Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


WorldRemit Sets Up Shop in South Africa, Eyes IPO

Article Image
Digital money transfer platform specialist WorldRemit has gained a license that enables it to offer services from South Africa and opened an office in Johannesburg, a move that looks set to drive the further growth of digital finance transaction volumes within sub-Saharan Africa.

The move comes as WorldRemit, which has already raised more than US$220 million in funding, seeks further investment to fuel expansion that, Andrew Stewart, managing director for Middle East and Africa, told Bloomberg, will hopefully lead to an IPO in about two years' time. (See WorldRemit Raises $40M, Targets 5M Customers in Africa.)

WorldRemit's Andrew Stewart.
WorldRemit's Andrew Stewart.

Mobile finance users in South Africa can now transfer money to more than 145 countries worldwide using WorldRemit's platform: The company says transferring cash is as easy as "sending an instant message to global destinations including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan."

WorldRemit has struck partnership deals with South African operators MTN and Vodacom to use their mobile money services as one option that users choose to make transfers: The company has previously struck deals with Kenya's Safaricom and with Huawei. (See Huawei, WorldRemit Team on Mobile Money in Africa.)

Citing World Bank research, WorldRemit claims that South Africa is the most expensive G20 country from which to send money, with an average cost of more than 15% for sending US$200, more than double the global average. "Currently, 68% of remittances from South Africa are sent through informal channels such as unregistered courier services and buses crossing the border," noted the company in its official statement about the South African launch.

WorldRemit currently handles money transfers from the US, UK, European and Asian countries to more than 40 African countries. "The launch of money transfers from South Africa is a major milestone as the company targets the growing money transfer market within Africa," the company noted.

In the statement, Stewart noted that South Africa is one of WorldRemit's top ten remittance-receiving countries, with transactions to the country growing by more than 50% year on year.

With the WorldRemit service, both senders and recipients receive notifications with details of how much money has been sent. Senders can also use a "track your transfer" function to check the status of their transactions in real time.

The company's fees and exchange rates are shown upfront: Senders from South Africa are able to choose from a range of payout options, including bank transfer, cash pick up and mobile money. For example, for customers sending to Zimbabwe, WorldRemit offers cash at over 250 locations: Guaranteed cash is available through partners including Steward Bank, CBZ, ZB Bank, Kaah Express and Quest Financial Services.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.


Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up