Xoom, PayPal’s money transfer service, has announced that its customers in the USA, UK, Canada and Europe can now send money directly to mobile money wallets in key markets across Africa that include Kenya. This is with a focus on the underbanked market segment.

This new service expands the company’s offering to send money to mobile wallets in Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The company has also expressed plans to include more markets in 2021.

Mobile money services have been viewed as a key tool to further the goal of financial inclusion across emerging markets. Financial inclusion is instrumental in driving economic growth. Last year, the number of globally registered mobile money accounts surpassed the one billion mark.

Over 60 percent of adults in Kenya, Ghana and Zimbabwe have mobile money accounts. This new service expands Xoom’s intentions in Africa as the current service already enables money transfers for cash pick-up, direct banks deposits and mobile reloads to 41 countries in Africa.

“Sending money to Africa through traditional channels has always been expensive. We wanted to help bring down the cost and speed up the process to boost financial inclusion. There is nowhere else in the world that moves more money on mobile phones than Sub-Saharan Africa. While there are only five bank branches per 100,000 people as of 2019[2], there are 1.04 billion registered mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Julian King, Vice President and General Manager, Xoom.

Xoom has been accredited as a fast and secure way to send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones in over 160 countries globally. These digital remittances serve as a dependence for many people around the world, who use them for daily needs such as utility bills, healthcare costs, education costs and emergencies.