8 March 2020 | 2 minutes
Technology has made our world many things; more agile, more efficient, safer and somewhat smarter.
It has also made the world smaller. If you want to know what a day in the life of a New Yorker looks like, you’ll find countless videos and stories aside from what blockbuster movie producers want you to see. If friends have moved abroad, making a phone call to their new country for a catch-up doesn’t need to leave you with a big bill. Wish your local mall stocked the jeans you saw in that New Yorker’s Instagram video? Just order it online and it will arrive while the brand is still trending. Technology brings overseas closer to home, wherever you are in the world. Aside from the little conveniences technology provides, a digital and mobile world is one where people are enjoying major benefits. One of those benefits is the ability to support families, conduct business and offer financial aid from one continent to another. It started with mobile money, and has evolved into a service called MTN Homeland.
MTN Homeland is one example of how performing such transactions is so much easier because of mobile technology.
We live in an era of immigration. It is so common to find people packing their bags and leaving their home countries to start a new life and career somewhere else, for all sorts of reasons. Leaving doesn’t always mean never looking back, and for millions of people who leave the African continent, leaving often means creating a better life for those they left behind in the first place. Job opportunities with higher salaries is a common cause for immigration, and those who take these opportunities often have a family who sacrificed and worked hard to get them there. In turn, the families left behind rely on the person who left, to send money home. In the past, sending money home involved a great deal of admin and the means to physically travel to a facility which enables international financial transactions. MTN Homeland is one example of how performing such transactions is so much easier because of mobile technology. So easy, that neither the sender nor receiver need to leave their home to complete the transaction.
People living in the United Kingdom, as well as EU residents, simply register online and provide verification documents. The verification process takes around one hour, and thereafter, money or airtime can be sent to an MTN Mobile Money user living in Africa within minutes. Currently, money transfers can be sent to seven different African countries, while airtime can be sent to 14 African countries and three Middle Eastern countries. As the service takes off, these numbers are set to grow.
A flat rate of €4 is charged per transfer, which costs less than the average London pub meal. Sending airtime is completely free, so users only pay for the value of the airtime. As long as the receiver has an MTN Mobile Money account, they can get access to the money minutes after it is sent, and visit more than half a million MTN Mobile Money agents to turn those digital funds into physical cash.
For people who send money back home every month, the time and effort saved is a small convenience compared to the assurance that their funds reached their families in time and safely. With a mobile phone and the connectivity to transact, individuals across the world become so much more empowered. And with more people empowered, consider all the possibilities we haven’t even begun to imagine…