According to government data, approximately one in five Cameroonians live abroad, from where they regularly send money to their families back home for daily upkeep, education and development.
With the country receiving just over $334m in personal remittances in 2020, the latest year of review by the World Bank, it is without a doubt that remittances play a vital role in its economy.
Yet even as the Cameroonian Diaspora has long been willing to send money home, limitations in withdrawal options and the slow speed of transfers were significant deterrents.
It was even more challenging to send money to the rural areas, home to 42 per cent of the country’s population. Rural recipients were often required to travel many kilometres to nearby cities where they could access banks, the main pick-up points for many remittance services.
Access to remittances changed in 2016 when WorldRemit entered Cameroon, establishing partnerships with existing businesses to rapidly increase its spread across the country.
In addition, WorldRemit supports direct transfers to mobile money wallets, allowing for withdrawals at local mobile money agents and widening the reach of the services across the country.
But the biggest impact has been on the speed of transactions, where transfers take just minutes to reach the recipients, a far cry from yesteryears, when it took days, sometimes weeks, to complete transactions.
With the quickened speeds of WorldRemit’s different transfer options, Cameroonians in over 130 countries can quickly respond to emergencies back home, including urgent medical bills and school fees.
The transfer costs on the platform are also among the world’s lowest, and as the company maintains transparency about its charges, recipients always get the exact amount that the sender intended.
It is this impactful presence of WorldRemit in the lives of Cameroonians that has seen it grow exponentially over the last six years.
Indeed, in 2022, £75m was sent to Cameroon via WorldRemit, buoyed by the rapid uptake of digital remittance technologies worldwide following the Coronavirus Disease.
*Charioui is Director of Francophone Africa, WorldRemit
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