Launching into new markets has long been a common strategy for money transfer and remittances players looking to increase the size of their business, and the last few months have seen a flurry of new intercontinental launches.
Significantly, many of the launches that have occurred over the last few months have reflected wider trends in the cross-border payments landscape, not least the rise of non-Western countries as strong bases for global payments companies.
Many of the recent launches see companies established outside of traditional Western markets expanding into them – a reversal of previous trends where Western remittance heavyweights expanded globally. Two key examples of this are Tanzania’s Nala and Nigeria’s Kuda, both of which have expanded into European markets to tap into the African diaspora in the region.
We are also seeing launches that echo the changing infrastructure of traditional markets. MoneyGram launched its web-based arm MoneyGram Online in Brazil for the first time in December, reflecting the high levels of digitisation that have occurred in the country. Meanwhile, blockchain-based P2P payments service Strike expanded to Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, with other nations in the continent expected to follow, offering a similarly digital service.
There are also a number of expansions led by acquisitions, including Ria through its acquisition of South African player Sikhona and Remitly through its completion with Israeli financial services platform Rewire.
As we move into 2023, expect more launches to reflect the changing money transfers space, not just in terms of digitisation, but geographical expansion too.