Singtel signed a three year contract with the UN’s Capital Development Fund to introduce and run remittance services from Singapore to Myanmar.
The deal, which will see Singtel receive a grant to help fund the service, is part of the UN’s attempts to promote formal remittance channels in Myanmar. The size of the award was not disclosed.
After the system launches users will be able to transfer cash directly and securely between the two countries using Singtel’s Dash wallet and verified cash-out points or other mobile wallet services.
World Bank figures show remittances into Myanmar from economic migrants totalled $6.2 billion in 2017. However, many of these are said to have been made through insecure channels and unlicensed agents.
Singtel already offers remittance services to the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and China, with pan-Asian compatibility among the operator’s goals for the service.
Singtel International Group CEO Arthur Lang said: “There are over 250 million adults in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who are still unbanked. With the rapidly growing number of smartphone users, we see tremendous opportunities to provide financial services at affordable rates to people and small businesses in the region.”
Discussing the Myanmar contract, UN Capital Development Fund programme manager Rajeev Kumar Gupta noted: “The provision of financial services to the last mile for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a key challenge as the ASEAN region’s growth accelerates.”
He added the organisation was “dedicated to tackling this challenge by working with regulators and the private sector to promote innovative and sustainable digital solutions.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter