Singtel’s Dash, UNCDF partner to expand mobile remittance services to Myanmar

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Singtel’s Dash is partnering the United Nation’s Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to introduce remittance services to Myanmar.

Both parties signed a grant agreement under the UNCDF’s Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programme which aims to increase access to formal, legitimate remittance channels to Myanmar.

This will see Singtel’s Dash facilitate fast, easy and secure money transfers from Singapore to Myanmar by March 2019. The signing marks a three-year partnership between Dash and UNCDF to launch and promote safe and affordable remittances via formal channels among Myanmar nationals in Singapore.

Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower was the Guest of Honour at the signing ceremony which was also attended by Okkar, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said “Singtel’s mobile financial business serves both the domestic and cross-border needs of our customers – this sets us apart from the myriad of mobile wallets available in Singapore. As a pioneer in the mobile remittance space in Singapore, we offer unparalleled ease for our customers to remit money securely, straight from their Dash wallet to another mobile wallet, a cash-out point or to a bank account at competitive exchange rates. We are honoured to partner the UNCDF to accelerate financial inclusion in ASEAN.”

Foreign remittances by Myanmar nationals working abroad totalled some US$6.2 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank’s report. However, many tend to rely on informal channels such as unlicensed agents, which could be time-consuming, expensive and unsafe.

“There are over 250 million adults in 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, not just through Dash and its Virtual Visa account but also our cross-border alliance VIA. Dash is a truly global wallet that offers a full suite of services for our customers’ payment needs.” added Lang.

Rajeev Kumar Gupta, UNCDF SHIFT Programme Manager for ASEAN & SAARC, said “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. UNCDF is dedicated to tackling this challenge by working with regulators and the private sector to promote innovative and sustainable digital solutions. We are delighted to partner with Singtel Dash to promote the use of cross-border remittances to accelerate financial inclusion in the region, particularly amongst low-income individuals, women and small businesses.”

Singtel Dash plans to establish a network of remittance cash-out points with reputable banks, mobile wallets and cash pick-up services throughout Myanmar. This will allow the more than 180,000 Myanmar nationals who live and work in Singapore to remit money to their families via Dash on their mobile phones. Singtel will also partner with relevant associations to drive education and awareness of the benefits of remittance through formal channels.

Low said, “The partnership between UNCDF and Singtel will provide Myanmar workers here with an easy and secure way to send money home. We support such collective efforts that boost the goals of financial inclusion leading to better lives.”

Dash already offers remittance services to the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and China – countries that are among the top remittance recipients globally. To start using the service, Singtel Dash customers can simply register their particulars and their beneficiaries’ details. The process of sending money is easy and can be done at competitive FX rates with a few taps on the Dash app on their smartphones, saving customers’ time queuing at remittance houses.

Singtel Dash is Singapore’s first all-in-one mobile payments solution that is available to everyone regardless of telco or banking relationship, and can be downloaded on any mobile platform. It is the only mobile payments app that allows users to commute, shop in-store and at online retailers worldwide with their Visa Virtual Account, and send money locally and overseas.