Lyca Group, which specialises in providing various services to ethnic communications and operates the MVNO Lycamobile, launched a new online money transfer service that can be used on smartphones, tablets and PCs with money collected at banks, cash collection services or via a mobile wallet.
The new service is called Lycaremit and is designed to enable customers to send money to family and friends in over 50 countries at what Lyca describes as "ultra-competitive rates".
For a promotional period, Lycaremit will offer no fee money transfers until Jan. 31, 2016 and a free £5 (€6.8/$7.5) Lycamobile credit on all transfers over £300 made on or before the end of January.
Lyca Group chairman Subaskaran Allirajah said: "We've built our business over the past decade by providing vital services primarily to ethnic communities across Europe, from mobile calls and data to financial services and travel bookings. We believe Lycaremit will now expand that offering by allowing us to provide a highly competitive service we know our customers will benefit from."
Citing estimates from the World Bank, Lyca Group said the global remittance market is huge, with remittances expected to reach $586 billion (€533 billion) this year and set to grow by 4 per cent to reach $610 billion next year.
It noted that the vast majority of the global remittance market is made up of money sent from high-income countries to developing countries, mirroring the location and behaviour of Lycamobile's existing customer base.
As well as the international low-cost MVNO Lycamobile, the group also offers a chat app called Lycachat and ethnic content streaming service LycaTV. It has also branched out into travel with the Lycafly travel agency; broadcasting with Lycamedia; and the UK health care sector with LycaHealth.
Mobile and online money transfer services are regarded as important ways to drive financial inclusion as they enable people without bank accounts to gain access to money.
Vodafone's M-Pesa service has been extremely successful within emerging markets, for example. Earlier this month, the company said that the number of M-Pesa mobile money transactions grew 26 per cent year-on-year in the six months to end-September to reach 2 billion. The number of active users of the mobile money service increased 27 per cent year-on-year to 23.4 million.
- see this Lyca Group release
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