the opportunity to receive real time notifications of their remittance transactions on both feature and smart phones in Ghana, thanks to World Remit, a leading digital money and remittance firm. World Remit’s new mobile app, which is specifically designed for customers based in Ghana, is expected to be officially introduced to the Ghanaian public in May this year.

VP of Product at World Remit, Alice Newton Rex shared information about the upcoming new app with Biztechafrica’s Nana Appiah Acquaye in Accra.

Biztech: What is the rationale behind World Remit deciding to introduce its new app in Ghana?

ANR: World Remit sees Ghana as a great test bed for innovation, because of the rapid growth in remittances and an increasingly tech savvy market. There are millions of Ghanaians living around the world, and according to the World Bank, Ghana received over $5bn in remittances in 2015, almost double the amount in 2014. On the World Remit platform, Ghanaians make over 45,000 transactions every month, sending remittances to support their friends and family back home. Ghanaians abroad are also far more likely to use their mobile phone to send money internationally than Nigerians or Kenyans.

Biztech: What the growth rate of World Remit customers in Ghana and Africa as a whole?

ANR: In Ghana, our year-on-year growth in transactions is 130%, with mobile money in the lead, growing at a rate of 300%. Our advantage in mobile money is giving us the edge in Africa: we partner with 34 different Mobile Money services in 26 countries, making us the leading sender of remittances to Mobile Money by far. 

Biztech: What does this new app seek to do for remittance receivers?

ANR: Our new app aims to improve the experience of receivers, by improving the speed, convenience and security of receiving a remittance. We’re looking to improve the recipient experience with a wide range of features, including helping receivers track the progress of their transfer and easily find a cash pick-up location near them, as well as request money from new and existing senders.

Biztech: How user friendly is this new app?

ANR: We tested a prototype of our app with real receivers of remittances in Ghana this week, and we’re pleased to say that their response was really positive. We’ve designed a good user experience by keeping it simple and intuitive. We already offer international money transfers directly into mobile money wallets, and we got feedback from lots of people saying that this is a great improvement compared to receiving cash.

Biztech: What's the cost of the new app to the customer?

ANR: The app is free. We believe that recipients should be able to receive their money at no cost. The sender is charged a small fee, which is transparently shown up front when they make a transfer.

Biztech: Does it work on any smartphone (Android and Apple platforms)?

ANR: We will be building the recipient app for Android and iOS, as well as web so that people on any platform can access it. We’ll also be building a simple version that works purely through SMS message for people with basic feature phones.

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