With a large diaspora spread worldwide, money transfer services play a vital role in Ghana’s economy. In 2021, Ghana received over $4 billion in remittances, making up over 5% of GDP. Several money transfer operators now provide services to facilitate remittances to Ghana from abroad. This article provides an in-depth overview of the major platforms available.
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Ghanaians abroad increasingly rely on remittances to send funds back home to support their families. Providers like Western Union have long dominated remittances to Ghana. However, new fintech operators are emerging to offer online, mobile app-based platforms with low fees, better exchange rates, and integration with mobile wallets. This guide examines the key options available today in detail.
Western Union Money Transfer
As one of the largest global money transfer companies, Western Union has an extensive network across Ghana. Most major banks, forex bureaus, and thousands of agent locations offer Western Union services for both cash pick-up and direct bank account deposits. Fees are reasonable, usually around 5-10% of the transfer amount, and exchange rates are competitive. Senders can easily track transfers through Western Union’s website and app. However, Western Union locations may require long queues during busy periods.
MoneyGram Money Transfer
Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram also has wide coverage in Ghana through banks, forex bureaus, and other partners. MoneyGram offers cash pick-up options as well as account deposits. They have also partnered with fintech Zeepay for wallet-to-wallet transfers, providing more flexibility. MoneyGram fees are affordable, typically 3-8% of the transfer value. Their online platform allows tracking shipments. MoneyGram has fewer locations compared to Western Union, but service is fast and reliable.
RIA Money Transfer
RIA Money Transfer is another major global remittance company with agent locations across Ghana. Their fees range from 5-15% based on transfer method and value. RIA allows cash pick-up, deposits to bank accounts and mobile wallets. Their transfer tracking system is user-friendly. RIA has targeted partnerships to expand its Ghana network. However, accessibility is not as extensive as other top providers.
A digital-first remittance provider, WorldRemit enables online transfers directly to mobile money wallets in Ghana. This includes MTN and AirtelTigo. Fees are very low, often only 3% and sometimes free for certain transfer amounts or destinations. Exchange rates are also excellent. Transfers can be made 24/7 through the app or website. However, cash pick-up is not available, recipients must use a mobile money account.
UnityLink provides money transfer services mainly between Ghana and other African countries. They have partnered with over 12 banks in Ghana to facilitate deposits and withdrawals. Fees are roughly 10-15% based on location and transfer amount. UnityLink offers user-friendly online and app platforms. But accessibility is limited to certain banks and agents mostly in major cities.
Small World is a UK-based fintech focused on remittances within Africa and from Europe/UK to Africa. They provide fast, low-cost transfers and serve 14 African countries including Ghana. Fees range from 1-5% based on transfer amount. Small World offers high exchange rates and various payout options including cash, banks, and mobile money. Their online platform is easy to use. But agent networks in receiving countries are still limited.
Fast Pace Transfer
Fast Pace Transfer is a Ghana-based money transfer startup focusing on the African remittance corridor. They allow instant transfers to MTN Mobile Money and AirtelTigo Money wallets in Ghana from other African countries. Fees are between 5-12% of transfer value. Fast Pace Transfer provides easy-to-use apps for senders and recipients. Accessibility remains limited but is improving across Ghana.
As a homegrown fintech startup, Zeepay is quickly growing its remittance service across Ghana. Zeepay’s app and large network of agents facilitate affordable transfers. Their integration with major mobile wallets makes receiving funds convenient. Transaction fees are between 2-10% based on amount sent. Zeepay has strong growth potential to become a leading remittance platform locally.
GhanaPay allows Ghanaians abroad to directly send money to recipients’ GhanaPay wallet accounts. Their app and visa card provide account holders with several benefits. Fees are competitive at 3-10% per transaction. However, GhanaPay’s services are currently restricted to only wallet holders. Their agent network is still developing across the country.
With increasing options now available, sending remittances to Ghana is becoming faster, more affordable and convenient. Both traditional providers and new platforms help facilitate the billions of dollars sent home every year by Ghanaians.