Digital disruption in international person-to-person remittances is well underway. New research estimates that international digital remittances will exceed US$300 billion globally by 2021, making up 44% of total formal international remittances, and up from 36% in 2018. Thanks to high rates of mobile phone penetration and growing internet access, digital players are not only gaining ground, but they are also forcing “traditional” incumbents to expand their digital footprint.
But one of the biggest challenges was the local remittance services which has been mostly dominated by informal traders. BancABC Zimbabwe, yesterday launched the City Hopper Service, a smart local remittance service which allows customers to send foreign currency between cities throughout Zimbabwe instantly and safely.
City Hopper charges 2% service fee to send money from city to city within Zimbabwe already puts City Hopper in a far lower bracket than other services. Other remittance services charge between 4%-7% to money within Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the launch of the product, BancABC CEO Dr. Lance Mambondiani said, “We are launching the City Hopper – a domestic remittance service to address the nationwide challenge of sending foreign currency across the country for the wider public or for those who want to support their families or pay for goods and services and other business activities in foreign currency.”
The service is available at all 18 BancABC branches countrywide and through the BancABC kiosks in Pick n Pay stores beginning with the Pick n Pay Aspindale store in which the bank already has a presence. Plans are at an advanced stage to open the service up to all Pick n Pay stores nationwide to increase the collection points across the country.
Dr. Mambondiani added that “With the stabilisation of the foreign currency market in the last few weeks, banks have an important role to play as intermediaries and custodians of trusted platforms. This service offers the safest and quickest way to transfer foreign currency across cities and will address the problem faced by all Zimbabweans in moving money across towns. We are excited to be taking banking to the communities in which we operate together working with our various partners with extensive reach across the country.”
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