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BRAC Bank, bKash join hands with WorldRemit

Improving money transfer service

FE Report | November 28, 2018 00:00:00

International digital money transfer service WorldRemit has tied up with local entities BRAC Bank and bKash to enhance its footprint in Bangladesh.

As a result, Bangladeshi diaspora living in over 50 countries can now send money quickly and securely to 1.5 million BRAC Bank accounts, 186 BRAC Bank branches as well as up to 30 million bKash mobile money wallets.

At the same time, around 30 BRAC SME locations can be used for collection of remittances in cash as part of the service.

The new partnership considerably expands WorldRemit's footprint in Bangladesh and supports its plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020, officials of the company said.

"We are delighted to be partnering with BRAC, a leading bank and household name in Bangladesh, and bKash, the largest mobile financial services provider in the country," said Tamer El-Emary, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at the WorldRemit.

"Our partnership will support financial inclusion by enabling the unbanked Bangladeshi population to receive remittances straight into their mobile money accounts."

"The partnership will also connect us to over one million BRAC bank accounts and hundreds of cash pickup locations across the country," said the CCO.

The WorldRemit's mobile-first, digital model saves customers time and money as they do not have to visit a bricks and mortar agent to send money home, he said.

WorldRemit launched its operation in Bangladesh back in 2012 and currently it is already tied up with multiple banks, telecoms operators and mobile money service providers in the country.

Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer at bKash, said: "In partnership with BRAC Bank, we are excited to launch international money transfers via WorldRemit."

He said the partnership brings tremendous value to Bangladeshis at home and abroad, allowing people in Bangladesh to receive remittances into their bKash accounts 24/7, instantly.

International transfers to bKash mobile money wallets via WorldRemit are instant. Recipients can then transfer funds from their bKash wallets to other bKash wallets, top-up mobile airtime, and pay for bills and groceries at shops and businesses that accept bKash payments.

Customers can also withdraw money as cash at bKash agent locations or store their funds in their bKash accounts, officials informed.

Since its launch in 2011, bKash has become the largest mobile financial services (MFS) provider in Bangladesh, attracting 30 million customers.

Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO of BRAC Bank Limited, said: "Our groundbreaking new partnership with WorldRemit allows our customers to digitally receive remittances directly into their BRAC Bank accounts, as cash over the counter at BRAC branches and agent points, and into their bKash mobile wallets."

It is a great example of how international partnerships can make a difference to the lives of the Bangladeshi people, he said. "This is just the beginning of our partnership and we look forward to introducing more services to increase convenience for our customers."

Bangladesh is among the top five countries with the most emigrants living abroad and is the ninth-largest recipient of remittances globally.

As per the central bank figure, the country received almost $15 billion in remittances in 2017.

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