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5 Best International Money Transfer Services in Africa

Sending money inside and outside of Africa doesn’t have to be difficult, does it? To make sending money easier for our African readers, VisFinder has compiled a list of the top 5 international money transfer services in Africa and the pros and cons of each.


Best International Money Transfer Services in Africa


1. Western Union

Western Union is one of the oldest and largest international money transfer service providers in Africa. Here’s how Western Union works.

The sender will visit the nearest Western Union agent outlet and write down the name and location of the recipient. The sender will also indicate how much he/she wants to send.

Western Union fees are between 1% to 10%, depending on the amount you’re sending.

Western Union has more than 550,000 agent outlets in over 200 countries and territories of the world.

Western Union has more than 40,000 agent outlets and locations in Africa alone. It is present in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea, Tanzania, Senegal and many other African countries.

Western Union also has integrations with many commercial banks in Africa, in order to facilitate sending of money across the border.


Pros of Western Union

  1. Western Union can send money to countries that are not supported by other financial services providers.
  2. It has a very wide range of payment and transfer options. This includes:
  • Cash
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet
  • Prepaid card
  • Pay your bills
  1. In many cases, the money will get to the recipient within a few minutes.
  2. Western Union exchange rates are cheaper than those offered by other financial services providers.
  3. With Western Union, you can send money to an inmate in a correctional facility.


Cons of Western Union

  1. Although the exchange rates are cheap, the transaction charges can be as high as 10%, depending on the amount you’re sending.


2. MoneyGram

Aside from being among the oldest and largest international money transfer service providers in Africa, MoneyGram is Western Union’s biggest competitor.

Just like Western Union, MoneyGram is available in more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It also has 350,000 agent outlets.

MoneyGram provides both online and physical money transfers. It also facilitates mobile phone recharges, bill payments, money orders and prepaid-card loading.


Pros of MoneyGram

  1. With MoneyGram, funds can be sent to more than 200 countries and territories within minutes or hours.
  2. It can also transfer money directly to a bank account or mobile wallet.
  3. The sender can choose for the money to be delivered to the beneficiary through a pickup. MoneyGram pickups are usually done within minutes.
  4. Just like Western Union, MoneyGram also allows people to send money to inmates in correctional facilities.


Cons of MoneyGram

  1. MoneyGram has a maximum transaction amount of $10,000 every 30 days (for online transfers only).
  2. If you’re sending from a MoneyGram agent’s outlet, then you better take your cash along.
  3. In some countries, certain currencies are not available and transactions can be done in them unless the sender looks for a third party to first convert into a specific currency.


3. PayPal

PayPal is a financial service that allows users to money to friends, family, freelancers, clients, customers, business associates and many more.

PayPal also provides an opportunity for online buyers to perform transactions on the internet without directly inputting their financial details into that website.

With PayPal, all you need to do is create an account, link your credit card and bank account (optional) to PayPal, fund it and start sending money to other people, both inside and outside of Africa.

As we all know, there was a time when PayPal was unavailable in Africa.

However, that’s no longer the case, as PayPal is now supported and being used in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Chad and many other African countries.


Pros of PayPal

  1. PayPal is very flexible and easy to use. Sending money is simple.
  2. You can also use PayPal to shop online. Almost all eCommerce sites use a PayPal-integrated payment system.
  3. PayPal also acts as an escrow. It gives you an extra level of security and fraud prevention.

If you buy a product and pay through PayPal, but the seller didn’t hold up his/her end of the bargain, PayPal will get your money back, as long as there’s strong evidence against the seller.

  1. Whenever you buy something online with PayPal, your bank or credit card details will be inaccessible to hackers or even the owners of the website.


Cons of PayPal

  1. PayPal is the payment system with the most aggressive security measures.

If your account gets frozen, all the money in your account will be seized and inaccessible until you can prove that you have done nothing wrong.

  1. If you’re a seller, using PayPal can put your business at a disadvantage. If a buyer wants to scam you, he/she will easily succeed.

PayPal is rigged in support of buyers, and someone that knows how it works can easily dupe you (and even get your account frozen).


Suggested For You: How to open a PayPal account, send money, withdraw and lots more


4. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is another international money transfer service provider in Africa. It is available in more than 140 countries of the world.

More than 40 African countries are supported, including Nigeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa.


Pros of WorldRemit

  1. It’s easier for the beneficiary to withdraw the money from WorldRemit than MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria money transfer.
  2. WorldRemit has various payment methods.
  3. Cash pick-ups, mobile wallet transfers, and other instant money features are supported.


Cons of WorldRemit

  1. As of the moment of writing this article, WorldRemit doesn’t support money transfers involving large amounts.
  2. WorldRemit account opening process has many issues and negative reviews.


5. Chipper Cash

Chipper Cash is a cross-border financial services provider that provides its users with an opportunity to send money to countries in Africa, to and from the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Chipper Cash is available in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and the United States.


Pros of Chipper Cash

  1. Chipper Cash has a low currency exchange rate.
  2. Local and in-border transactions are free.
  3. Users can easily receive money from the United States and the United Kingdom within minutes.


Cons of Chipper Cash

  1. You can’t send money to other banks.
  2. International and cross-border transactions are charged.
  3. Only available in Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, United States and the United Kingdom.


The Bottom line

Gone are the days when sending and receiving money in Africa was a very hectic and costly process. Today, Africa is home to many Fintech startups and software applications.

Common examples are Flutterwave, Chipper Cash, KudaBank, Piggyvest, Umba Mobile, Eversend, Cowrywise, Paystack, Opay, Palm Pay, JUMO, and more Fintech startups.


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