World Remit, the London based International Money Transfer (IMT) startup valued at half a billion dollars, has announced that it is to be the first to run on Google’s Android Pay system, the company announced last week.
World Remit say that they are connected to more than 120 million mobile money accounts across the world, whilst Android Pay, which launched in 2015, has around 25 million users across 15 of the world’s most advanced markets.
Sending and receiving money using mobile wallets is a small but rapidly growing part of the $500 million plus overseas money transfer, or remittance industry.
Android Pay allows users to store their debit, credit or store cards on their smartphones, and make payments either online or in store using contactless technology.
Now, using Android Pay, users will be able to make an international money transfer in just 5 clicks, World Remit says.
Users will be able to top up their World Remit app using Android Pay, and then make payments to their families or friends overseas.
The receiving party will be able to specify which of their mobile accounts they wish to receive the money into.
World Remit’s founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed, told an interviewer at the MoneyConf financial technology conference in Madrid; “our customers often complete money transfers while talking to family or friends on WhatsApp; anything we can do to simplify that process is a big thing for us.
By using Android pay, World Remit users no longer need to worry about inputting their credit or debit card details every time they want to make a payment, or pass any other security tests.
The costs associated with making transactions via Andoid Pay are the same as the standard credit or debit processing fees that World Remit usually charges, which are “well under” 5%, the company say.
World Remit insist that their service is still considerably cheaper than traditional money transfer agencies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria Money Transfer, or your high street bank, for example.
Another interesting aspect of the partnership concerns fintech firms’ desire to provide better services to the world’s “unbanked” population – around 2 billion people globally have never opened an official bank account – but more than half a billion are now using mobile banking instead.
It’s a trend that is particularly prevalent in Africa, for example, where many people who have never used bank accounts have switched straight to mobile banking – and are now benefitting from streamlined, transparent and flexible banking tools – like IMT apps.
World Remit say that some 60% of its customers use Android devices, and that the company has a 74% share of all international remittances being received into mobile money accounts – hence the decision to partner with Android Pay.
Ismail Ahmed has declared that “mobile money is our fastest growing channel”.
The founder expects World Remit to partner with Apple Pay in due course – the company already partners with 30 mobile money services, according to Tech Crunch, but there are some 260 more services operating in today’s market.
For their part, Google will be hoping that providing access to IMT services will encourage more people to sign up for Android Pay.
“We want to make it easier for organisations like WorldRemit to offer a simpler, faster in-app payment solution for their customers”, Google’s Director of Product Management Pali Bhat says.
“With Android Pay, people will be able to speed through checkout with their Android Phones in a few clicks.”
“Anything that can help reduce the friction is great”, added Ahmed.
Mobile remittance services are only going to grow in number, and in size, over the coming years, thanks to the seamless way it allows the public to make transactions.
Messaging services like WhatsApp or Facebook are all likely to look to monetise by offering a remittance service, but now that some IMTs, such as Circle, are offering fee-free money transfers, the profit margins will also be getting thinner and thinner.
Currently, all of the technological developments that are making money transfer easier and cheaper are playing directly into consumers’ hands.
Visit our site The Money Cloud.com to compare the cheapest, fastest and most efficient ways to send your money abroad.