TransferWise had just launched international money transfers via Facebook messenger chat – a new entry into the remittance space.
- TransferWise’s chatbot enables customers to send money to friends and family to and from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and Europe from Facebook Messenger.
- Facebook already allows its users to send money domestically in the United States via its Messenger app, but has not yet launched similar services internationally. TransferWise said its service will be the first to enable international money transfers entirely within Messenger.
- One of Europe’s most well-known fintech companies, TransferWise was launched in 2011 by Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann out of frustration with the high fees they were being charged by banks for international money transfers.
We did a survey a few weeks ago to see how a handful of Kenyans in Europe send money to Kenya and asked them to give reasons why they use a particular method. What is interesting is how rare banks are in the person to person remittance space. We want to expand this further and see how Kenyans in other (European and non-European) countries remit funds. This was almost Kshs 368 billion (~$3.7 billion of receivables from the rest of the world) in 2015 according to the Kenya Economic Survey 2016.
Edit: in September 2020, World Remit acquired Sendwave in a $500 million cash and stock deal.