Wi-Pay has been granted an approval-in-principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria for international money transfer operations.
In a letter signed by the CBN’s Acting Director of Trade and Exchange, Mr. W.D. Gotring, the apex bank stated that upon review of its application, an approval was granted to the company to commence operations for international remittances.
The market for international inbound remittance to Nigeria is said to be substantial and growing steadily.
Based on 2015 figures, over $21bn was remitted to Nigeria, which made it the second highest source of foreign exchange flow after crude oil exports, surpassing both foreign direct and portfolio investments.
Nigeria ranks as the leading international remittance destination in Africa and one of the top 10 global destinations, according to the World Bank 2016 Remittance Factbook.
Experts note that so far, legacy operators such as Western Union, MoneyGram and RIA, with a combined market share of over 80 per cent, dominate the international remittance business.
With the licensing of new digital and nimble operators such as Wi-Pay Global, the emphasis will be on providing digital Peer-to-Peer (P2P) speedy, convenient and reliable remittance services to Nigerians in the Diaspora at a cheaper cost.
“The uniqueness of Wi-Pay service-offering is the ‘Triple-Play Strategy’ that allows the company to leverage the infrastructure and customer base of local partners and affiliated companies to deliver value seamlessly, securely and cheaper under a single platform to Nigerians at home and abroad,” the Head, Information Technology/Operations, Wi-Pay, Charles Ighedo, said.
He stated that beyond international money transfer, Wi-Pay long-term strategy entailed offering domestic money transfers, bill payments, airtime top-ups, airline ticket purchases, payment terminal services and other value-added services via the PoS terminals, online portal and mobile App.
According to him, in the last 15 months, over N1.2bn ($3.9m) in the PoS Wi-Pay Technologies Nigeria had processed transactions through a network of 430 merchant locations in Nigeria, while the fast growing online portal and mobile app have logged in over 2,200 registered users.
“Therefore, the current IMTO approval fits into the overall business model of the Wi-Pay ecosystem and long-term vision of becoming a leading e-payment solutions provider and world-class Fintech company,” Ighedo added.
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