‘CBG secure $535M on remittances’

Sep 17, 2021, 11:59 AM | Article By: Adama Tine

On Tuesday September 16, 2021 during the launching of Qmoney and Ria International money transfer partnership held at the Qcell Auditorium, Kairaba Avenue, the 1st Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia Dr. Seeku Jaabi revealed that: “As at end of August this year, we secured $535 million from remittances which is 90% of last year and we are expected to raise around $900 million by end of this year 2021”.

Qmoney is the Gambia’s leading mobile money platform and for the first time in the country, Qcell users can receive international money transfers directly into their Qmoney wallet safely and at their convenience with no charges. The innovative service allows Ria Money Transfer customers to send funds to Qmoney customers 24 hours of the day using their mobile phones.

 During his presentation, Dr. Jaabi stated that the importance of remittances is invaluable to this country as in 2019; $329 million was made in remittances and in 2020; despite the Covid, CBG captured $589 million which almost doubled that of 2019.

 According to Dr. Jaabi, the huge progress is due mainly to software that captured bureau of reference to supply data on a timely basis which is accessible via mobile phones and also with the support of the 43 NTO’s working with different institutions in the country.

 “We all know how the tourism sector is flopping since the pandemic came, but remittance has come to fill in the gap that the country is losing from the tourism sector. Thus, if something is good for your economy, you need to protect it and promote it with maximum care,” he stated.

 Dr. Jabbi added that international remittances are very important for the country and that Ria money transfer remittances are one of the top three multi transfer companies in The Gambia. He intimated the Central Bank’s commitment to continue to support the partnership between Ria and Qmoney.

The managing director AGIB Bank Ltd, Isatou Jawara, for her part, said AGIB Bank has a long standing relationship with Ria money transfer as well as the first and only bank in the country to have an exclusive payout agreement with Qmoney and Ria money transfer as principal agent.

 She added that the agreement will allow funds to be transferred directly to customers of Qmoney wallet from the US and Europe through an App or an agent. She said the agreement will further allow beneficiaries to cash out funds from all AGIB locations or other Qmoney contracted collections points throughout the country.

 “In the last few years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented evolution in mobile financial services which cannot be ignored. The global mobile payment market report states that, the mobile financial services market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 33% from 2019 to 2026 reaching 457.4 billion US dollars by 2026,” she disclosed.

 According to her, as a bank, AGIB cannot afford to ignore that reality especially when the opportunity has arrived knocking on their doors and moreover with the pressing need for innovative solutions in banking for service delivery as mobile wallet service will certainly lead to a greater customer experience and efficiency.

 “We are a living company in the world. We are present in over 160 countries and 43 countries in Africa working with over 200 banks mainly with micro finance, saving banks and post offices. We’ve signed with almost all banks in the continent,” said Malick Seck, the managing director of Ria-Africa.

 He further revealed that despite the sanitary crisis, Ria’s business has grown a lot for two main reasons: the acceleration of their business project everywhere in Europe and in the US that you can send money via mobile phone and during the lockdown in Europe, and while the World Bank was predicting a loss of 20%, Ria experienced over 20% growth in their business. 

 Alieu B. Njie, head of Qmoney, said International remittances play a huge role in the Gambian economy as in 2020 the inward flows of funds in The Gambia surpassed $570 million.

 He said majority recipients of remittances would have to go to a bank or to a foreign exchange bureau to receive their funds when normally there used to be a queueing situation in which they would have to go through. This, he said, sometimes could be time consuming before one receives their money.

 “We needed a global player, somebody with great experience and Ria’s global footprint has won our hearts as they go close to five hundred thousand locations that one can send or receive money across the world and operate in 162 countries across the world,” he stated.