MasterCard and Western Union boost Bangladesh’s mobile money transfers
MasterCard, Western Union, Bkash, a mobile financial service (MFS) provider, and BRAC Bank have launched a new, international remittance receiving service in Bangladesh.
The service – via Western Union’s global network – enables Bkash’s registered customers to use their mobile phones to receive remittances from abroad directly into their accounts or collected from a Western Union agent location.
MasterCard is providing the real-time, back-end solution via its MasterCard Send Platform.
Matthew Driver, group executive, global products and solutions, MasterCard, says: “This relationship is another step towards achieving our global commitment to make the financial system accessible to 500 million more people by 2020.”
The service accepts single transaction remittances of up to BDT 35,000 ($446); up to BDT 115,000 ($1,468) over five transactions per customer per day; and combined monthly remittances of up to BDT 150,000 ($1,915) and a maximum of 20 transactions a month.
Bangladesh is the tenth largest receiver of international remittances in the world; and the service is approved by Bangladesh Bank, the nation’s central bank.
Bkash is a joint venture of BRAC Bank (a SME-focused commercial bank in Bangladesh), Money in Motion, a US-based company, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of World Bank Group and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bkash says it has a “special focus to serve the low income masses of the country to achieve broader financial inclusion by providing services that are convenient, affordable and reliable”. Since its launch in 2011, it says it now has more than 22 million customers.