Why Remittance Fees’ Days are Numbered

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Remittance fees– the charges applied to international monetary transfers – are a pain. Sums of money that have already been earned can take a serious knock when transfer services get their hands on them. Luckily, new app Kwiksy is taking power away from transfer vendors.

Have you ever been paid via Paypal? Mighty convenient, isn’t it? Mighty convenient, that is, right up until the point when they start charging you for withdrawing money from your account. Umm, what? What’s going on here, Paypal? My pals don’t very often take my money because, if they did, we wouldn’t be pals (Americans, read: friends). In fact, so damning is your behaviour we might go so far to label it disingenuous.

Kwiksy is not like Paypal. Kwiksy works by integrating with alternative financial service providers that are local to the countries where a user may wish to transfer money to and then makes that transfer as painless as possible. The app allows payments to be sent and received instantly. Users in the United States, the UK, the European Union (EU) and Canada also receive a Kwiksy Mastercard that can be used in conjunction with their Kwiksy account. All users need to make peer-to-peer payments with this app is a cell phone number; bank details are not required.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Coupled with cheaper rates, this makes Kwiksy a much more attractive option than any company that seeks to deprive people of their hard earned cash by charging extortionate fees just to transfer money to a different part of the world.

The inspiration for Kwiksy is clear. Founder and chief executive Chris Menya arrived to the US from Uganda with just $140 to his name. With hard work, he managed to make money that he could send back home to his family each month. However, high charges enforced via the limited handful of options available meant that payments were frankly being drained, preventing relatives in Uganda from benefiting from his efforts as he wished.

The global remittance market is worth around $44 billion on transfer fees alone. International monetary transfers can be incredibly expensive and often take a significant chunk out of funds that are destined to go to poorer global communities. Even with the cheapest rival transferring option, Moneygram, transfer fees and currency rates can soon mount up.

That’s why pioneers like Menya are doing so much good. If the majority of the world’s wealth resides in just a handful of the population, then Menya and his team are helping to facilitate that flow of money. Here’s hoping it attracts enough attention to keep going.

Oliver Griffin

Oliver Griffin is a Staff Writer at Publicize, which is a startup aiming to change the way companies approach PR. Publicize has worked with a dozen+ Y Combinator startups and leading brands such as Hallmark Cards.

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