NAIROBI, KENYA: Financial services firm Unaitas has moved to grow its foreign currency business line after the lender signed an agency agreement with MoneyGram.
According to Unaitas, the deal with the global money transfer service makes it the first Sacco in Kenya to directly partner with MoneyGram, other micro-lenders usually sign up under other banks.
The agreement with MoneyGram is also expected to create a new revenue stream for the lender through commissions that it will earn on transactions.
“Unaitas will directly access 20 per cent agency commission from every income accruing from a transaction. In addition, we will also get 20 per cent of every forex gain. Unaitas will also have authority to appoint other agents in Kenya, the same way other banks appoint Saccos, and get the primary commissions on all transactions through such agents,” said Unaitas head of operations Nyaga Thagichu.
The MoneyGram service will note only serve the over members but the entire general public as well. The services will be accessible at all Unaitas branches countrywide.
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The financial services firm said that it is also targeting Kenyans in the Diaspora who can be a source of long-term deposits, which offer an affordable source of funds for the micro-lender.
“Many Kenyans abroad send money back home, not necessarily to anyone, but to their own account to await them when they will eventually return back home, or for transactions which sometimes take long to materialize or don’t go through e.g. land purchase. Such monies provide very long term-deposits without such heavy cost burden as is the case for fixed deposit,” said Mr. Thagichu.
MoneyGram is an international brand that has footprints in more than 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram has diverse products and services available at over 339,000 physical locations and through online and mobile platforms.