Along with Western Union, who else is innovating Africa's money transfer market?
Yesterday, global payments service Western Union announced a collaboration agreement with Airtel Rwanda, an African telecommunications firm. The partnership will facilitate international money transfers for Rwandans and others wanting to send money to the East African country from across the globe.
Airtel Money subscribers in Rwanda can now receive international money transfers through Western Union to their mobile wallet at no additional fee.
Molly Shea, Senior Vice President in charge of Digital for Middle East, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe Region said: “Western Union continues to grow its reach across Africa, while delivering an exceptional experience across retail and mobile platforms, allowing consumers to conveniently and reliably move money. Western Union is delighted to work with Airtel Rwanda, as both companies are focused on making the lives of consumers better.”
Western Union’s new partnership demonstrates that transferring money with ease is of huge importance to the African diaspora. Along with Western Union and Airtel Rwanda, other company are working to make sending money less of a chore. Who’s innovating Africa’s money transfer industry? We take a look:
WorldRemit lets people send money to Africa via computer, smartphone or tablet. The company sells itself as a “convenient, low-cost alternative” to traditional money transfer firms. Backed by Accel Partners (early funder of Facebook, Spotify and Dropbox) and Technology Crossover Ventures, WorldRemit has grown rapidly over the past few years. ABR has been following WorldRemit’s recent African ventures. In January, the organisation expanded into Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia using MTN Mobile Money. We also wrote about how the Kenyan diaspora sends one million money transfers with WorldRemit.
Dahabshiil is the largest Africa-based money transfer company in the world. To send monay, users register with an agentand the total amount will be available for collection on the other side within 15 minutes of sending. Dahabshill is renowned for its quality service, for example it was honoured with the Excellence for Enterprise award at the 2013 Muslim News Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London. Furthermore, Dahabshiiil is commited to contributing to African communities. It dedicated 10 percent of its profits to ‘humanitarian and community regeneration projects’, like this youth entrepreneurship programme.
Moneygram Africa prides itself on being fast and convenient. According to the firm, money can be collected within just 10 minutes of it being sent (subject to an agent’s hours of operation and local laws and regulations). Although Moneygram has teamed up with First National Bank and Standard Bank, no bank details are needed to complete a transfer. In 2015, MoneyGram announced an agreement with Safaricom that enabled customers in over 90 countries to deliver funds to almost 20 million customers of M-PESA, Kenya's leading mobile wallet provider.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”