According to the World Bank, international remittances have declined by an estimated 20% worldwide. Compounded by job losses across sectors, reduced salaries and dwindling access to cash, South African residents have found it more difficult than ever to send money back home. The result is devastating, as those desperately dependent on receiving remittances are unable to buy basic goods and groceries, pay for school fees and cover household expenses.
In the face of a stagnating economy and potentially irreparable damage done to the living standards of the population’s most vulnerable, SA’s largest international money transfer provider Hello Paisa has dropped their remittance by half every transaction to Zimbabwe. According to Sayjil Magan, Managing Director of Hello Paisa, cost-effective remittances are an essential service as they are a lifeline for the underserved and those they support across borders.
“A substantial amount of Zimbabwean migrants call South Africa home, and their earnings are a vital source of income for their families. The inability to send money home is a catastrophic circumstance for both our residents and their loved ones. As expenses are a major pain point for all South African residents – now more than ever – it is our mandate to create access to the most cost-effective remittance service.”
Hello Paisa has also taken steps to broaden its digital remittance network to take money to the people when they need it most.
“Zimbabwe is currently facing its own unique hardships economically, and Zimbabweans residing in South Africa are very cognisant of getting support to their family as safely and affordably as possible. As such, we focus on three forms of collection: cash, mobile wallet or bank account transfers, and these cross-border transactions are settled instantly.”
Most recently, Hello Paisa goods based remittance offering.
“Malaicha.com” has made it possible for Zimbabweans and Malawians living in South Africa to not only send money to their loved ones but also essential goods and groceries.
Furthermore and with financial inclusion as one of its key drivers, Hello Paisa now offers a free Digital Banking solution to its subscribers ”not only are migrants offered a leading money and goods remittance service, but now also a free bank account to save there hard-earned money” says Magan.
Magan concludes that FinTech companies have an essential role to play in empowering financial resilience to the continent’s most vulnerable in ways that traditional financial institutions cannot during these uncertain times.
“If we are to recover from the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, FinTechs and the private sector alike must adjust our strategies to ensure people’s survival. One of many steps we are taking to alleviate the economic hardships of our customers is to ensure the cheapest and most accessible forms of financial services.”