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The rise of mobile wallet partnerships in remittances

One of the fastest growing segments of financial services is mobile wallets, both in developed and emerging markets. Remittance companies around the globe are looking to quickly add wallets as payout partners.

As an example, we highlight the reported additions of three players – Azimo, MoneyGram and Remitly over just the last month.

What’s driving this growth?

  1. COVID-19 is without doubt the catalyst that has fast-tracked money transfer companies to embrace digital and mobile solutions at both ends of the transaction. Many of the wallets have been around for a long time but restrictions on cash on the receiving end has spiked their usage as well.

  2. There are two main routes to market for payment companies wishing to plug into more mobile wallets. Some opt to partner with individual local mobile wallet providers directly  – a slower, more expensive path but it provides the benefits of direct integrations and potentially a faster and cheaper service. Many other players choose to go to market quickly and partner with ‘facilitators’ such as MFS Africa, TerraPay, EMQ or Thunes (many of whom we covered here).  

  3. Some of these facilitators are on the path to becoming as valuable as some of the providers they are servicing. This is especially the case for more complex integrations to markets such as Africa and Asia that require people on the ground and long-standing relationships.

Overall – mobile wallet usage is only going in one direction. It also adds a whole new complexion to product and pricing for many players in the market (as clients with our pricing data know well). 

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