Remittances have become a lifeline for many people in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the cost of sending money via banks and money transfer operators remains punitively high. On average, it costs 9.3% (of value transferred) to send the equivalent of $200 to the region, the highest remittance rates anywhere on the planet, according to the new World Bank 2019 report. However, the cost drops dramatically by as much as 90% when money is sent through cryptocurrency-based fintech companies like Bitpesa.

Also read: Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

Banks Most Expensive Cash Transfer Agents

Africans working abroad last year sent $46 billion to support families in their home countries. The money is often used to pay for education, buy food and clothes, start a business, build a house and cover daily living costs. Money sent from overseas is a vital tool of survival for many families in Africa’s often unstable economies.

But too much of the money is being taken in transfer fees by financial companies.

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