Hello Paisa, the money remittance startup service that’s part of Hello Group has recorded strong growth figures in the 16 months that it has been active.
According to Nadir Khamissa, the Hello Group founder and CEO, in the past 6 months, Hello Paisa has grown by 500% and so far it has registered over 70,000 sign ups who use the service to send money from South Africa to Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Despite the massive potential that the emerging economies’ remittances market possesses, making a name in that space is very difficult.
There are a number of well financed visible brands that have established themselves so startups like Hello Paisa have had to develop strategies to stand out.
Hello Paisa has resolved to compete with other providers by offering a cheaper remittance alternative. It currently offers its service at a flat 5% charge on any amount sent.
That’s half the standard rate for other alternatives and according to Khamissa, this fee can sustain a scaled remittance service.
Khamissa believes that Hello Paisa, much like other remittance services providing a solution for an emerging market community that is counting every cent, has to factor in this reality in aspects like pricing.
Other than competitive pricing the Hello Paisa strategy has also included the creation of a wide network of strategic receiving partners. In Zimbabwe, this network has included the postal network Zimpost, the retail bank CABS, TM Stores countrywide and a tie up with mobile money service, Telecash.
Khamissa says the Telecash partnership has been a strong contributor to Hello Paisa’s growth locally thanks to the convenience it provides recipients who can access the funds from any mobile money agent. It’s also emerged as a preferable channel in the wake of the cash crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe which has positioned digital money tools like mobile wallets.
The Hello Paisa story in all its service markets including Zimbabwe, won’t end with just the remittance service, though.
Khamissa believes their startup is geared to provide a gamut of downstream services in fintech which not only tie in with remittances but can tap into other rapid changes taking place in financial services.
These will not only tie in with remittances but can tap into other rapid changes taking place in financial services.
However, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done especially through collaboration and an appreciation of the competencies that different service providers can bring to the improvement of financial services.