New technologies, money transfer tipped to drive financial inclusion in Africa


The Vice President and General Manager, Xoom, a PayPal service, Julian King says emerging technologies combined with mobile financial platforms like PayPal and Xoom can help drive a future of financial inclusion and financial health in Africa.

According to him although the payments landscape in Africa has largely been dominated by banks and telcos, the outbreak of global pandemic has caused many physical money transfer stores to shut, which has led to a boom in digital payments.

He was speaking in an interview following the official announcement that Xoom’s customers in the US, UK, Canada and Europe can now send secure and convenient money transfers directly to mobile wallets in eleven key markets across Africa including Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with a focus on the underbanked segment.

Mr. King said he is hopeful about the future of digital money in Africa and urged fintech companies and African startups to bring in payment innovation.

He noted that deploying mobile money services across emerging markets is a key tool to further the goal of financial inclusion, adding that “this is instrumental in lifting the underserved population out of poverty and for driving economic growth”.

Explaining further, the GM of Xoom contended that the pandemic has brought focus to the stark reality that billions of people across the world are struggling to get by, considering the fact that in the past nine months, over 100 million incremental adults moved into extreme poverty. “Today’s environment demands new ways of thinking about our economic system,” he insisted.

“At Xoom, our services have never been more critical to help African diaspora to support their families back home. Our net new active accounts at Xoom were up over 600% in the second quarter of this year versus the first quarter,” he added.

With the introduction of Xoom mobile money to more African countries in 2021, Mr. Kings is hopeful that Xoom will help contribute significantly to the reduction of the high cost of remittance of sending money to mobile wallets in select African markets ranging from 2-4% of the transaction.


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