TransferWise to make pound-naira transfer 20% cheaper

For its second coming to Nigeria’s money transfer space, TransferWise said its target is to make sending money from pound sterling to naira 20 percent cheaper.

The London-based financial technology (fintech) company announced last week that it was collaborating with Nigerian-owned Flutterwave to provide customers outside Nigeria following renewed confidence in the manner the Central Bank of Nigeria has handled the naira currency so far.

In an emailed response to questions from BusinessDay, TransferWise CEO and co-founder, Kristo Kaarmann said part of reasons for coming back to Nigeria was increase in demand for the naira by customers at a time when the company was not offering transfer in the currency.

“Relaunching in Nigeria is about helping the 1.2 million Nigerian-born people who currently live overseas, many of whom send money back home. Lowering the costs of remittances to Nigeria puts more money in their pockets,” Kaarmann said.

While commending the CBN drive, Kaarmann revealed that TransferWise now uses the apex bank for International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) which provides clarity and consistency in the market.

Aside Flutterwave, TransferWise is also partnering with Nigerian-based fintech firm, Venture Garden Group, a provider of innovative, data-driven platforms that addresses reconciliation and payment inefficiencies across multiple sectors of the African economy.

“TransferWise will be leveraging Flutterwave’s pan-African payments infrastructure and regulatory approvals to send money to verify Nigerian bank accounts,” Kaarmann stated.

However, the company said it does not plan to open a physical office in Nigeria just yet. Currently, it operates from nine offices around the world, the latest being the APAC regional hub in Singapore.

“We are thrilled to bring TransferWise back to Nigerian customers and although it is a soft launch while we test our operational set-up, we are already seeing huge demand in the first weeks,” he said.

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