Background of NRB Remittance
Migrant remittances represent the most direct, immediate and far reaching benefit to migrants and their countries of origin. They are a more constant source of income to developing countries than official development assistance, foreign direct investment and other private flows. Moreover, the emergence of remittances as a new strategy for poverty alleviation in developing countries has spurred multilateral institutions, international organizations, and national governments, among others, to seriously study, identify and implement measures on how these inflows could be maximized and then harnessed for the development of migrants’ countries of origin.
The term “remittances” basically refer to the transfers, in cash or in kind, from a migrant to household residents in the country of origin. The IMF considers a wider definition and incorporates three categories, that is, a) workers’ remittances or transfers in cash or in kind from migrants to resident households in the country of origin, b) compensation to employees or the wages, salaries and other remuneration, in cash or in kind, paid to individuals who work in a country other than where they legally reside and c) migrant transfers which denote capital transfers of financial assets made by migrants as they move from one country to another and stay for more than one year. As stated in the BOP Manual (5th edition, 1993): “Workers’ remittance covers current transfers by migrants who are employed in new economies and considered residents there. (A migrant is a person who comes to an economy and stays, or is expected to stay, for a year or more). Workers’ remittances often involve related persons. Persons who work for and stay in new economies for less than a year are considered non-residents; their transactions are appropriate mainly to the component for compensation of employees.”The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central banking authority, follows the IMF Manual in recording remittances or migrant transfers in its BOP computation.
Since the end of the 1990s, there has been a renewed interest in the financial resources that migrants send back to their countries of origin due to the potential contribution to the economic development of the receiving regions. It is generally acknowledged that foreign remittances, whether channeled through formal or informal modes from host countries to receiving countries, contribute positively towards the economic development both at the household level and country level, although remittances through formal channels are more amenable to policy interventions and are generally believed to have greater developmental impacts.
Trends and impact
International migrant remittances have become an important source of external finance in developing countries. In nominal dollar terms, recorded remittances sent home by migrants from developing countries are expected to reach $283 billion in 2008, a rise by 6.7 percent from $265 billion in 2007.This amount, however, reflects only transfers through official channels. Econometric analysis and available household surveys suggest that unrecorded flows through informal channels may add 50 percent or more to recorded flows. Including these unrecorded flows, the true size of remittances is larger than foreign direct investment flows and more than twice as large as official aid received by developing countries.
Remittances can generate a positive effect on the economy thorough various channels such as savings, investment, growth, consumption, and poverty and income distribution. At the national level, remittances contribute significantly to GDP. Remittances can also contribute to stability by lowering the probability of current account reversals. Since they are a cheap and stable source of foreign currencies, remittances are likely to stem investor panic when international reserves are taking a downward trend or external debt is rising.
At the community level, remittances create multiplier effects in the domestic economy, producing employment opportunities and spurring new economic and social infrastructure and services, especially where effective structures and institutions have been set up to pool and direct remittances. Where these have been set up and encouraged, and where the state is cooperative, remittances can bring about a change, especially in remote rural areas.
Remittances have been found to rise when the recipient economy incurs a downturn in activity or macroeconomic shocks owing to financial crisis, natural disaster, or political conflict. By making up for foreign exchange losses due to these shocks, remittances may smooth consumption and thus play a part in maintaining the economic stability of recipient countries
The poverty reducing and income distribution effect of remittances is also significant. This case is based on the fact that the recipients of remittances are often low-income families whose offspring left the country to work abroad.
Remittances assist in augmenting national income by providing foreign exchange and raising national savings and investment as well as by providing hard currency to finance essential imports hence curtailing any BOP crisis.Since they bear no interest, do not have to be repaid, and their utilization is not tied to specific investment projects with high import content, they have a more positive effect on BOP than other monetary flows such as direct investments or loans.
In many countries, a large portion of remittances are invested in real estate, demonstrating both a desire of migrants to provide housing to families left behind and a paucity of other investment instruments in the recipient. Whether remittances are utilized for consumption or purchasing houses, or other investments, they produce positive impact on the economy by stimulating demand for other goods and services.
Some studies have illustrated that remittances can have a deleterious impact on national economic growth in the medium and longer term.Remittances can fuel inflation, disadvantage the tradable sector by appreciating the real exchange rate, and reduce labor market participation rates as receiving households opt to live off of migrants’ transfers rather than by working. Moreover, remittances’ contribution to growth and poverty might reduce the incentives for implementing sound macroeconomic policy or to institute any needed structural reforms.
Some also argue that remittances do little to stimulate development in the countries of origin. A few studies undertaken relating to the uses of remittances show that savings produced by remittances are frequently directed to purchases of non-productive assets.Remittances were also seen to increase dependency. These inflows are quite volatile since countries that depend too much on them may face economic shocks when the flow is disrupted.
General policy measures
There are many policy instruments the government can use to improve development impact of remittances and enhance the flow of remittances through the formal channel. Which policy instruments the government selects depends on the desired goal it intends to achieve. First, if the government’s objective is to capture a portion of remittances for development purposes, then the policy instrument will be to impose taxes or levies on remittance transfers, or to explore voluntary check-off for charitable purposes. But, taxing remittances may be counterproductive.Second, if the government’s objective is to stimulate transfers through formal channels and to stimulate capital availability, then the policy instruments should focus on the sale of remittance bonds, opening of foreign currency accounts, premium interest rate accounts, promoting transfers through microfinance institutions, promoting financial literacy, and banking the unbanked. Foreign currency accounts and bonds have proven to be viable means of raising funds. This should be targeted at the diasporas’ middle-to-upper income members.
Moreover, if the goal is to stimulate investment of remittances then the government needs to reach out to remittance receivers through micro finance infrastructures. The government could also reach out to its migrants abroad through migrants’ service bureaus, and tax breaks on imported capital goods by migrants.
Since a long time, governments of migrants’ home countries have employed a large variety of policy measures that target different elements in the system. Multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the IMF and bilateral development agencies such as the DFID of the UK have also examined different policy options and recommendations. A list of policy measures based on this array of experiences is delineated in the following table.
Policy Measures to Enhance the Development Impact of Remittances
|Capturing a share of remittances for development purposes||Taxation of emigrants Duties or levies on remittance transfers Voluntary check-off for charitable purposes (or transfer forms)|
|Stimulating transfers through formal channels and/or stimulating capita availability||Remittance bonds Foreign currency accounts Premium interest rate accounts |
Promoting/enabling transfers through microfinance institutions (MFIs)
Promoting financial literacy/banking the unbanked
|Stimulating investment of remittances||Outreach through MFI infrastructure Outreach through migrants’ service bureaus Tax breaks on imported capital goods |
SME schemes (financial, infrastructural, or innovative)
|Outreach to migrant collectives/ Hometown associations (HTAs)||Matched funding Public-private ventures Competitive bidding for development projects|
|Influencing consumption patterns||Promoting consumption of local goods & services Enabling migrants to spend on their relatives’ behalf|
Policies in South Asia
It is growingly acknowledged in South Asia that foreign labor migration helps promote national economic growth, eases the pressure of unemployment, brings in much-needed foreign exchange through remittances and increases consumption, savings and investment at both the household and macro levels.
The Governments of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have devised a legal framework encouraging their citizens to send foreign remittances into their countries of origin. Generally, the non-resident citizens of these countries are granted the following facilities, among others: a) maintenance of bank accounts in both foreign and local currencies without tax implications; b) investments in securities/shares, and deposits with local firms/companies; and c) investments in immovable properties in the respective countries.
Because of these and other facilities provided to their respective non-resident citizens, these countries have been able to attract enormous remittances from their respective non-resident citizens. A case in point is India where it was the largest recipient in 2006 with $24.5 billion, followed by Mexico at $24.2 billion and China with $21bn.
Migrant workers, particularly from India and Pakistan, have introduced products, especially food items, in the host countries. These products are now regularly exported to these countries and have become a permanent source of revenue for local exporters.
The Government of India has devised better incentives for its expatriates abroad to send and invest money in India’s growing economy. It has also eased regulations and controls, and eliminated the black-market premium on the rupee and has created convenient remittances services. The Indian and international banks have systematically shifted some remittances from the informal “hawala” channels to formal channels. Indians abroad have also responded to several attractive deposit schemes and bonds offered at home.
To attract investment from remittances, different types of bonds have been issued by the Government of Bangladesh. These include Wage Earners’ Development Bond, US Dollar Investment Bond and US Dollar Premium Bond.
In Sri Lanka, on the other hand, the Government has attempted to encourage investment and long-term financial planning by return migrant workers by offering different types of credit schemes. The credit schemes do not focus solely on investment but also cater to other identified needs of migrant workers, making them more realistic in application.
Most of the South Asian Governments have established special institutions such as migrant workers welfare funds and appointed community welfare officers/attaché in embassies in the receiving countries to promote and protect the interest of migrant workers.
Remittance flows are a crucial policy concern since they are very large in size, are relatively stable and provide a cushion for economic shocks, and are unique in providing direct benefits for households.
Bringing recipient households into the formal financial sector is only the first step in using remittances more effectively. Country surveys indicate that, although households typically spend a large proportion of their remittances, their propensity to save can be as high as 40 percent. For policymakers in Nepal, the challenge is to channel these savings into productive uses.
The bottom line, however, is that remittances cannot be a substitute for a sustained, domestically engineered development effort. Moreover, large-scale migration may hurt domestic labor markets in specific sectors, particularly when those leaving are mostly skilled workers. Still, migrant transfers can help ease the immediate budget constraints of recipient households.
4.5 Role of Remittances in the Economy
During the last decade or so inward remittance has emerged as the backbone of many developing countries. Officially recorded data for workers’ remittances to developing countries rose to US $ 167 billion in 2005 up 73 per cent from 2001. More than half of the increase from 2001 to 2005 in remittances occurred in China, India, Mexico and Philippines. The growing importance of remittances as a source of foreign exchange is reflected in the fact that remittance growth has outpaced private capital flows and official development assistance over the last decade. Measuring the impact of remittances is complex mainly because of the difficulties of accounting for the potential (counterfactual) loss of income from migration i.e. what migrants would have earned if they had stayed home. The impact of remittance on poverty is considered positive though evidence of its effect on inequality and long-term growth is mixed. Remittances directly affect poverty by increasing the income of the recipient. For e.g. children in households receiving remittances are more likely to receive better education and health care. They also indirectly affect poverty in the recipient country through their effects on growth, inflation, exchange rates and access to capital. Adam and Page examined the impact of remittances on poverty in 71 developing countries. The result shows that both international migration and remittances significantly reduce the level, depth and severity of poverty in these areas. The study has shown that a 10 percent increase in per capita official international remittances leads to a 3.5 percent decline in the share of people living in poverty.
Remittances have positive impact on a country’s BOP. Remittance receipts enable a country to pay for imports and repay foreign debt. Remittances act as a stable source of external finance and help in bridging the deficit on the current account. Remittances also help in improving several macroeconomic indictors like the debt service ratio and other indicators. Moreover, it is seen that the volatility of worker remittances in most countries is lower than the volatility of private capital flows. By generating a steady stream of foreign-exchange earnings, remittances can improve a country’s creditworthiness for external borrowing and through innovative financing mechanism they can expand access to capital and lower borrowing costs for example through securitization and using future remittances as collateral such as in Mexico, El Salvador, Turkey and Brazil. Realizing the important role of remittances in the economy, international agencies like the IMF and the World Bank and national governments have shown increased attention in this area.
Various studies have been conducted and policies have been implemented to increase the flow of remittances, to bring it through the formal channels and to use it productively for the development in the recipient country. In this context, various countries have provided incentives including travel and custom privileges for returns and imported goods, the higher interest rates on the foreign currency accounts, loans/pension schemes and bonds targeting at diasporas, support to home town associations and matching grants for the development of local infrastructure projects etc. In Nepal, remittances have played a major role in maintaining an overall economic stability and exchange rate stability in the face of low economic growth and sluggish performance of other sectors such as industrial sector, tourism and exports. It is estimated that in Nepal remittances may explain a quarter to a half of the 11-percentage point reduction in the poverty head count rate over the period from 1995/96 to 2003/04.
Remittances have emerged as a major source of foreign exchange earnings in the country. The share of remittances to total foreign exchange earning has reached to 46.5 percent against only 29.8 percent of exports in FY 2005/06. The strong external position has allowed the NRB to build official reserves to high levels, reducing its vulnerability to external shocks. The contribution of remittances in the economy mainly depends on the role it plays in increasing employment or the national income. This crucially depends on the productive use of remittance or investment in the economy. It has been found that about 80 per cent of remittances is used on repaying the debt, consumption purposes like purchasing lands, more expensive education for the children, expenditure on social functions like marriage and other ceremonies etc. Only remaining 20 percent is used for productive purposes like small business, investment in the industry, agricultural business etc.
Therefore, some authors believe that remittance have greater negative impact in the economy including the unproductive expenditure and demonstration effect of the migrants, domestic currency appreciation and inflation. The human and social aspects of migration are also an important factor which should not be neglected. The major challenge for Nepal is to formalize the remittance through the formal channel and to enhance the impact of remittance in the economy. In this context, it is believed that after Nepal Rastra Bank granted licenses to private sector organizations interested in remittance-transfer business, majority of remittances from the Nepalese workers’ in Gulf and other countries have started to come through the banking channels. However, a significant amount of remittance from India still comes through the informal channels. Nepal Living Standard Survey II shows that only 0.8 percent of the remittances from India comes through the banks and financial institutions and the rest are carried by the friends, relatives or the workers themselves.
A recent pioneering study by the NRB on the Indian remittance also confirms these facts. The study has highlighted various problems faced by the Nepalese workers in remitting the money through formal channels, reviewed the policies of the SAARC and other countries and also put forward some recommendations to bring it to the formal channel. The government and NRB should explore the possibility of providing the various measures and incentives to bring the remittance through the formal channel and to enhance its development impact especially considering the experiences and policies of neighboring countries like India and Bangladesh. The policies should focus on the access of financial services and reducing the fees for sending and receiving remittances. It’s a huge challenge for us to bring the remittances from India through the formal channel, which has also become important in the face of global concern for the terrorist financing and money laundering. The government and the central banks of the two countries should work together to enhance the cooperation among them to encourage the migrant workers in using the formal remittance channels.
4.6 Increasing remittance from Non-Resident Bangladeshis
Over the past few decades, remittances from non-residents (NR) have become an increasingly important source of external funding for many developing nations, including Bangladesh. While migrants have always been sending money home to their families, only recently has this remittance begun to play an important role in the economies of these countries, and scholars have begun to pay attention. Numerous issues relevant to NR remittance, such as the process of remittance, its influence and effects on national economy, skills-building institutions for increased remittance, etc. deserve close attention.
It explores some figures on international remittances, identifies the relative importance of NRB remittances on Bangladesh’s national economy, and examines specific ways to improve these remittances to promote economic and social growth. It also explores the effects of remittance on our national economy and potential for economic and social growth, how, and what kind of, skills-development institutions should be built, and which countries should try to send our work-force to if Bangladesh wants to increase the volume of remittance.
A. International and non-resident remittance.
It is often difficult to get accurate data on remittances since a good amount of it is sent via informal routes, such as through mail, or through a friend and/or a family member. The official data is quite encouraging for the developing nations. The table below gives an overview of the remittances to all developed nations, and to Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh and India.
As it can be seen in the Table above, the remittance from non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) has seen phenomenal growth; in the last 12 years, it has grown almost six times, from $1.1 billion to $6.4 billion. While Thailand’s growth remained minimal during these years, all three other countries have gone through remarkable growth; Indian remittance grew almost four times, and while less than India in volume, and far less than India in gross volume, the growth of remittance in Indonesia and Bangladesh has been almost six-fold. According to the World Bank, in 2001 NRB remittance was around 2% of Bangladesh’s national GDP; in 2007, it stood at an impressive 8.8%! In comparison, remittance in Indonesia, Thailand and India stand at 0.6%, 1% and 2.8% respectively.
In 2001, the top ten countries where the remittances came from were the following, with the amounts noted in billions: United States ($28.4), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ($15.1), Germany ($8.2), Belgium ($8.1), Switzerland ($8.1), France ($3.9), Luxembourg ($3.1), Israel ($3.0), Italy ($2.6) and Japan ($2.3). Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain — where NRBs reside in substantial numbers — fall to 12th, 13th and 15th places, respectively. During that same year, the top ten developing nations which received remittances were the following: India ($10.0), Mexico ($9.9), Philippines ($6.4), Morocco ($3.3), Egypt ($2.9), Turkey ($2.8), Lebanon ($2.3), Bangladesh ($2.1), Jordan ($2.0), and Dominican Republic ($2.0).
These numbers have led the analysts to conclude that the growth of money sent from abroad has exceeded the development assistance provided by the foreign governments and private capital flows. The implication of this phenomenon is enormous; if the remittances can be harnessed to grow at this rate, individual governments may not have to be dependent on foreign aid! The analysts have also established that these remittances now account for almost a third of global external finance. Furthermore, the real figures of remittances are considered to be considerably higher than the numbers mentioned above, since a large amount is delivered through informal channels.
For Bangladesh, it is more important to recognize that remittances can dramatically increase the national gross domestic product (GDP) by a significant percentage and, hence, will play a vital role in shaping the economic progress of the nation. In numerous countries around the world remittances constitute a large percentage of national GDP. According to IMF Yearbook, in 2001 remittances from the non-residents of Tonga, Lesotho, Jordan, Albania and Nicaragua constituted 37.3%, 26.5%, 22.8%, 17.0% and 16.1% of their national GDPs respectively. And, The World Bank data suggests that in 2004, remittances accounted for approximately 31%, 25%, and 12% of GDP in Tonga, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
B. Ways to increase the flow of remittance.
Based on the numbers above, it is conceivable that Bangladesh can increase its remittances as well. While the NRB remittances will reach, at the current rate of growth to an approximately $10-12 billion dollars a year by the year 2012, the government can play a pro-active role to accelerate this growth in a number of ways. Analysts suggest that with appropriate measures taken, the remittances can grow substantially higher than what they are now.
In order to achieve the goal of increasing remittances, the government will have to tackle 4 major management tasks: (1) Increase the number of people working in the countries where most of the remittances come from; (2) Build skills-building institutions, train and send skilled workers to earn, sometimes, two to three times more than the unskilled work-force; (3) Create and increase a desire among the NRBs to send money home; and, (4) Create sufficient, capable and, most importantly, reliable infrastructure to facilitate remittance.
In an article titled “Promoting NRB Investment,” (in The Daily Star, February 25), the author Mr. Dewan Sadek Afzal, hit the nail on the head. The government needs to create an NRB secretariat to look into the issue, learn from those who already have the experience (e.g. India) and from the NRBs on the ground, formulate policies, and create a mechanism to help accomplish the dream of the NRBs. However, this is only one part of the whole picture; the government must also create the infrastructure to send larger numbers of skilled workers abroad and allow them to send larger amounts of money home, using cheap, easy, quick and reliable methods.
Given the significant benefits of improving the efficiency of the remittance system, a governmental forum (consisting of Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, the US, and the UK), in cooperation with the World Bank, came up with a set of recommendations published in a report titled “General Principles of International Remittance Services.” This document provides a set of security measures, and some excellent recommendations to improve banking and other issues. However, the following are some important and immediate recommendations the government can begin to work on:
(1) Reduce remittance costs: Cost is a significant factor for small, individual transfers. The IDB estimated that the total cost of sending money to Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to almost $4 billion in 2002, approximately 12.5% of the total remittances to the region! The World Bank also noted that reducing costs allows the remitters to have more disposable income, resulting in more remittances;
(2) Establish as many remittance centers as possible: Set up remittance points at as many places as possible, with employees speaking the language of the remitters. Often, because of the language barrier, workers do not use the official channels; make it simple, quick and welcoming for those who want to send money;
(3) Negotiate with the governments of the countries: This will help to increase the volume of money that can be sent legally; alternatively, negotiate for more frequent legal remittances.
(4) Establish faster and safer methods of transferring money to the recipients: Often, the long delays in receiving the money, perhaps because of the local postmaster’s negligence, the distance to the local banks, insecurity of traveling with money, etc. discourage remitters from sending money through legal channels, and the government loses the opportunity to use valuable foreign currency. The government needs to eliminate these obstacles, real or imaginary, as soon as possible by establishing centers with prompt and safe services.
The World Bank and IMF have reported that the efforts to reduce remittance costs through creating competition have paid off, and the cost has declined considerably for many countries. For example, in US-Mexico corridor, in 1991 the cost of sending $300 from the US to Mexico was $26; in 2005, it dropped to $11! These institutions are hoping to report that the reduced cost as well as efficient and safe transfer of money will result in a much larger volume of remittance. Bangladesh can easily follow this path, and, with other measures taken, hopefully the remittances in the coming years will be far more encouraging!
4.7 NRB Remittance services in ABBL
AB Bank Limited has set up a Representation Agreement with Western Union Financial Services Inc. in 2002 and in 2008, the President & Managing Director of ABBL; Kaiser A. Chowdhury has signed some new agreements for launching some more remittance services in Bangladesh as well as in ABBL. The global information of the services operated in ABBL is described in later part.
- RIA financial services (Australia, Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, UK, etc)
- AFX Fast Remit (Qatar)
- X-Press Money (all countries)
- Cash Express (Dubai)
- Remit Master (Malaysia)
- Instant Cash
- Turbo Cash
In ABBL, RIA, AFX Fast Remit, X-Press Money and Cash Express has the operational function in every branches all over the country in which RIA has the maximum amount of transfer order annually. And Remit Master, Instant Cash and Turbo Cash have launched its services in ABBL but do not have much amount of transaction orders and payments. In 2008, Western Union Money Transfer has been closed to operate in all ABBL’s branches and now the new ones are operating its functions hugely.
Documents required for collecting NRB Remittance:
- Customer has to fill-up an EFT Application Form of ABBL where the information of sender and receiver is required.
- Transfer code is needed.
- National ID card or Passport or Driving License or any authorized and certified certificates where a photograph and signature of receiver is given.
4.7.1 RIA Financial Services
RIA Financial Services is the third-largest global money transfer company. Since 1987 it has endeavored successfully to provide a cost effective, secure and fast alternative to send money to the families and loved ones of our customers worldwide.
Now serving more than 110 countries, RIA has emerged as a global leader in remittances and is a recognized benchmark in both quality and service. As extensive network of agents and correspondents continues to grow will remain steadfast in the commitment to the customer and will remain ingrained within the communities in which they live.
Ria Financial Services is recognized as the most progressive money transfer company that offers the most competitive and reliable remittance payment services to the general public. It is committed to provide responsive and top quality customer service based on the highest degree of ethical standards. It will endeavor to achieve meaningful growth and to develop new products and services that meet and exceed the evolving requirements of the different markets that we serve. It will always conduct relationships with our agents and correspondents guided by the principles of mutual respect, fairness and generally-accepted business practices.
We steadfastly endeavor to recognize the customers’ sacrifices that are the sources of the service that they provide. It shall strive to actively support and become an intrinsic part of the communities in which it serve together with the collective dedication and professionalism of employees, it is always be known by its service excellence.
Ria Financial Services is a recognized financial service leader and leading specialist in international money transfers. Since 1987, the company has provided fast, reliable and secure money transfer services using state-of-the-art technology to ensure speed and accuracy in transactions. It operates through a worldwide network of 62 offices and more than 41,000 paying and receiving agents in 85 countries.
About Euronet Worldwide Inc.
RIA operates as a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc. Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions. The Company offers payment and transaction processing solutions to financial institutions, mobile operators and retailers which include comprehensive ATM, POS and card outsourcing services; card issuing and merchant acquiring services; software solutions; consumer money transfer and bill payment services; and electronic distribution for prepaid mobile airtime and other prepaid products. Euronet operates and processes transactions from 42 countries.
Euronet’s global payment network is extensive — including 9,205 ATMs, approximately 56,000 EFT POS terminals and a growing portfolio of outsourced debit and credit card services which are under management in 24 countries; card software solutions; a prepaid processing network of approximately 421,000 point-of-sale terminals across approximately 227,000 retailer locations in 20 countries; and a consumer-to-consumer money transfer network of approximately 77,100 locations serving more than 100 countries. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and 35 worldwide offices, Euronet serves clients in approximately 140 countries.
Euronet was recognized by FORTUNE magazine for the second consecutive year as one of America’s 100 fastest-growing companies (ranked #36 in 2006 and #34 in 2005). The Company also ranked two consecutive years on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 25 fastest-growing technology companies (ranked #4 in 2008 and #7 in 2007).
Sending and Receiving Countries
Congo Democratic Republic
Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
United Arab Emirates
- RIA Financial Services (RIA) Compliance Department Mission Statement:
To establish and implement risk-based policies, procedures, and processes to comply the with the laws of the United States and those of the jurisdictions in which it operates, as well as, safeguard RIA�’s operations from money laundering and terrorist financing. RIA’s Compliance Department strives to be considered a best-in-class global Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Compliance Department.
- Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Anti-Terrorist Financing (ATF) Compliance
RIA is committed to detecting and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. Consequently, enhanced due diligence is performed on all Agents and Correspondents before Appointment. All remittances processed by RIA are screened with enhanced controls to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. It is RIA’s policy to follow both the letter and spirit of the law and regulations. The policies and procedures comply with laws of the United States and those of the jurisdictions in which it operates. RIA also complies with the Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) and adheres to all European Union and United Nations sanctions.
RIA’s Compliance Department is dedicated to providing support and ongoing guidance regarding AML and ATF, as well as, our own policies and procedures.
- Money Transfer
Whether you are sending money to a family member or business partner, RIA Financial Services makes the process of transferring funds fast, secure and simple. Here are some other sensible reasons to choose RIA:
- Competitive pricing
- Agent or easy-online order processing
- Responsive customer service
- Prompt delivery
- Emphasis on security, accuracy and compliance
- Convenient worldwide locations
- Easy, quick Internet money transfers
- How to Send Money
Contact one of more than 41,000 paying and receiving Agents, Correspondents or RIA locations around the world.
- Security Safeguards
Every money transfer is processed using proprietary software system and screened for accuracy, completeness and federal compliance. The attention to detail virtually guarantees that transfers arrive at their destination promptly and safely. It works hard to earn and maintain customer confidence around the world.
- Money Orders
RIA envia, a company renowned for superior money transfer service, has now teamed with Continental Express Money Order Company. Continental Express’ agents have been satisfying customers throughout the southwest for over 50 years. Together, RIA envia and Continental Express offer experience with the convenience and security of money orders and the reputation of confidence and integrity. Money Orders are the primary check substitute for paying bills, making mail order purchases and sending cash through the mail. RIA envia and Contintenal Express money orders are recognized and exchanged throughout the United States, South America, and around the world.
RIA envia and Continenal Express are names one can trust for their reputation. Loyal consumer patronage separates its business from other retailers.
4.7.2 Xpress Money
Xpress Money is simply the fastest way one can send money to anywhere. The only instant money transfer service which gives the true value-for-money with agent locations near to one wherever they are, state-of-the-art technology for perfect ease of use, and dedicated support teams to ensure maximum reliability.
Whatever be the reason to send money, Xpress Money takes pride in ensuring that it reaches its destination safely and in a matter of minutes powered by a strong network of agent locations spread across 5 continents.
Don’t Just Send; Xpress It!
Xpress Money is not just any ordinary money transfer. Its money transfers with passion! Where you send not just money to ones loved ones whenever and wherever they need it, but their love too. They ensure that ones care for them is expressed fully through its personalized service. So whenever one needs to send money fast and safe, don’t just send it, but ‘Xpress It’!
Xpress Money is built around its customers, which clearly drives their team performance. Its team leads change in a fast changing industry, and their functional skills matches the aspiration of the brand and their customers, which helps Xpress Money offer top-quality services to our customers at all times.
Xpress Money is the favourite global instant money transfer brand of millions of satisfied customers around the world. For whom their strong agent network spanning five continents constantly connects with their loved ones wherever they are, with passion!
Xpress Money is registered in the United Kingdom with Global Head Office in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
From a family of favourites…
Xpress Money is a member of the prestigious NMC Group, the leading conglomerate based in the United Arab Emirates with business interests ranging from Financial Services; FMCG products; Scientific, Laboratory, Education and Medical supplies; Foodstuff; Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Trading; Gold and Diamond Jewellery; Advertising and Communications; Restaurants and Hoteliering, Real Estate, Information Technology, to Engineering services.
Xpress Money is an associate of UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance brand with direct operations spanning 21 countries, with over 435 offices across 5 continents; and correspondent relationship with over 150 leading banks covering the entire financial world.
Xpress Money has one of the largest agent networks among instant money transfer brands, covering all major remittance hubs of the world. It is in the business of connecting people through fast, safe and easy money transfers with their strong presence across five continents of the world.
We are everywhere… so that you stay connected!
To connect one to his loved ones, they are right in their neighbourhood too! It is always within reach of an Xpress Money agent working on their convenient timings, who would happily assist one in sending money in minutes to an Xpress Money agent right where ones loved ones are.
Strong Partners make a strong brand
Xpress Money agent network consists of leading banking and non-banking organisations of the world, chosen based on one overarching criteria: Passion in delivering quality service!
It has ensured that one get the same outstanding service satisfaction guaranteed by Xpress Money, at any of the agent locations one choose to visit.
Brand & Logo Overview
The Xpress Money brand powers not just money transfers, but also relationships. The logo communicates the spirit of care, quality, strength and happiness. The overwhelming element is ‘pace’, indicated by the extended arm of ‘X’ representing an arrow. The logo colours blue and red represent quality and passion, and our tagline ‘Send now. Receive now’ captures the essence of the forte- Instant global money transfers.
The Brand Identity Standards are developed to support the core Xpress Money Branding in all forms of expression. Standards include Corporate Identity elements, the Logo and its usage, Logo measurements, Logo colours, Third party usage, Do’s & Don’ts, Creatives – Marketing Coliaterals, Xpress Money Strapline and Corporate Typography.
Compliance & Integrity
Xpress Money is a responsible brand. The sense of responsibility covers not just the customers, but the communities and society at large.
State-of-the-art technology to ensure compliance to laws
Xpress Money ensures that the funds send through its system are used for legitimate purposes, and not for reasons detrimental to society. Xpress Money uses proprietary, home-grown software which runs checks on transactions to identify deviations if any, and reports any such deviation. The laws of the land, and those of enforcement and specialist agencies are 100% complied with at all times.
Topical training for agents and associates
Xpress Money employs Anti-Money Laundering (AML) professionals to conduct regular training programs to their global agents and associates, to update them on new enforcements that are in place, and to train them on how to implement policies.
Dedicated support team to ensure safety of transactions
They have dedicated support teams whose help are just a call away. The Xpress Money Support Team ensures that effective help is made available to customers to ensure safe and satisfactory money transfers.
How Xpress Money works for you
Xpress Money transactions are simple and fast. Whether one want to Send money or to Receive money, it take care of them in 4 easy steps:
- Visit any Send Agent, Hand over filled Send form, amount to be sent and transfer fee.
- Notification is sent immediately to Receive Agent. Communicate 16 digit XPIN to Receiver.
- Receiver visits Receive Agent. Hand over filled Receive form and ID (where applicable).
- Collect money along with Receipt. Sender gets SMS notification instantly upon payment collection.
| Cash Express have created a concept based on a business that is centuries old and provide a range of retail and financial services tailored for the needs of the 21st century.Cash Express is all about taking the hassle out of the day to day finances. It provides one with instant cash, without the need for a Bank account or waiting for cheques to clear. Most of their transactions can be completed within five minutes; there is no lengthy form filling or the need for credit checks.|
Their stores are conveniently located around the UK and are open six days a week.
Cash Express creating instant cash for the customers.
“Let Cash Express help you raise instant Cash today no fuss, no hassle and no credit checks”
|HistoryThe Cash Express story began in 1998 with the first pilot store opening in Kent. The pilot store was an immediate success and the decision to Franchise the business was taken in the latter part of 1999 and Cash Express (UK) ltd was formed as the franchising division of Cash Express.|
The first franchised store opened in July 2000 and the number has grown to a network of 14 including 2 corporate sites.
Their franchisees have comfortably achieved projected targets and continue to enjoy high levels of profitability.
Their growth to date has largely been achieved through recommendation. Cash Express is now actively recruiting franchisees in selected areas throughout the UK.
4.7.4 Instant cash
Instant Cash provides a state of the art electronic Money Transfer System. Developed for the masses across the globe, Instant Cash charges the competitive fees for remittances and is backed by the latest technology for reliability. The product is monitored and serviced by the dedicated customer service professionals to deliver a fast and reliable service.
Instant Cash World Wide Ltd. UK, a subsidiary of Emirates Post – a UAE Federal Government Entity.
It is essentially a state-of-the-art electronic money transfer system that employs leading edge Internet-based technology. This technology is extremely secure and enables recipients of a remittance to collect the money only minutes after it is sent.
Developed for the global expatriate community and travellers, Instant Cash charges the competitive fees for remittances. The products monitored and serviced by a dedicated customer support and operations team in the UAE, which means that support and assistance are only a phone call away.
Here is the Instant Cash benefits proposition:
- Competitive charges for remittance.
- The best exchange rates.
- Service centres / agents in various countries.
- Continuous support.
In addition to speedy remittances, Instant Cash will also introduce a range of other money transfer solutions to provide customers greater choice, depending on customer demand and local regulations.
- Cash to Cash.
- Cash to Bank Account Transfer.
- Home Delivery.
Instant Cash, with its vast agent network, is well equipped to service the remittance needs of all segments of society. The network in the GCC countries is also widespread, and is due to expand further through new tie-ups.
Launched New Generation Product – INSTANT CASH Global Money Transfer
- Facilitates INSTANT CASH payment from point to point.
- By way of electronic money transfer service.
- High security web based remittance.
- With fast and reliable service to the end.
- Dedicated customer support dept.
How To Send / Pick Money?
- How to Send Money from an Agent Location
Get advantage of widely spread network of branches and agents. Visit the nearest branch or agent. Ask for money transfer form. Fill the form, return it to the agent with cash and the valid identification. Sign the receipt. The customer’s receipt will have the ICTC (Instant Cash Transfer Code) Number that will allow him to track the status of your money transfer online.
- How to Pick Up a Money Transfer
Money can only be received in person, just visit the branch or an agent. Present the ICTC Number (Instant Cash Transfer Code). Tell sender’s name and country the money was sent from with amount that was sent. Show the identification card to the agent. Sign the receipt that the Agent gives him. The Agent will give him the money that was sent to him.
4.7.5 Remit master
Remit Master, offers fund remittance transfer services to broad-based customer groups of workers, businesses, and individuals. It also creates value through strategic alliances with foreign banks and remittance companies thus creating a wide network globally.
It uses their own proprietary IT system which will offer their customers the following benefits:
- Secure Transaction
- Low Cost
- Fast & Easy
Their Mission is to provide Secure Remittance services at low cost to the Customers in full compliance with all laws.
Their Vision is to be a leading and innovative Remittance Service Provider within Malaysia and globally.
Remit Master Sdn Bhd (“RMSB”) was incorporated in 2001 and is licensed to provide remittance services.
The formation of the Company and the idea for this business is the brain-child of the founder Chairman, Mr Abd. Hamid Bin Abdullah, a successful businessman who has more than 18 years experience in the industry.
RMSB offers fund remittance transfer services to broad-based customer groups of workers, businesses and individuals. The vision of the Company is to be a Remittance Service Provider of choice locally, regionally and internationally.
Its principal objective is to deliver quality services (prompt, convenient) at affordable prices (cost-effective transfers). RMSB is able to accomplish that by leveraging on its own proprietary IT system, M REMIT, which serves as a repository for all its transactions as well as a vital communications device between its network of branches and agencies. This provides the Company an ideal platform to achieve its business mission.
It also creates value through strategic alliances with foreign banks and remittance companies thus creating a wide network globally.
Its main flagship outlet is at 21 Jalan Lebuh Pudu, Kuala Lumpur which is strategically located near various transport centres (bus, train, Light Rail) and meeting points for migrant workers. The outlet has two floors of service areas with the third floor occupied by their Management team.
They plan to have 30 outlets throughout Malaysia in 2008 – 2009 with correspondent banks / agents in various countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam and the Middle East.
- Cash payout over the counter
- For this transaction, a unique PIN or code would be generated and given to the sender. Sender is required to inform the PIN details to the receiver. This PIN is required to be presented by the receiver in addition to his or her identification details.
- The receiver would be able to go to any branch in the designated country and receive the cash upon verification of ID and valid PIN.
- Present customer card or application form
- Pay cash
- Give beneficiary & transfer info
- Signs receipt
- Receiver would be able to go to any branch in the designated country and receive cash upon verification of id and valid pin
Remittance corridors/ foreign agents
4.7.6 Western Union Money Transfer
The Western Union Company is a financial services and communications company based in the United States. Its North American headquarters is in Englewood, Colorado, United States, and its international marketing and commercial services headquarters are in Montvale, New Jersey. Until it discontinued the service, Western Union was the best known US company in the business of exchanging telegrams.
Western Union has a number of divisions, with products such as person-to-person money transfer, money orders, and commercial services. As of May 27, 2010, the company has more than 410,000 Western Union agent locations in over 240 countries and territories. Reported revenues top USD$5 billion annually.
The domain westernunion.com attracted at least 8.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.
As the Internet became an arena for commerce at the turn of the millennium, Western Union started its online services. BidPay was renamed “Western Union Auction Payments” in 2004 before being renamed back to BidPay. BidPay ceased operations on December 31, 2005, and was purchased for USD$1.8 million in March 2006 by CyberSource Corp. who announced their intention to re-launch BidPay. BidPay was later discontinued by CyberSource effective December 31, 2007.
· Western Union Mobile
In October 2007 Western Union announced plans to introduce a mobile money transfer service with the GSM Association, a global trade association representing more than 700 mobile operators in 218 countries and covering 2.5 billion mobile subscribers.
The proliferation of mobile phones in developed and developing economies provides a widely accessible consumer device capable of delivering mobile financial services ranging from text notifications associated with Western Union cash delivery services to phone-based remittance options. Western Union’s mobile money transfer service offering will connect its core money transfer platform to m-bank or m-wallet platforms provided by mobile operators and / or locally regulated financial institutions.
How to Use (Sending and Receiving Funds)
Sender goes to a Western Union office and presents funds (plus fees) for “Next Day” or “Money in Minutes” service. Sender provides his/her name and address, the recipient’s name, and a designated payment city or town. Western Union provides the sender a 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that must be transmitted separately by sender to recipient. Recipient then proceeds to a Western Union agent office in the designated payment location, presents the 10-digit MTCN, and a picture identification document. Money then is paid out to recipient. If recipient lacks identification document(s), a pre-arranged password may suffice. Funds are paid out in cash. If payment exceeds a local maximum or cash on hand, then a check is issued. Alternatively, sender may forward funds online to recipient by visiting westernunion.com and provided instructions.
4.8 Financial Performance of NRB Remittance if AB Bank Limited, Dhanmondi branch
Amount (Figure in Lacs)
2010 (up to June 30)
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