Pan-African fintech MFS Africa has partnered with PayPal service Xoom to offer secure and convenient mobile money transfers to six countries across Africa.

MFS Africa will connect Xoom to its digital payments hub, to enable its customers in the UK, Europe and North America to send money to people in Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The fintech has plans to include more countries on the continent in 2021.

Julian King, Vice President and General Manager at Xoom, said: “Africa is a very important market for Xoom and we are delighted to expand our services in the continent. There is nowhere else in the world that moves more money on mobile phones than Sub-Saharan Africa.

“There is nowhere else in the world that moves more money on mobile phones than Sub-Saharan Africa. While there are only five bank branches per 100,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa as of 2019, there are over a hundred times that number of mobile money agents. Africa has nearly half of the global total of registered mobile money accounts—almost 400 million in total.”

Expanding African presence 

To date, Xoom provides money transfers to bank accounts and cash pick-up locations in 160 markets around the world. Through the partnership, Xoom hopes to expand its presence in Africa by providing transfers to mobile money wallets via MFS Africa’s digital payments hub.

The announcement comes as the sub-Saharan African region is the most expensive place in the world to send money to, with an average cost of 9.3%. Both companies hope that their partnership will help tackle this issue.

Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa, said: “Xoom – and their parent company PayPal – are pioneers in digital-first payments, and we are excited to partner with Xoom to further connect our network to the wider world. Diaspora remittances have always been critical for the livelihood of hundreds of millions of Africans and leveraging digital channels to deliver those remittances has always been an important part of our mission.

“But in a time of global crisis, when brick-and-mortar money transfer stores are not open, connecting digital payments players in the diaspora to the largest network of mobile wallets in Africa doesn’t just make good business sense – it’s the right thing to do from a public health and human welfare perspective, too.”