TransferWise, a $3.5 billion fintech start-up backed by billionaire investors Peter Thiel and Richard Branson, is expanding its money transfer service in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, the company got a license to be a money services provider in Abu Dhabi. Now, customers in the United Arab Emirates can transfer funds in dirhams, to accounts around the world with TransferWise’s platform.
“Money transfers from AED have long been one of our most wished for currencies, so we always knew we’d begin our expansion into the Middle East in the Emirates,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Kristo Käärmann said in a statement.
The company is looking to tap the growing remittance market in the region.
“There’s such a strong expat community locally who desperately need a better way to manage their money across borders,” Käärmann added.
The UAE is one of the biggest outbound remitter countries in the world, with outward personal remittances hitting $46 billion in 2018.