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WorldRemit mobile money receipt service in Burundi

WorldRemit launches in Burundi.

Global money transfer services provider WorldRemit has partnered with EcoCash service to launch instant mobile money transfers to Burundi, and claims it is the first global service provider to do so. 

According to the services provider customers in 50 countries can send money direct to EcoCash mobile wallets.

In a media statement WorldRemit says its mobile-to-mobile remittance service already enables people to send funds direct to Mobile Money wallets in countries across Africa, Asia and Oceania.

"Now the 350,000 Burundians who live abroad can make instant, low-cost money transfers direct to the mobiles of their friends and family in Burundi," the company claims, adding that the Econet EcoCash mobile wallet is available to two million feature phone and smartphone connections in Burundi.

"With only 7% of the adult population of Burundi population banked, there are now more mobile money accounts than bank accounts in Burundi," says WorldRemit.

The company refers to the World Bank as stating that remittances are estimated to have contributed US$51 million to Burundi's economy in 2014. This refers to the annual amount of money coming in, as per the World Bank's bilateral remittance matrix.

Western countries such as the US, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Sweden and Australia all have significant Burundian communities, the company says.

Alix Murphy, senior mobile analyst at WorldRemit comments: "93% of adults in Burundi are unbanked, severely limiting financial security, job prospects and economic freedom. Mobile Money services such as EcoCash enable people to access financial services through their mobile phones, making the 'unbanked' for the very first time the 'mobile banked'.

"Our partnership with EcoCash means that people will no longer have to send remittances through illegal channels or pay high fees for cash to be picked up at inconvenient agent locations. Burundians can now receive money transfers straight to their mobile phones, just like an instant message."

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