According to government data, approximately one in five Cameroonians live abroad , from where they regularly send money to their families back home for daily upkeep, education and development.
With the country receiving just over $334 million USD in personal remittances in 2020, the latest year of review by the World Bank, it is without a doubt that remittances play a vital role in its economy.
Yet even though the Cameroonian diaspora has long been willing to send money home, limitations in withdrawal options, and the slow speed of transfers, were significant deterrents.
It was even more challenging to send money to the rural areas, which is home to 42% of the country’s population.Rural recipients were often required to travel many kilometers to nearby cities where they could access banks, the main pick-up points for many remittance services.
Access to remittances changed in 2016 when WorldRemit entered Cameroon, immediately establishing partnerships with existing businesses to rapidly increase its spread across the country, says Imane Charioui, Director of Francophone Africa, WorldRemit.
“In addition, WorldRemit supports direct transfers to mobile money wallets, allowing for withdrawals at local mobile money agents, widening the reach of the services across the country.
“But the biggest impact has been on the speed of transactions, where transfers take just minutes to reach the recipient, a far cry from yesteryears, when it took days, sometimes weeks to complete transactions.
“With the quickened speeds of WorldRemit’s different transfer options, Cameroonians in over 130 countries can quickly respond to emergencies back home, including urgent medical bills and school fees.
“The transfer costs on the platform are also among the world’s lowest, and as the company maintains transparency about its charges, recipients always get the exact amount that the sender intended.
“It is this impactful presence of WorldRemit in the lives of Cameroonians that has seen it grow exponentially over the last six years.
“Indeed, in 2022, a total of £75 million GBP was sent to Cameroon via WorldRemit, buoyed by the rapid uptake of digital remittance technologies worldwide following the Covid-19 pandemic”.