GAMBIA FAST FACTS KEY INSIGHTS DATA DEEP DIVE INDEXES PRICING OPERATORS CONCLUSION

FAST FACTS


VOLUME OF REMITTANCES
USD 330 million
Central Bank of Gambia, 2019
AVERAGE PRICE OF REMITTANCES TO SEND 200 USD
13.2%
RemitSCOPE Research, 2020
TOP 5 COUNTRIES

VOLUME OF REMITTANCES
330 million USD

Central Bank of Gambia; 2019


AVERAGE PRICE OF REMITTANCES TO SEND 200 USD
13.2%

Remitscope Research, 2020


TOP 5 COUNTRIES


FINANCIAL INCLUSION
19% of adults have an account at a financial institution, incl. Mobile money
FINSCOPE, 2019
NUMBER OF OPERATORS
sending to:
35
VERY COMPETITIVE MARKET

Central Bank of Gambia, 2020
paying out:
130

Central Bank of Gambia, 2020

FINANCIAL INCLUSION
19% of adults have an account at a financial institution, incl. Mobile money

FINSCOPE, 2019


NUMBER OF OPERATORS
sending to: 35
*VERY COMPETITIVE MARKET

Central Bank of Gambia, 2020

paying out: 130

Remitscope Research, 2020


KEY INSIGHTS

ACCOUNTS AND DIGITAL PAYMENTS

Financial inclusion is low, international remittances to mobile prohibited.

Financial inclusion levels are low in The Gambia with limited access to bank accounts. Mobile money is yet to take off. Stringent KYC requirements have constrained access to bank accounts. Mobile money could be a solution to this, but currently only 2% of the population are using mobile money. A National Financial Inclusion Strategy is currently being drafted.

01

02
DOMESTIC PAYMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

Domestic interoperability is a ‘work-in-progress'

The Gambia has a fragmented payment system, which is not fully interoperable and so limits the use of digital payments. The country has an operational switch, Gamswitch, but this currently only links six banks.


Mobile money has the potential to widen the payment ecosystem since MM agents are not restricted to being from financial institutions. However, penetration is low and there are only 6,400 MM agents. Better access to financial services into rural areas could be extended through non-financial networks.


03
LICENSING & REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

Regulations are clear and open but access needs to be expanded to mobile operators

The regulatory environment for international remittances is accessible and clear. Specific guidance for money transfer operators requiring to operate in the country is available.


Banks, forex bureaus and MFIs are licensed to pay-out international remittances, any bilateral partnerships must be approved by the Central Bank. However, mobile money providers currently cannot pay-out international remittances.


There is no tiered or risk-based approach to AML/CFT. Requirements for opening a bank account are high which impedes access.

DATA DEEP DIVE



LINK TO KEY REMITTANCE REGULATION

The Gambia has specific guidance for money transfer businesses in the form of a 2015 document that sets out who can act as agents of MTOs (Banks; MFIs; Forex Bureaus) and how to apply. Currently unavailable online.

INDEXES





IMPORTANCE OF
REMITTANCES

01
score
1 Senegal 84
2 Nigeria 71.5
3 Gambia 69
4 Ghana 68.5
18 Nambia 14.5

DIGITAL
READINESS

02
score
1 Kenya 100
2 Ghana 96
9 Cote d'Ivoire 68
17 Ethiopia 20
18 Gambia 8

MARKET
OPENNESS

03
score
1 Gambia 95
2 Côte d'Ivoire 94
9 Benin 82
17 Namibia 21
18 Sudan 6



What do these numbers mean ?



IMPORTANCE OF REMITTANCES


This is a composite score that reflects the size of formal remittance flows to the receive country, how important these are to the country's economy and, (at household level) the proportion that receive money from overseas (including informal). Weights are applied by experts. Scores out of 100.


DIGITAL READINESS


This is a composite score that reflects how ready a country is for international remittances to be terminated directly into digital accounts (including bank account and/or mobile money (MM)).  The Index includes whether the regulation permits money to be received into mobile wallets, account ownership and whether there is domestic MM interoperability. Weights are applied by experts. Scores out of 100.


MARKET OPENNESS


A composite score that reflects where barriers to entry/operate are low for different types of market players. Factors include: lack of specific guidance for RSPs; existence of exclusivity practices; if there is a significant parallel FX market; the numbers of operators sending to a country and international remittance payment aggregators present. Weights are applied by experts. Scores out of 100.



For more information on how the indexes were calculated please download our methodology.


PRICING

IT IS EXPENSIVE TO SEND TO THE GAMBIA

At 13.2% of the send amount, almost double the global and West Africa averages of 6.7% and 6.9% respectively, Gambia is one of the most expensive places to send remittances to globally. This is despite the high level of competition, with over 30 operators formally sending there. Terminating to cash is the main method used in this market and many operators charge high foreign exchange rates.

AVERAGE COST TO SEND EQUIVALENT OF USD200 BY TOP 5 CORRIDORS

All of Gambia’s top 5 corridors are relatively high and come in around its average. Some operators in the UK and USA are charging as low as 5.8% and 4.5% respectively. These two corridors represent Gambia’s top 2 send corridors and have a number of corridor operators that specialize in sending to Gambia.

AVERAGE COST BY METHOD TO SEND EQUIVALENT OF USD200 TO GAMBIA

Gambia is relatively expensive to send to regardless of the options chosen. End-to-end digital services (of which there are few to choose from) are still much more expensive than the average cost of sending to Africa (10.5% v 8.1%). With financial inclusion at just 19%, receiving in cash is the most popular transfer method. However, cash-to-cash services are even more expensive than the digital average at 14.7%.

LIST OF OPERATORS

Operators sending to The Gambia (35)

AFTAB (ACE)
AMSTERDAM
APS
BALOWU
CHOICE MONEY
EDI
GAMDIRECT
IMMEDI8
JALLOW ENTERPRISE
JULA FINANCE
JULA KUNDA
KEMOSON
MBAKEY FINANCE
METROPOLITAN JOLLOF
MONEY EXCHANGE
MONEY GRAM
MONEY TRANS
PING MONEY
RAPID TRANSFER
RIA
RUPALI
SHAKA
SHIKA CASH (WAC)
SMALL WORLD
SMART FX
SPEED
SUPERSONICZ
TRANSFAST
TRANZLANTA
UNITY LINK
WARI
WESTERN Union
WORLD REMIT
XPRESS MONEY
YAYEH

Operators Paying Out (130)

ACCESS BANK
AGIB BANK
BSIC
ECOBANK
FBN BANK
FIRST INTERNATIONAL BANK
GUARANTY TRUST BANK
MEGA BANK
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATIVE CREDIT UNION OF THE GAMBIA
RELIANCE
SKYE BANK
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
SUPERSONICZS
TRUST BANK
ZENITH BANK
+115 forex bureaus

Aggregators (1)

Thunes

FINAL THOUGHTS

A REMITTANCE MARKET WITH POTENTIAL

Gambia is one of the most expensive places to send remittances to, despite the high number of operators and corridor specialists. Regulations for RSPs are clear and fairly open, though they could be expanded to improve payout networks and access, especially in rural areas. The domestic payment ecosystem is predominantly cash based, fragmented and not fully interoperable. Financial inclusion numbers are low.


Gambia is one of the pilot countries chosen for PRIME Africa. As such, a full diagnostic report and a shorter factsheet have been developed and presented to key stakeholders in the country. The diagnostic details all aspects of the remittance market, including key players, stakeholders, and recommendations. The factsheet provides a high-level digest of the key factors.