Online money transfer service WorldRemit has signed a partnership with a telco that serves Africa, Asia and the Middle East to enable its customers to send money to mobile wallet users in those regions.

The global agreement with MTN allows MTN Mobile Money users to receive cross-border remittances and cut back reliance on cash, WorldRemit said in a Jan. 20 press release.

"Mobile money is rapidly displacing cash as a way of receiving money from friends and family abroad," Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO of London-based WorldRemit, said in the release.

The MTN Mobile Money mobile wallet reaches "millions of people who don't have bank accounts" and allows them access to various services and money-saving plans, Ahmed said.

WorldRemit said the partnership will put a heavy focus on Africa, where more than 22 million customers in 16 countries across the continent use MTN Mobile Money.

The mobile wallet enables users to make local and international money transfers, make utility payments, purchase phone airtime and save money in an interest-bearing account through the wallet.

WorldRemit was aggressive in expanding its reach in 2014, launching services in the U.S. as well as Latin America in an effort to compete against Western Union and MoneyGram.

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