How To Send Money To Someone Without A Bank Account

When transferring money overseas, an obvious place to send it to is a bank account. But this isn’t always an option. While having access to a bank account is taken for granted in some countries, it’s not as common in others.

According to 2017 Global Findex Database released by the World Bank almost 1.7 billion adults across the globe remain unbanked. Most of the unbanked adults belong to developing economies. China and India claim the largest shares of the global unbanked population at 13% and 11% respectively. Indonesia and Pakistan account for 6% of the global unbanked population each, 4% belong to Nigeria while 3% are from Bangladesh and Mexico respectively.

So what alternatives are there?

Collect cash from an agent

One option is to send cash and the receiver can collect it from an agent at the other end. The advantages are clear- it’s easy, instant and a convenient way of transferring money overseas.

However, the transaction should be as secure as possible to avoid fraud. After all, if you’re sending money to a family member back home, you want to make sure they receive it. When you use Xpress Money, we give you a 16-digit pin which you then share with the receiver. The receiver uses this pin to collect the money and must also show proof of identification.

Something to consider when sending cash is that the receiver has to be present to collect it from the agent. So the broader the network of agents, the more convenient it is for whoever you’re transferring money to. With over 160,000 agents spread across 160 countries, our extensive network means receiver usually don’t have far to travel.

Send directly to a mobile wallet

Another option is to transfer money directly to a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is an app on a mobile device which stores money and makes payments. The receiver can then pay bills and make purchases in a shop from their phone, or withdraw the cash from an agent location. However, this service is limited to certain countries. When you use Xpress Money, you can send money to mobile wallets in Kenya through mPesa, Ghana with MTN.

Deliver to the receiver’s door

To make life as easy as possible for the receiver, you can also arrange to have the money delivered to them directly, for example at home. To do this, you need to provide your IMTO with the receiver’s address. Once again, this service is only available in countries like Egypt and Vietnam.