Apart from it being a convenient means of sending money from abroad, it also eliminates the instance of the recipient having to withdraw huge money from banks and money transfer companies, a situation which can attract criminals.
Being pioneered by Worldremit Ltd, a London-based digital money transfer system, all the sender needs is a smartphone, while the recipient only needs to have a mobile money wallet.
The mobile app, which is free, can be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Play for android smartphones.
It is available in 50 countries that Worldremit sends money from, such as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
The new way of remittance, described as the latest, fastest, most convenient and safest is instantaneous with strict checks from sending to receipt in order to eliminate the activities of criminals.
What is more exciting for patrons is its low charges for remittances. For instance, Worldremit charges $3.99 for remittances between $50 and $100, while others charge between $4.99 and $7. A remittance between $500 and $1,000 attracts $4.99 for Worldremit, while others attract between $10 and $20.
Other ways of remittances
Apart from the mobile money app, the senders can also remit money to their relatives through Unity Link, forex bureaux, bank transfers, cash pickups and airtime top-ups.
In Ghana, Worldremit Ltd works through GCB Bank, ADB Bank, Fidelity Bank, Royal Bank and UT Bank. It is currently partnering with MTN Mobile Money and hopes to link up with the other mobile networks in the country soon.
To cement its arrangements and introduce itself to the Ghanaian public, who ultimately are the direct beneficiaries of the exercise on the receiving side, two top officials of the company have been in the country to interact with the relevant institutions and some individuals.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on how the app worked after a courtesy call on the Editor of the paper, Mr Ransford Tetteh, a Senior Mobile Analyst of Worldremit Ltd, Ms Alix Murphy, said the method was hustle-free, convenient and secure.
She said sending remittances digitally was a new phenomenon and Worldremit was the first company to introduce it, which could allow a sender to remit cash even at midnight.
Where it operates
Ms Murphy said currently the company operated in 24 countries, using 32 mobile services in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and was hopeful that more mobile services would be roped in as many people got hooked onto the service.
She said out of the over 400,000 remittances globally per month, over 20,000 was to Ghana, describing the growing interest in the service as phenomenal, an indication of great potential in the services.
Sending money digitally
The Head of Communications of Worldremit Ltd, Mr Iain Mackenzie, throwing more light on the mobile application, described it as a modern way of sending money to relatives instead of the old-fashioned way of having to carry cash in bulk in search of an agent.
“Cash is the criminal favour mechanism of sending money,” he said, compared to the modern system, whereas the digital method eliminated the human factor.
He said even though currently pickup of cash from financial institutions was leading with 15,000, while mobile money accounted for 6,000 and less than 1,000 through bank transfer, it was clear that mobile money would soon overtake the cash pickups.
Mr Mackenzie justified his assertion, explaining that the mobile money transaction was growing twice as the others.
He said the major challenge of Worldremit was that it was confronted with having to overturn habits because those in the diaspora and their relatives back home were used to dealing with the traditional forms of remittance, which had been in existence for over 150 years.
Mr Mackenzie said what the traditional forms of remittance companies were doing was that such companies restricted banks in the recipient ends from dealing with Worldremit because it was a competitor.
He recalled that another challenge was the suspicion of the traditional financial institutions that the mobile money was in competition with them.
Mr Mackenzie said if there was any battle, it would be a battle between mobile money and the unbanked and not between mobile money and the traditional banks.