07 March 2017
Moving money for nothing (and the checks are free)
Background:WorldRemit's founder Ismail Ahmed first saw the opportunity to improve money transfers while at university. Studying in London, he needed to send money to family members in Africa. Every transaction meant an epic journey across the city to an agent who charged a small fortune in fees to send modest amounts of money.
It seemed wrong to Ismail that an industry handling billions of dollars every year should deliver such poor service to its customers. Even then, he knew that change was needed.
In 2010, Ismail decided that the time and technology were right to shake-up this stagnant industry and he founded WorldRemit. Before setting-up his own business, Ismail worked for the United Nations Remittance Programme, helping African money transfer companies comply with tough anti-money laundering rules introduced after the 9/11 attacks.
Ismail has published widely-cited research on the effect of remittances in Somaliland following the country’s civil war. He holds an MSc and PhD from the University of London and an Executive MBA from London Business School.