Business Reporter —
IT is quite rewarding, literally, to have a loved one who lives and works in Sweden, especially during Valentine’s Day, statistics from WorldRemit, a money transfer agency, show.
Zimbabweans living in Sweden are the most generous long distance lovers as they spend more money than anyone else during the holiday cherished by lovers and close relations around the world.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 every year.
According to WorldRemit, Zimbabweans in Sweden send on average US$92,50 (£74) more than usual to their loved ones for Valentine’s Day, making them the most romantic Zimbabweans. They are followed by Zimbabweans living in Germany, who send US$52,50 (£42). Those in America are ranked third as they send on average US$34(£27). Though it is often argued that Valentine’s Day has been heavily commercialised over the decades, material gifts are still considered a token of love and affection.
Remittances continue to play an important role in the economy.
The World Bank estimates that Zimbabweans who are dotted across the globe sent over US$2 billion back home to family and friends in 2015.
Director of Mobile Partnerships at WorldRemit Mr Alix Murphy said, “Looking at this year’s data we can see that Zimbabweans in Sweden, Germany and USA are planning ahead and sending more money to their loved ones in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
“On average, these groups sent US$34 to US$92,50 more for Valentine’s Day compared to the next week to mark the occasion.”
Econet Wireless Services and WorldRemit launched an international remittance service on June 11, 2014 to enable people around the world to transfer money to an EcoCash wallet in Zimbabwe. In particular, the WorldRemit application eliminates the money transfer agent through facilitating transactions directly from smartphones. Recipients have the option to collect their money as mobile money, bank transfer, cash pick-up and mobile airtime top-up.
The money transfer service is available to senders in 50 countries and offers transfers to more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
It is estimated that its customers make 580 000 transfers every month.
WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK, with regional offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.