WorldRemit launches with Android Pay to offer mobile-to-mobile transfers to the world’s unbanked

WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com), the leading digital money transfer service has added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to send money internationally and reach millions using mobile money accounts.

Pioneering a mobile-first approach to the $600bn a year remittance industry, the move sees WorldRemit bringing together the leading players in mobile payments from Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launching the global rollout of the service at MoneyConf 2017 (https://MoneyConf.com), WorldRemit will enable Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to +112 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network. The integration will make WorldRemit the only remittance provider offering international payments through Android Pay around the globe.

By connecting directly with Android Pay, WorldRemit customers can transfer money instantly across continents in just 5 taps – without entering credit card or 3DS details. Using mobile money, a recipient customer can then pay for school fees, utility bills and groceries among other things directly from their mobile phones – without the need for 3G or wifi. As Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenization, payments are sent with a virtual account number providing an extra layer of security.

WorldRemit currently sends money to more mobile money accounts than any other operator in the world. The company enables migrants to send money from their smartphones to the mobile phones of the people they love, in over 140 countries to be paid out in cash, paid into a bank account or into a mobile money account.

Alice Newton-Rex, VP of Product at WorldRemit, comments: “Currently 60% of WorldRemit app users are on Android, which is also by far the most popular mobile operating system in the developing world, where 2 billion people are still unbanked, but critically half a billion use their mobiles as a bank account.

“This integration with Android Pay is the next logical step of our mobile first approach, and continues our commitment to providing greater financial inclusion.”

Pali Bhat, Director, Product Management at Google, said: “We want to make it easier for organisations like WorldRemit to offer a simpler, faster in-app payment solution for their customers. With Android Pay, people will be able to speed through checkout with their Android phones in a few clicks”.

WorldRemit users make around 600,000 transactions every month, sending from over 50 countries to more than 140 destinations.

Distributed by APO on behalf of WorldRemit.

Notes to editors
• For screenshots of how Android Pay looks in the WorldRemit app, click here (http://APO.af/U7lgoW).

Media Contacts
• WorldRemit – Lucas Germanos, PR Manager LGermanos@WorldRemit.com
• Android Pay – Media team press@Google.com

About WorldRemit
WorldRemit is changing the way people send money.

It’s easy – just open the app or visit the website – no more agents.

• Transfers to most countries are instant – send money like an instant message.
• More ways to receive (Mobile Money, bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up).
• Available in over 50 countries and 140+ destinations.
• Backed by Accel Partners and TCV – investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack.

WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with regional offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Source:: WorldRemit launches with Android Pay to offer mobile-to-mobile transfers to the world’s unbanked

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The Dti and DBSA to Host Madagascar Investors Conference

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the Madagascar Investors Conference that will be hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The Conference will be addressed by His Excellency the President of Madagascar, Mr Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

DATE: 14-15 June 2017
TIME: 10:00
VENUE: Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Pretoria, Conference room 2

The Conference is aimed at promoting Madagascar as an investment destination and further profile the country’s economic opportunities, particularly the Presidential Priority Projects available in the market that South African investors and Development Finance Institutions can take advantage of.

South Africa remains Madagascar’s largest African export market, while Malagasy imports of South African goods accounted for approximately 5.7% of the country’s global import basket, reflective of both countries’ ability to exploit the natural advantage of geographic proximity. Madagascar’s exports to South Africa have seen a steady and consistent growth in the previous five years from R 588 million in 2012 to over R1. 6 billion in 2016.

Both countries are keen to facilitate investments to each other’s markets, hence the convening of the Investors’ Conference for sharing of investment opportunities in Madagascar with the South Africa private sector.

Members of the media should forward their names and ID/Passport numbers to Tshilidzi Madinani via telephone on 012 394 1399/063 580 3992 or e-mail: TMadinani@thedti.gov.za or Patience Mtshali on 012 351 0431/ 83 376 9468 mtshalip@dirco.gov.za preferably not later than Tuesday, 13 June 2017 at 13h00. Members of the media are also requested to present their valid press cards at the point of entry to access the venue.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Central African Republic: UN mission determined to fulfil mandate despite attacks on peacekeepers

The United Nations envoy for the Central African Republic today warned against increasing attacks on civilians and peacekeeping personnel while stressing the need to reenergize the political process to achieve sustainable peace in the conflict-torn country.

“The intensity of the attacks, their premeditated nature and the targeting of ethnic minorities, are a reminder of the darkest moments of the Central African political and security crisis,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, in his briefing to the Security Council.

“The new and disturbing fact is the systematic and fierce aggression against the peacekeepers,” he added.

The envoy provided an update on the situation in Bangassou, where “political spoilers” demonstrated their intention of carrying out a de facto ethnic cleansing of the town. He said that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) has gradually regained control of the town, but anti-Balaka elements continue to pose a serious threat to civilians and peacekeepers.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. According to the UN, more than half the population is in dire need of assistance. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.

The situation in the southern-central prefectures of Ouaka and Mbomou remains complex as fighting continues between ex- Séléka factions the Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) and Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC).

He also expressed deep concern about the evolving situation in Bria, where some 80 per cent of the civilian population has been displaced.

Meanwhile, an outbreak of violence in the northwest prefectures of Ouham and Ouham Pende, was abated through a tripartite local mediation initiative at the end of May, with local and traditional authorities firmly in the lead and MINUSCA in a facilitation role.

The security situation in Bangui remains relatively calm thanks to continuous and integrated political and military efforts.

Despite harsh public criticism, Mission’s resolve ‘remains strong’

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga said that lately MINUSCA has been under harsh public criticism within CAR with each side expecting MINUSCA to fight its perceived enemy.

Even in the face of those cynics, MINUSCA’s resolve remains stronger than ever, he said.

“Each time MINUSCA exhibits strength against armed groups, it is a victory for stability […] Each time tensions are defused through dialogue, it is another gain for peace, and we close the distance to achieving the end-state of the mission a little bit more,” he said.

In this context, he said, “all constructive peace efforts need to be energized,” noting that the National Consultative and Follow-up Committee can provide an essential forum where the Government and the armed groups would not only discuss the modalities of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme but also broader issues related to peace and stability in the country.

He said that he believes the African Peace and Reconciliation initiative remains an essential element to facilitate an inclusive national dialogue with the support of the sub-region and finds recent contacts between the Government and the African Union and other parties encouraging.

Also briefing the Security Council was the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, who provided an update on the human rights mapping report that covered major violations committed in the country from 2003 to 2015.

The report detailed 620 incidents, including horrific accounts of entire villages being burnt to the ground and multiple incidents of gang rapes of women and gifts, and extra-judicial killings. The vast majority of incidents were attributed to the Séléka /ex- Séléka and the anti-Balaka, and the Central African defence and security forces.

“This long list and patterns of past violations and abuses is unfortunately resuming today,” he said, adding that “this is therefore a timely moment to send an unequivocal message to the perpetrators of violations that their actions are being watched and documented, and that they will be held accountable.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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IMF Executive Board Completes First Review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement with Tunisia

  • The government’s reform program supported by the EFF aims at reducing the fiscal deficit to stabilize public debt below 70 percent of GDP by 2020 while raising investment and social spending.
  • Monetary tightening and greater exchange rate flexibility will help contain inflation, improve competitiveness, and preserve international reserves.
  • To achieve a growth-friendly and socially-conscious fiscal consolidation, it will be critical to implement the 2018 tax package and the new Large Taxpayers Unit, which will both increase tax fairness.

On June 12, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first review of Tunisia’s economic program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The completion of the review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 227.2917 million (about US$314.4 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to the equivalent of SDR 454.5837 million (about US$628.8 million).

The four-year EFF arrangement in the amount of SDR 2.045625 billion (about US2.83 billion, 375 percent of Tunisia’s quota) was approved by the Executive Board on May 20, 2016 (see Press Release No. 16/238). The government’s reform program supported by the EFF aims at reducing the fiscal deficit to stabilize public debt below 70 percent of GDP by 2020 while raising investment and social spending, and more exchange rate flexibility combined with maintaining inflation below 4 percent. It also aims at ensuring pension sustainability and better protecting vulnerable households, as well as accelerating reforms to improve governance and foster private sector-led, job-creating growth. In completing the review, the Executive Board approved the authorities’ request for waivers for non-observance of performance criteria on net international reserves, net domestic assets, and the primary fiscal deficit. The Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for re-phasing of remaining access into six semi-annual installments.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Tunisia, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair, said:

“The Tunisian authorities remain firmly committed to macroeconomic stability and sustainable increases in youth employment and improvement in standards of living of Tunisia’s population. They plan to intensify their policy effort to overcome slower growth and delays in policy implementation. Their fiscal plans aim to achieve gradual debt reduction and increase spending on investment and social programs. Continued tightening of monetary policy and exchange rate flexibility will help contain inflation, improve competitiveness, and preserve international reserves. Reforms to restructure public banks, enhance governance, and improve the business climate will strengthen the foundation for inclusive growth and strong job creation.

“To achieve a growth-friendly and socially-conscious fiscal consolidation, it will be critical to adopt and implement the 2018 tax package and make the new Large Taxpayers Unit operational, which will increase revenues as well as fairness. The authorities intend to re-apply the fuel price adjustment mechanism to avoid regressive subsidies, move ahead quickly with civil service reform to improve service quality and reduce the wage bill, and enact comprehensive reforms to ensure pension sustainability and establish an effective safety net for vulnerable households. There is also room for improving the management of public enterprises.

“The Central Bank of Tunisia recently increased its policy interest rate. Further hikes may be warranted if inflationary pressures persist. The implementation of the FX auction mechanism will improve the operation and transparency of the FX market.

“The authorities have made important progress in restructuring public banks. Next steps include changes in the regulatory and legal frameworks to support the reduction of non-performing loans. It will also be important to implement further bank supervision measures, such as the start of the resolution committee’s operations.

“The authorities are committed to enhancing governance and improving the business environment. The establishment of the high anti-corruption authority, new institutions such as the planned one-stop shop for investors, and Tunisia’s participation in the G20 Compact with Africa will support these objectives. The continued support of the donor community for Tunisia’s reform efforts remains crucial.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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