Monday, October 15, 2018 | ePaper

Migrant workers prefer mobile banking

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Gazi Anowarul Hoque :
Migrant workers rely to send their hard earned income to their families through banks partnered with mobile financial services instead of sending unofficial channels.
Statistics say that migrant workers sent remittance worth Tk 31.74 crore in August - a surprising 241.65 per cent growth in the same month of last year thanks to impressive remittance inflow through banks partnered with bKash, the leading mobile financial services, central bank data shows.
Remittance inflow through bKash partner banks - BRAC Bank, MTB and Bank Asia has now reached to 14 million US dollar till last month and the exchange value has been disbursed to thousands of local recipients, industry sources said.
Major General Sheikh Monirul Islam (retd), Chief External Officer of bKash Limited said that bKash delivers remittance money to the recipient in remote areas in real time. So, migrant workers are increasingly finding the formal option to send their hard earned money through banks partnered with bKash.
"Our payment innovation reduces the hassle dramatically. At the same time the sense of instant gratification makes both the sender and recipient immensely happy. The hard earned money sent by the migrants to their friends and families adds up to the overall economic growth and that is pretty much known by Bangladeshi living in different parts of the globe. That is why the intensity of the inward foreign remittance is increasing at a faster pace", he told the New Nation.
Migrants living in Middle east countries said sending money through mobile banking channel is quick, secured and comparatively low cost delivery channel thanks to new regulations of Bangladesh Bank that allows them to send their remittance to scheduled commercial banks and settled through Nostro Accounts of and pay out the money only in Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) to MFS accounts of the beneficiaries.
Out of 56 banks, only 17 have their own MFS services to remit money instantly to the beneficiaries while bKash has largest clienteles base across the country with around 3 million subscribers mostly living in remote areas and remittance recipients.
Commercial banks used bKash as the last mile delivery solution of remittance money to the recipients in real time.
A senior BB official said, Bangladesh has a bright potentiality to address many of the challenges currently faced by rural remittance recipients using MFS as the last mile delivery solution. More than half a million Bangladeshis migrated to various countries in recent years, adding to the 9 million migrants already living abroad, many since the 1970s.
Last year, Bangladesh earned remittance worth US$ 13.5 billion, equivalent to 6.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). A World Bank study says 65 percent of the total value of remittances goes to rural areas in Bangladesh.
High cost of remittance service is the main obstacle to remittance growth. Industry experts say an efficient model to channel formal remittance of small tickets at lower is the demand of time.

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