Basotho diaspora from the Netherlands and Hong Kong can now make instant transfers to EcoCash mobile money wallets in Lesotho using the WorldRemit app or website. This builds on the existing partnership between the two companies, which enabled mobile money transfers from the United Kingdom and the United States earlier this year.
WorldRemit’s mobile-first digital approach saves customers time and money as they do not have to visit traditional bricks and mortar agent to send money home. The company is the leading remittance company facilitating transfers to mobile money wallets and is connected to one-fifth of all mobile money accounts globally.
ETL is one of only two telecommunications giants operating in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Its mobile money transfer service, EcoCash, enables subscribers to make monetary transactions directly from their mobile phones. Users can save, send and receive money using their EcoCash wallets, as well as pay bills and buy goods from shops without the need for a bank account.
Over 15% of the total Lesotho population live abroad and the money they send home makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy. According to the World Bank, Lesotho received over $400 million in remittances in 2017, accounting for more than 15% of its GDP.
Mobile money penetration is higher than bank account ownership in Lesotho. According to a 2016 report by the Lesotho Central Bank, approximately 57% of the adult population are registered mobile money customers, while 38% have a bank account.
Pardon Mujakachi, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at WorldRemit, comments: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with ETL, a leading mobile network operator in Lesotho, to enable the Basotho diaspora in the Netherlands and Hong Kong to send money to their loved ones instantly.
“Seventy percent of Lesotho’s population live in rural areas. Our partnership will support financial inclusion in the country by allowing recipients to receive and save their funds directly into their EcoCash mobile wallets, without having to visit a bank or money transfer agent.”
ETL’s General Manager: Econet Services, Motebang Moeketsi said: “We have found it worthwhile to partner with the most experienced leaders in cross-border cash remittances, such as WorldRemit, to increase convenience for Econet customers during a time when Basotho professionals such as nurses are crossing borders in search of greener pastures overseas.
“When the Basotho diaspora finds jobs abroad, the challenge is sending money to their loved ones back home. That’s where we come in – we have partnered with WorldRemit and introduced this solution through our mobile money platform, EcoCash.”