United States-based MasterCard has launched activities of the largest digital financial platform HomeSend in Bangladesh for supporting banks and mobile wallets to receive Bangladeshi expatriate remittance flow from 136 countries.
HomeSend is a joint venture of MasterCard and cross-border payment platform of Wameza.Remitters from 136 countries will now be able to transfer remittances directly to 40+ million Bank accounts of Bangladesh through Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) and 50 million bKash accounts.
Bank Asia is the banking and settlement partner of bKash for this service. Officials at a virtual briefing on Monday elaborated the activities of the service.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Bangladesh Bank (BB) Executive Director Humayun Kabir and MasterCard country manager Syed Mohammad Kamal, among others, spoke at the launching function. In a video message, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the digital platform of HomeSend would enhance the growth of Digital Bangladesh through contributing in financial inclusion in the country. “Both public and private sectors have been working together to ease the lifestyle of people. Through establishing connectivity across the country, the government has been working to turn Bangladesh a prosperous one,” he said.
Citing central bank data, Palak further mentioned remittance as an important financial tool in Bangladesh as foreign reserve stood at $USD 43 billion dollars.
Humayun Kabir said the central bank had been working together with private sector players like MasterCard to develop a payment ecosystem for convenience of the mass.
HomeSend chief executive officer Stephen Doyle, Bank Asia Managing Director Mohamamd Arfan Ali, MasterCard South Asia chief operating officer Vikas Varma and bKash CEO Kamal Quadir, among others, were also present at the briefing. The platform, HomeSend, will support non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) to send money from 160 countries directly to the bank accounts or MFS accounts.MasterCard South Asia chief operating officer Vikas Varma mentioned the figure of cross-border remittance crossed 750 billion US dollar last year of which 80 percent contributed to the lower and developing economies. He also mentioned that Bangladesh becomes eighth largest remittance destination in the world as the country experienced 800 thousands of outbound workers aboard.
Stephen Doyle, Chief Executive Officer, HomeSend said, “Bangladesh is a nation that has a high penetration of mobile phones and bank accounts. A service such as the one we are launching today is integral to facilitating financial inclusion.”
We are extremely proud to launch this international mobile money transfer service in partnership with Mastercard, DBBL and bKash, he said. Md Arfan Ali, President and Managing Director, Bank Asia Limited said, “We are excited to connect with the remittance HUB model managed by HomeSend, a joint venture with Mastercard, where 50 exchange houses from over 136 countries are connected and deliver cross border remittances directly to 50 million bKash accounts through Bank Asia in real time. Remittance is the lifeline of our economy and we are happy to join this noble enterprise. I believe this partnership will help us to support our migrant workers and create a positive impact on remittance growth.”
Bank Asia Managing Director Arfan Ali hoped the digital platform of HomeSend will increase the growth of remittance inflow as the country received $ 22 billion in the outgoing calendar year.
Abul Kashem MD Shirin, Managing Director, Dutch Bangla Bank Limited said, “The partnership among Mastercard, HomeSend and DBBL will allow customers to receive remittance literally at their fingertips. This groundbreaking service revolutionizes how remittance is received locally and is an example of innovations in financial services that will help attain the goal of a truly Digital Bangladesh.”
Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer, bKash said “bKash is delighted to be a part of this initiative that promises utmost convenience for our customers. We believe, this collaboration under the regulation of Bangladesh Bank will further contribute in the remittance flow of our economy and will empower rural households in receiving the remitted amount in the most convenient ways.