Remittance giant UAE Exchange rebrands as Unimoni in Africa


Andrea Barnes
Andrea is Communications Manager at FXcompared. Prior to joining FXcompared, she worked as a communications consultant for companies seeking guidance with their social media, marketing and digital… Read more
  • UAE Exchange plans retail presence growth in Africa as Unimoni
  • Unimoni means “Universal money”
  • Expansion will be phased but will be complete by 2020

Leading internal money transfers solution UAE Exchange, one of the largest remittance services in the Middle East, is rebranding its African operations and will now be known as “Unimoni” in its non-UAE locations.

The rebranding announcement was broadcast by Promoth Manghat, Executive and Group CEO of the recently created Finablr holding company, at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, which was attended by regional Unimoni officials, partners and guests.

As with Finablr – which was formed in April this year by the merger of UAE Express and Travelex, companies controlled by billionaire founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty – the new brand, Unimoni, is a portmanteau word. While Finablr is a contraction of “Financial Enabler”, Unimoni is a contraction of “Universal money”. The brand is designed to fortify the company’s presence on the continent and deliver a wide variety of novel financial services to African customers.

Subject to regulatory approvals, Unimoni plans to launch in 14 African markets by 2020, including Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. To ease the expansion, the company has already developed a healthy portfolio of digital remittance services tailored to meet the needs of its African users.

Elaborating on the new development, Manghat said: “Home to some of the fastest growing economies globally, Africa holds tremendous potential and is a critical component of our growth strategy as a group. We will continue to invest in enhancing the breadth of our reach and depth of our operations in the African continent. As a group, we have earmarked USD $100m in investments to support our growth and expansion efforts in Africa over the next decade.”

As Unimoni, the company intends to enable seamless, connected experiences for its customers and prepare for sustainable development and inclusive growth in each of the African nations it will have a presence in.

The Finablr network boasts over four decades of industry experience and, via its high profile brands – which include Xpress Money, Travelex and UAE Exchange and, now, Unimoni – is becoming a formidable global presence. It already extends across 45 African markets, while Unimoni alone has 29 branches in Africa, each of them offering low cost cross-border payments and foreign exchange services. With this week’s announcement, it clearly intends to expand its retail footprint in the next five years.

However, that’s not all – it’s also making assertive investments in cutting-edge customer-oriented tech solutions in addition to collaborating intensively with ecosystem partners to deliver an improved proposition to its users.

Unimoni’s Regional Head Africa Allen Semboze said that the coming few years will be highly eventful for Unimoni as it comes to grips with its ambitious expansion strategy. “We are in advanced discussions with various ecosystem partners including Mobile Network Operators and aggregators to develop new money transfer solutions,” he added.

Semboze went on to say that the new services will be available in four of Unimoni’s seven African markets by the second half of this year. Meanwhile, he continued, noting that the company is actively developing its digital capabilities to include an online remittance interface, a white-label solution for its corporate clients and a web-based foreign exchange solution. The approach will be a phased one, he said, but all offerings will be live in all Unimoni’s African markets by 2020.

For more on UAE Exchange, read this article.

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