New player to shift market share in money transfers

Monday October 14 2013

Xpress Money vice president and business head Sudhesh Giriyan (L) and Diamond Trust Bank CEO Varghese Thambi (C) during the launch of Xpress Money.

Xpress Money vice president and business head Sudhesh Giriyan (L) and Diamond Trust Bank CEO Varghese Thambi (C) during the launch of Xpress Money. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA. 

By FARIDAH KULABAKO

Kampala

The entry of another player in Uganda’s international money transfer market is likely to tilt the market share of the players, signaling heightened competition to retain customers. This follows the signing of a partnership between Xpress Money, an international money transfer player, and Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, to facilitate international money transfers globally.

The Abu Dhabi-head quartered company becomes the third player in Uganda’s international money transfer market, which has been for decades dominated by two players – Western Union, which currently enjoys the largest market share and Money Gram.

Its entrance is expected to increase competition among players, a bonus to senders and receivers of money from the Diaspora. Xpress Money’s rates are about 10 per cent lower compared to its rivals. Xpress Money will charge Shs6,500 to send Shs200,000 and below and Shs300,000 to send any amount above Shs12.5 million in any country in East Africa, while outbound international transfers will cost Shs10,000 for any amount below 200,000 and Shs203,000 for transfers over Shs12.5 million. This compares with Western Union’s Shs6,200 for sending money below Shs124,000 within East Africa and Shs17,000 for transferring any amount below Shs114,000 internationally.

Xpress Money will transfer the cash to Diamond Trust bank which will then deposit the cash in any bank account of the recipient while those who don’t bank with DTB will walk to any branch and receive the money. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s least developed countries 2012 report, remittances from Ugandans living in the diaspora have been growing by 14 per cent annually in the past 10 years.

Xpress Money has a thriving presence in about 150 countries in five continents across 170,000 locations.
Mr Sudhesh Giriyan, Xpress Money vice president and business head, said venturing into Uganda seeks to tap into the huge remittance potential in Uganda, evidenced by the steady growth in remittances. “By virtue of Uganda being both a send and receive destination, it gives us tremendous opportunity to offer innovative services to customers at affordable transfer fees,” Mr Giriyan said last week.

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fkulabako@ug.nationmedia.com

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