January 7, 2019

Worldremit vs Paxful, shown with Kenya as example

by Jens Ischebeck

Worldremit is a mobile money transfer service provider that serves the global community, which include Kenya.  It has made it possible to receive funds on mobile wallets from anywhere, with the money being deposited instantly into the mobile wallet, particularly, in Mpesa, which is a money service provider, operating under a voice and data Provider Company called Safaricom and widely used across the country.

In the same regard, Paxful is a peer-to-peer market that utilizes mobile wallets to allow users to receive cash from overseas.

It is currently approximated that 3 million Kenyans live abroad, particularly, in North America, Europe and Australia. These individuals in one way or another, and at some point, must remit money to their loved ones back in Kenya. Those countries that have been identified to be remitting a lot of money to Kenya include the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, and Germany.

In terms of remittances between the two service providers, Worldremit is ahead of Paxful. This comes in after the company signed direct partnerships with two leading Kenyan financial providers, namely Safaricom and Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited.

Safaricom operates a money transfer service called M-pesa to enable instant cross-border money transfers to over 28.6 million M-pesa users. The primary objective that Worldremit had behind the deal with Safaricom as uncovered by one of their employees, was to boost its remittances to at least 10 million customers by the year 2020. The deal seems viable, given that quite a number of Kenyans are still using the local currency, which is Kenyan shilling; hence, Worldremit is still the most preferred compared to Paxful. The partnership marks the peak of years of rapidly growing volumes of international money transfers to Mpesa accounts by WorldRemit users.

The advantage that Worldremit has is that it has a large portion of Kenyan followers from abroad in terms of mobile-to-mobile senders, an aspect that makes the business entity one of the largest remittance service providers facilitating money transfer services to Kenyans in the diaspora.

According to a brief released by Sitoyo Lopokoyit, who is Safarisom’s Director of Financial Services, the partnership between the two service-providers is aimed at boosting remittances. The same assertions were made by Sharon Karuga Kinyanjui, who is the Head of East & Central Africa at WorldRemit, citing that the integration between the two firms is as a result of the recognition of the rapid growth in international remittances to Mpesa mobile wallets, with WorldRemit being the leader when it comes to sending money to M-pesa mobile wallets from aboard. Accordingly, the reason Worldremit is still enjoying huge remittances and a large customer base in Kenya is due to the fact that the crypto market is still evolving in Kenya and most of the people are not yet acquainted with it, thus, an advantage to Worldremit over Paxful

In another effort to boost its remittances in Kenya, Worldremit partnered with Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya, which is one of the most trusted financial institutions in East Africa. This new relationship also gives Worldrmit a lead over Paxful in terms of remittances. The primary objective behind the deal was to benefit Kenyans living in the diaspora by allowing them to send money to their loved ones back home through the WorldRemit’s mobile-first, digital model, at the comfort of their place, thus, eliminating the need to visit an agent to accomplish the same task.

According to the World Bank’s estimates, Kenya received $1.8 billion in remittances during the 2017 financial year. Seemingly, Worldremit must have had a significant contribution to this value, given that it has turned out to be among the most prominent foreign money transfer services in Kenya. The partnership is meant to boost Worldremit’s rapid expansion in Kenya, not forgetting that the company’s customers make over a million money transfers to Kenya each year.

Just like Safaricom, Diamond Trust Bank Kenya has a strong regional presence and reputation for its customer-centric approach. The banks’ vision for 2020 is focused on leveraging digital technology for the benefit of consumers across East Africa. As such, the financial institution’s move to partner with Worldremit, which is a money transfer service leader, is intended to shift customer experience at its money transfer outlets to best-in-class.

A statement made by Kennedy Nyangweso, who is the Head of Money Transfer Services at Diamond Trust bank Kenya Limited, is very suggestive that one of the bank’s focuses was to benefit from the new relationship, primarily by becoming a one-stop financial shop for Kenya and East Africa at large. This is evident in their move to launch the money transfer service across all its branches as a way of realizing its mission, which is geared at addressing the challenges of financial inclusion. Sharon Kinyanjui, the Head of East Africa at WorldRemit was positive with the new relationship, citing that it would promote Worldrmit’s ever growing remittances in Kenya.

Apparently, Worldremit has currently outdone Paxful from a general perspective, given that most Kenyans have not yet started embracing the crypto market. But still, most individuals working as online freelancers are ending up preferring Paxful compared to Worldremit.

Their justification is based on the fact that Worldremit requires them to disclose their details for verification, a move that makes them susceptible to cyber attacks, given that most of their transactions are online-based.

As such, most Paxful remittances are coming from this category of individuals, especially those who need to purchase Bitcoins and those who need to remain anonymous while carrying out transactions.

In this respect, a proper evaluation between the two companies needs to be done later, given that as per the prevailing trends in the crypto market, most individuals are likely to end up with Paxful, but this is just a speculation, especially if I base the argument from a freelancer’s point of understanding, which includes writers, developers, designers and forex traders.

For further information, check our detailed descriptions of the money transfer service providers 

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