MTN has launched a mobile remittance service for diaspora customers dubbed “Homeland”. The new service will facilitate money and airtime transfers across Europe and Africa and parts of the Middle East.
Homeland is part of MTN’s latest effort to enhance digital and financial services, taking advantage of growing diaspora remittances.
Homeland is in partnership with MFS Africa, a Johannesburg based startup with over 180 million mobile wallets in Africa.
“The value of remittances from the diaspora exceeds Foreign Direct Investment in Africa. MTN has the largest Fintech and Telecommunication footprint in Africa and is therefore uniquely positioned to go beyond mobile communication by offering instant, low-cost digital remittances,” said MTN CEO Rob Shuter in a press release.
Shuter further revealed that the service aims to reduce the cost of digital remittances, which is the highest in Africa. MTN wants to reduce the price of transfers to under 3% of the value of the remittances into Africa.
Consequently, it costs a fixed $4.41 charge to send any amount through Homeland.
Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the highest cost of remittances, as high as 9.3% to send money into the region. The fee compares to a global average of 7% and a recommended target of 3%, according to the World Bank.
Homeland lets users send money from Europe to Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda, and Uganda. On the other hand, the service allows airtime transfers to countries like Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Afghanistan, and Yemen, among others.
In future, the service targets to enable transfers from the US, Australia, UAE, and other corridors into Africa.