United Bank of Africa Senegal, TerraPay and Wave Digital Finance Join Forces to Enable the Reception of International Remittance Transfers & Enhance Financial Inclusion in Senegal

August 1, 2023 |

TerraPay, a leading global payments infrastructure company, United Bank of Africa Senegal (UBA Senegal) and Wave Digital Finance (Wave), the first non-telco, non-bank EMI licence holder in Senegal, the westernmost part of Africa, have announced a strategic partnership to offer real-time transactions to Wave mobile wallets using money transfer services like Western Union, Ria, Moneygram, Smallworld, and more. This service has been developed to provide affordable and accessible payment solutions to send instant money transfers from key corridors & major countries such as France, Spain, Germany, and the UAE to Senegal, contributing to the country’s economic development.

The adoption of digital wallet payments in Senegal has been accelerated following the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are more inclined towards contactless payment methods to avoid transmission. Moreover, the Senegalese government has been promoting digital payments to increase financial inclusion and reduce cash circulation. However, cash remains the most popular payment method, especially in rural areas with limited digital infrastructure. To address this issue and promote financial inclusion and economic growth in Senegal, TerraPay, UBA Senegal and Wave have partnered to enable the reception of international remittance transfers. Wave has more than 7 million monthly active users in Senegal and adheres to compliance in the region, enabling it to receive funds transferred through UBA Senegal and TerraPay’s global payments infrastructure. As the market leader in Senegal, Wave’s partnership with TerraPay and UBA Senegal is a significant step towards making financial services accessible to everyone in the country, thereby contributing to the country’s economic development through an affordable and accessible payment solution.

Mamadou Wilane, Regional Director – West & Central Africa, TerraPay, commented, “At TerraPay, our vision has always been to create a cashless world, where financial services are accessible to everyone. With our partnership with Wave Senegal, we are taking a significant step towards achieving this goal. This collaboration enables us to bring our strong technical solutions to customers in the westernmost part of the African continent and empower them with fast and secure borderless payment options while providing access to TerraPay’s widespread partner network to the people of Senegal. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership presents and look forward to making financial services more accessible to everyone in Senegal.”

Revuz Ngningaye, Head Retail Banking at UBA Senegal, stated “Our economic environment is changing as a result of the ongoing digital revolution, changing habits and behaviour and adjustments to the solutions offered by financial institutions. The UBA Group, ever on the lookout for innovative projects with which to share its expertise and vision, is always keen to make its contribution to the development process of our countries by promoting financial inclusion.Senegal is committed to making financial inclusion a strategic priority, notably through the Emerging Senegal Plan, with the support of the Central Bank of the West African States. Senegal is one of the most popular destinations for money transfers in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa. Remittances are very important for the Senegalese economy, representing 10.5% of GDP and more than 1,500 billion received through local financial institutions in 2022.
UBA Senegal is positioned as a major player in the promotion of financial and banking inclusion by matching the needs of households with the financial services offered.Our tripartite partnership TerraPay-UBA-Wave is a success that is materialising through the provision of a service tailored to the needs of the diaspora and domestic households. We have been working closely with our partners since 2021, and it has been with great perseverance that we have been able to formalise this project with the regulator and all the stakeholders. Today, this electronic money transfer with end point on the Wave e-wallet will further revolutionize digital money transfer in the French-speaking world, especially in Senegal, a country with great potential.
This solution is in line with the aspirations and vision of the UBA Group which seeks to improves the banking situation of our most disadvantaged populations, facilitates the exchange of financial flows and enables us to move towards an even more formal economy because of the trackable nature of transactions.The UBA Group will continue to support innovation and work with operators and partners proposing solutions to rethink financial instruments for African economies.”

Karamokho BADIANE, Head of Business Development at Wave added, “We are thrilled to collaborate with TerraPay and United Bank of Africa Senegal to enhance our payment solutions and offer more convenience to our customers. Leveraging TerraPay’s global payments infrastructure and UBA Senegal’s expertise on remittance services will allow us to expand our reach and provide more value to our 7 million active users. This partnership will enable us to offer more affordable and accessible payment solutions, which is crucial in providing digital financial services to all citizens in the country. With TerraPay’s expertise in secure and reliable payment transfers, we are confident in our ability to provide easy, fast and secure ways to transfer funds and make financial services accessible to more people.”

About TerraPay

Headquartered in The United Kingdom, TerraPay believes that the smallest payment deserves a borderless journey as safe as the largest. The group has been building an ever-expanding payments highway that empowers businesses to create transparent customer experiences with an uninterrupted, secure, and real-time global passage for every payment, however small or large. Registered and regulated across 27 global markets, TerraPay is a leading global partner to banks, mobile wallets, money transfer operators, merchants, and financial institutions, creating a more expansive and inclusive international financial ecosystem. With access to a payments infrastructure that spans the globe, their partners become beacons of the promise of global financial inclusion.