Remittances, when immigrants send money back to their home countries, represent some of the biggest inflows of capital in the developing world. Global remittances are growing year on year, topping $500 billion in 2015.
This business is currently dominated by companies like Western Union who charge hefty fees for their services. In sub-Saharan Africa charges may cost double or treble what they would elsewhere, and bank transfers are tricky in a continent where millions of people do not have access to bank accounts.
SureRemit Challenging Traditional Remittance Model
SureRemit, a Nigerian fintech startup, is holding an ICO to help solve these remittance issues by creating digital vouchers which can be spent with local businesses. Described as a “global project, not an African one” their motivation is to improve “cross-border payment processing and transaction costs”.
Under their plan, not only will transfers be a lot cheaper but the sender will have some control over how the money they are sending home will be spent. According to Laolu Samuel-Biyi, SureRemit’s Director of Remittances, “in very many cases, immigrants and travellers just want to buy food or pay a bill for someone at home.”
SureRemit has already lined up partners to help meet its ambitions. In Africa SureGifts will allow them to access retail chains across the continent whilst similar arrangements are being developed for India and the Middle East.