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The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Expatriates opt for bKash to send remittance safely amid Covid-19 crisis


Expatriates opt for bKash to send remittance safely amid Covid-19 crisis

In this worldwide 'lockdown' situation enforced for preventing Covid-19, expatriate Bangladeshis are relying on online-to-wallet money transfer service to send remittance to their loved ones back home. During this time of emergency, the expatriate Bangladeshis as well as their relatives who receive remittance here are staying at home. So, without going outside, they are sending money back home through their online or wallet based money transfer service via banking channel to their relatives’ bKash accounts.

As a result, the amount of remittance inflow through bKash is much more than usual during this period. bKash is offering international remittance services via partnership with six different local commercial banks under the strict guidance of the Central Bank.

The expatriates have sent about 1.38 billion Taka in remittance from January to 18 April, 2020. According to bKash sources, the expatriates have sent around 150 percent more remittance on daily average in April, compared to first three months of this year through online and wallet based money transfer companies from different parts of the world.

Most of the remittances in bKash come from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Middle East, Europe and UK. As a result of strategic partnerships with wallet based service companies like Valyou, Hanpass or Gmoney, the residents of those countries, even in this time of Covid-19, are being able to send money to their relatives’ bKash accounts within a few minutes from their mobile wallets.

Even in this crisis period, bKash is well positioned to partner with world's top 34 money transfer companies including WorldRemit, TransferWise, Ria, Gulf Exchange, BFC (Bahrain Financing Company), BRAC Saajan, CBL Money transfer, Agrani Exchange and NBL Exchange. As a result, the easy gateway of sending money to the relatives from 80 countries is open. At this particular time, remittance inflow through bKash from the UK, Australia, Canada, the US and the entire Europe has increased a lot via International money transfer organizations like WorldRemit and TransferWise.

On the other hand, the relatives of the expatriates in Bangladesh do not need to go to any bank. Instead, they can get the remittance from home and enjoy cash out, send money, pay bill, mobile recharge and other bKash services maintaining social distance.

The government's 2.0 per cent incentive on remittance is encouraging the expatriates to send remittances via mobile banking channels in this difficult situation.

Besides, bKash and Digital Healthcare have brought free healthcare services for the families of the remittance senders. Under this program, the family members of the expatriates can get specialist doctors’ consultation from home for up to 90 minutes within three months in case of emergency.

Those who need to get admitted to hospital can also get cash benefit of up to 8,000 Tk after being discharged.

Covid-19 affected patients who are staying at home can avail this service and claim 2,000 Tk under this package. If the account holder dies unfortunately, the nominee will be compensated by 10,000 Tk.

To keep the families of the expatriates safe, these services are being provided free of cost after getting consent of receiving this insurance service through IVR call. Customer will be able to avail the service only after completing the whole registration process with consent.

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