Someone, Somewhere, Will Always Need Cash – Even in the Middle of a Pandemic!


Someone, Somewhere, Will Always Need Cash – Even in the Middle of a Pandemic!

The cv-19 pandemic has affected just about every type of company in some way or another. In Europe, the Interchange foreign currency exchange business, which is primarily focused on airports and tourist destinations, has nearly been brought to a standstill, and the same applies in the US and Australia, both of which have been heavily affected.

Africa, however, is a bit of a different story, as whilst many countries have been in strict lockdown, the inability for people to travel has, in fact, prompted a much bigger need for foreign currency transfers, primarily through our Western Union service.

With such high unemployment in many parts of Africa, a huge number of people are forced to work away from their families, either in a different part of their home country, or in a different country altogether. Combine this, then, with the complexities in the African banking system, and the fact that many Africans do not (either because they can’t or don’t want to) have a bank account, and you can see why moving money around becomes a very big issue, both for employers (who need to pay their employees in cash) and employees (who want to send/take their money back home). This is where Interchange, through its Western Union service, can help enormously.

Interchange opened its first cash exchange office in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2013 and since then it has been expanding rapidly, precisely for the reasons stated above. Such has been the success of its African operations over the past 7 years, that during 2019 Interchange was invited to form a joint venture with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to provide money transfer services to Nigerian citizens, and at the beginning of 2020 a similar arrangement was agreed with the Zambian Postal Service (ZAMPOST) too. Despite cv-19, the ZAMPOST contract has been signed by ZAMPOST and Interchange and the Interchange entity in Zambia is just days away from being registered, and a pilot location in the capital city of Lusaka, along the main thoroughfare, Cairo Road, is now getting ready to be deployed.

Throughout the world, Interchange prides itself in its customer-service, and, as such, it harmonizes well with the postal retail network operations and the people resources in Nigeria and Zambia, ensuring that cash services can be made available in an efficient and speedy manner in all of the key footfall/catchment areas. In Nigeria, where cv-19 has impacted by reducing footfall in the upmarket areas of Lagos (Victoria Island), Interchange has moved swiftly to ensure that new locations are already being tested in the more crowded, market (Marina) areas of Lagos. It is this ability to move fast in order to ensure that the service continues seamlessly, that makes the company an ideal partner for such important money exchange services.

Despite the cv-19 pandemic, therefore, the movement of money, and the need to ensure cash is available, continues to be important, and as more and more banks move away from cash, the role of cash exchange companies may, yet, become ever more important.