New money transfer service opens in Kenya

Competition for the international money transfer business in Kenya heightened yesterday with the entry of a new player. Global Money Transfer Limited opened its doors to the public after receiving the requisite licences from the Central Bank of Kenya late last year.

The CBK, in its assessment and upon inspection of the firm’s premises at Teleposta Towers on December 22 last year, found Global Money Transfer Ltd suitable for conducting money remittance business.

The firm’s Commercial Director Abdullahi Shariff said the firm has an exclusive agreement with international money transfer switch Taaj Service. This allows a wider reach with customers to send and receive money from more than 200 locations around the world.

Kenyans living in places like the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Australia will access the service at any Taaj branded outlet.

“The real fight is in the speed,” said Mr Shariff during the launch. “You can also instruct us to send money directly to a recipient’s mobile phone.”

Here in Kenya, the services can be received at 16 outlets located in Nairobi, Mombasa, Garrisa and Mandera with plans to double that in the next three years.  “No forex conversions or hidden charges or commissions,” he said. “If your relative or business partner sends you $1,000, you receive $1,000.” The person sending the money is the one charged.

The Kenya Forex Bureaus and Remittance Association Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Wachira, said the industry has come up with stiffer regulations on anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT). “As an umbrella body, we are working to ensure we have synergy in terms of compliance with regulations in conjunction with the regulator and the Financial Reporting Centre,” Mr Wachira said.