TranferWise, a global low-cost digital money transfer service, is now operating in the UAE. This is the London-based company’s first branch in the Middle East and North Africa. Abu Dhabi will serve as the company’s hub for expansion elsewhere in the Middle East. Although, they have not given any indication as to where they plan to launch next.
Estonians Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus co-founded TransferWise in London in 2011. Their aim is to make sending money abroad more convenient, cheaper and faster. Today, the company has 14 global offices, 7 million customers worldwide and processes $5bn in customer payments every month.
The platform enables people to send money online at the mid-market exchange rate and charges an upfront, transparent fee. Its money transfer service is up to 2 times cheaper than the traditional providers making it attractive to users. Additionally, a quarter of its international transfers are delivered in less than 20 seconds. Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of TransferWise, states, “The UAE is one of the most important remittance markets in the world, and we’re delighted to be bringing the first fully online money transfers to the country.”
However, the company will be in competition with local companies. Including Rise, which raised $1.4 million in March and Now Money. These startups work closely with migrant workers to ensure that they can send money to their families at a low cost.
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