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August 27, 2020updated 16 Sep 2020 9:57am

Volopa launches Oya, first mobile remittance service for UK Nigerian community

By Douglas Blakey

Fintech Volopa is launching remittances service dubbed Oya. The launch represents the first mobile money transfer service for the more than 1 million people who make up the UK based Nigerian community.

Oya enables customers in the UK to send money home to Nigeria from the comfort of their own home.

Jay Wissema, Director, Volopa, says: “It was important to continue with the planned launch of the Oya App despite these uncertain times. Now, more than ever, when customers are advised to protect themselves and others from Covid-19. And we want to make sure that they can still send money to their families and friends in Nigeria securely, quickly, and while staying safe.”

He adds: “Nigeria has extended its lockdown in key cities as the country continues its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The extension of the lockdown is expected to add to the hardship of millions of Nigerians. And there is a need for family support in Nigeria.”

UK to Nigeria remittances: £3.3bn each year

More money is being remitted from the UK to Nigeria than to any other country. More than £3.3bn is remitted each year based on World Bank data. This money is sent by the UK Nigerian community to support family and friends back home, pay bills and more, enabling a vital flow of funds into the Nigerian economy.

Traditional money transmitters and banks have long dominated this market. Volopa says they offer inflated exchange rates, high fees and slow service.

Oya is developed in collaboration with members of the Nigerian community. It was founded with a vision to make sending money to Nigeria faster, fairer and safer. Customers using the Oya App can send money 24/7 securely to any bank in Nigeria with money delivered in under one minute and typically in the recipient’s account within 15 minutes (depending on the recipient’s bank). Oya is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

According to Wissema, its Nigerian launch represents its first step to expand its remittance business to other international markets.

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