Moving Money and Mindsets: Increasing digital remittances across Africa

The UK government is committed to reducing the cost of sending and scaling up formal remittance flows from the UK to Africa. With its goal to reduce costs and scale formal flows, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and its Africa-based partner, FSD Africa, are interested in exploring whether there are ways of accelerating the migration of remittance senders from cash to digital channels. Key to this is understanding the reasons behind a preference for cash, the main motivators for change, any barriers that exist and lessons for digital service providers. DMA Global set up a eight focus groups with members of seven different diasporas. Encouragingly, the focus group discussions suggest that the trend to shift from the cash/agent model to online money transfer services from the UK to Africa is already underway, especially within certain African diaspora communities, with the findings providing key insights into drivers and triggers for behavioural change and a blueprint to follow. The following recommendations are based on what could be done to expedite this trend and are further elaborated in this report.