Money transfers from Europe to Uganda can now be made quickly, securely, and up to four times cheaper, thanks to an app launched by cross-border payments company Inpay and its subsidiary Eurogiro, the global postal network. PostalPay app is being launched in partnership with PostBank Uganda and Posta Uganda through a project co-financed by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The PostalPay app was developed by Inpay and Eurogiro in collaboration with PostBank Uganda and Posta Uganda and allows people located in the EU to send money home in a cheaper, faster, and safer way from their mobile phones.
Money sent using the PostalPay app can either be instantly transferred to a Postbank Uganda account or received for cash pick-up in many PostBank Uganda and Posta Uganda locations.
Remittances and cross-border payments can typically take days or longer and incur high fees, meaning the families and loved ones of Ugandans working abroad get less of their often hard-earned money being sent home.
“We believe that being a part of positive social change is a strong measure of overall business success,” the CEO of Inpay, Thomas Jul, said. “Providing an easier and more affordable way for the market to adopt this service is a big part of ensuring a more inclusive financial system. A system that caters to all members of society regardless of their background or circumstances.”
Jul says Inpay’s technology for cross-border payments significantly cuts the costs of remittances to 2.5 per cent, helping migrant workers get a fairer service and drives the company’s mission to democratize payments in every part of the world. Cross-border payments have driven Inpay’s rapid growth since 2018.
“We are incredibly grateful for the cooperation with IFAD, the EU, and our partners in Uganda on this joint project. We look forward to working with local members of the Ugandan community in the Netherlands and Sweden to further support the uptake of the app,” he said.
In 2021, remittance flows to Uganda (up to US$1,1 billion) represented almost 2.7 percent of its national GDP. Uganda ranks in the top 10 remittance-recipient countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“These remittances are a lifeline for rural people yet the cost of sending money to Uganda is still far above the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 10.C of reducing the cost of migrants’ remittances to 2.5 percent by 2030. Mobile channels offer a great opportunity to achieve this goal,” said Pedro de Vasconcelos, Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances at IFAD.
“We are delighted to work with Inpay and Eurogiro on this project, to promote financial inclusion in marginal rural areas; as accessing key financial products such as savings or credit is a key enabler to achieve any of the SDGs. Inpay has market-proven technology providing low-cost and secure cross-border payments – and, through Eurogiro, access to the global postal network, making it a valuable partner,” added De Vasconcelos.
The CEO of PostBank Uganda, Julius Kakeeto, noted that: “PostBank has a network of 55 branches across the country. These are complemented by over 400 PostAgents, 60 smart ATMs and 4 contact centres. This partnership fits right into our financial inclusion agenda, and I am glad that we are driving it with reputable organizations that are geared towards the same goal.”
Posta Uganda’s Managing Director, James Arinaitwe, added: “Posta Uganda is grateful for this partnership opportunity with IFAD, Eurogiro and PostBank Uganda. We pledge to harness our longstanding assets and resources to push this agenda forward and ease access to finances for Ugandans back at home.”
As part of its PRIME Africa initiative, co-financed by the European Union, and with additional support from the Government of Luxembourg, IFAD is providing a EUR 369,000 grant for a period of 18 months to support the launch of the new app in the Netherlands and Sweden, two important European markets with established Ugandan expatriate communities. Inpay and Eurogiro are jointly contributing EUR 172,000.
The project builds upon a previous IFAD grant to PostBank Uganda (PBU) and Posta Uganda in 2017. This grant extended financial services, including remittances, to the rural and refugee communities, supported the refurbishment of 30 post offices, opened new branches, and procured mobile cash management vans in rural areas.