Dahabshiil, an indigenous African company, was founded in 1970. It was set up as a new remittance venture to enable migrants to send money to family and friends back in the countries of East Africa. Dahabshiil is operating in 126 countries across the world, 40 of which are in Africa.
In addition to serving individual customers, Dahabshiil offers money transfer and banking services to businesses and international organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank, Oxfam and Save the Children. They rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services to their staff, contractors, government institutions and partner NGOs. The United Nations describes Dahabshiil’s services as ‘the only safe and efficient option to transfer funds to projects’.
The importance of money transfer services
Many international organizations have recognized the crucial role of remittances, both during humanitarian crises and for development. For example, organizations including the United Nations, World Bank, Oxfam and others comment regularly on the importance of money transfer services. They describe them as a life-line for millions of people, especially those living in rural communities where other financial services, such as banks, do not exist. Dahabshill is very strong in rural communities. As well as enabling Africa’s very poorest people survive, Dahabshiil allows others to invest and create jobs, contributing to growth on the continent.
International organisations have also recognised that companies like Dahabshiil are a much safer and more desirable option compared with informal channels, which are not subject to checks on where the money comes from and where it goes.
The existence of companies like Dahabshiil is viewed as crucial to sustaining a healthy atmosphere of competition. This helps keep prices down and the standard of service high. Dahabshiil has some of the most competitive rates available.
Dahabshiil says it dedicates 10% of its profits to humanitarian and community regeneration projects. It supports and has provided funds amounting to millions of dollars to projects such as hospitals, schools and community facilities.
It is licensed in countries in Africa, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and the Middle East.
In Kenya specifically, Dahabshiil was the very first money transfer business to receive a license and says it has continually complied with all relevant laws and regulatory requirements.