MoneyGram International has announced the expansion of its mobile wallet network through the integration with bKash, a Bangladeshi mobile financial service provider.
The latest integration is part of MoneyGram’s ongoing partnership with Thunes that will allow about 56 million bKash users to receive funds instantly from around the world via local bank accounts, retail partners, and other digital methods, reports bdnews24.com citing a press release.
Total transactions received digitally through the MoneyGram platform reached a “new all-time high” in the third quarter of 2021, with 63 per cent year-over-year growth, Alex Holmes, MoneyGram chairman and CEO, said and added this partnership “will further support this strong growth”.
Across many areas of the world, especially in parts of Asia, remittances remain a vital role in consumer lives, while demand for digital options and mobile wallets continues to surge.
According to the World Bank, an estimated $22 billion flowed into Bangladesh in the form of remittances in 2020, accounting for almost seven per cent of the country’s GDP in the year.
This latest integration with bKash will increase access to direct remittance services and help accelerate financial inclusion in Bangladesh, bKash said.
"We believe that access to fast and affordable global payments is one of the basic human rights, and that technology can help us achieve it,” said Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Thunes. “We are glad to partner with MoneyGram and bKash to get us one step closer to that vision and enable seamless digital payments to the vibrant Bangladeshi community"
Along with receiving remittances in real-time, bKash wallets can be used to pay for a variety of products and services ranging from mobile recharge to utility bill payments to bank-bKash money transfer to payments of various food delivery and ridesharing services.
A study released earlier this year by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies found that household incomes for bKash users had risen over 15 per cent, partly due to the ease and speed of transferring emergency funds to Bangladesh during recent cyclones and flooding.
During the pandemic, bKash has helped Bangladesh boost its inbound remittance and promoted cashless transactions further by offering 1 per cent cash bonus on top of 2 per cent government incentive and wide range of payments solutions.