In line with its tradition of leadership in digital banking in Africa, Ecobank has introduced a dedicated mobile remittance app Rapidtransfer.
Rapidtransfer app was unveiled by the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan at a commemorative dinner to thank and celebrate outgoing members of the Ecobank Nigeria Board and to welcome its newly appointed directors.
According to Akinwuntan, Rapidtransfer will enable Nigerians in diaspora to send funds home at a reduced cost.
Mr Akinwuntansaid: “Historically the cost for Nigerians in the diaspora to send funds home has been far too high, while the process itself has long been inefficient and burdensome. Customers often have to physically visit an agent and yet are left with little or no clarity as to when the funds will actually reach the intended recipient. Rapidtransfer removes all of these issues and its standout affordability will be a gamechanger in the way that Nigerians can send money to their loved ones.”
At the dinner, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, who was officially welcomed into his new role as Managing Director and Regional Executive of Ecobank Nigeria, and on to the Ecobank Nigeria Board of Directors said. “Many Nigerians work elsewhere in Africa, or further a field, and financially support their relatives back home,” he commented. “Rapidtransfer is a safe and secure low-cost remittance solution, which ultimately will put more money into the hands of the recipient. This will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy by boosting demand and driving business growth.”
As well as being intuitive, easy to navigate and multi-lingual with English, French, Spanish and Portuguese variants, the app provides simple and secure digital onboarding. Users can choose how and when funds are delivered to the intended beneficiary, with transparent foreign exchange rates prior to each transaction. Charges range from 0% to 3% depending on the options the customer selects. The Rapidtransfer mobile app will enable Nigerians anywhere to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash collection in – and across – 33 African countries and globally.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest recipient of international remittance inflows and is also the fifth largest remittance recipient globally. It received US$22 billion in 2017, which accounted for 5.6% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2015 remittances received included $5.59 billion from the United States, $3.7 billion from the United Kingdom and $2.29 billion from Cameroon.
In the first quarter of 2018, the average cost of sending US$200 globally was 7.1%, and remittance services in Sub-Saharan Africa were the costliest in the world at an average cost of 9.4%. The International Sustainable Development Goal aims to reduce the average transaction cost of remittances to less than 3% of the remittance amount by 2030.
In a rousing speech during the proceedings, Mr Akinwuntan also took the opportunity to outline his vision for driving Ecobank Nigeria forward and assure his fellow Board members of his ambitions for growth. “Ecobank Nigeria must be the jewel in the Ecobank crown and the affiliate that sets the roadmap for others to follow,” he said. “We will do this by providing customer service excellence and a suite of innovative and convenient banking services that makes banking easy for retail and corporate customers alike.
“Nigeria has a vibrant population of 180 million and I want a large share of these to be served by Ecobank. Therefore, I am setting an audacious customer growth target against the group goal to serve 100 million customers by 2020. We currently have 9 million customers in Nigeria and I want to grow this to 40 million customers within two and a half years. This may be a huge challenge but I resolutely believe that it is one that can be achieved.”
The Ecobank Rapidtransfer mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.