Ecobank has announced the signing of a cross-border remittance agreement with Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, that aims to bring more inclusive financial services by providing a fast, safe, affordable and convenient way for workers to transfer money back home.
According to Ecobank, the partnership would facilitate instant t transfer from Rapidtransfer, Ecobank’s remittance solution to users of Alipay, which serves more than 1.2billion globally together with its local e-wallet partners. This would provide additional channel options which will increase options available to users, help lower transaction cost and enhance the quality of service in the market.
Nana Abban, group consumer banking Head said the cross-border remittance solution, Rapidtransfer, has over the years delivered transparent, convenient and affordable services to the African diaspora and their African-based dependents.
“Through our partnership with Alipay we are further leveraging the scale and capacity of our unified payment ecosystem on the global stage,”
According to a PwC report, Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report estimated that these flows amounted to US$23.63 billion (2017: US$22 billion) in 2018, and represented 6.1percent of Nigeria’s GDP. The 2018 migrant remittances translate to 83percent of the Federal Government budget in 2018 and 11 times the FDI flows in the same period.
Nigeria’s remittance inflows was also 7.4 times larger than the net official development assistance (foreign aid) received in 2017 of US$3.4 billion.
PwC estimates that migrant remittances to Nigeria could grow to US$25.5bn, US$29.8bn and US$34.8bn in 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively.
Over a 15-year period, PwC expects total remittance flows to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from US$18.37 billion in 2009 to US$34.89 billion in 2023. The growth in remittances is subject to global economic forces, which could spur or hinder growth of remittance flows, Other factors that will drive remittance flows include growth in emigration rate, economic conditions of the resident countries and the economic fundamentals in the Nigerian economy. The World Bank forecasts global growth to slow to 2.6% in 2019.