MasterCard, Western Union, bKash and BRAC Bank launched a new, international remittance receiving service in Bangladesh. The new service enables bKash’s registered customers to use their mobile phones to receive remittances from abroad directly into their bKash accounts.
Bangladesh is the eighth largest receiver of international remittances in the world, and therefore the new service stands to improve the ease and convenience with which millions of people are able to receive money from their loved ones abroad – a vital lifeline for many families.
The new service builds on the unprecedented success of bKash, which has attracted more than 22 million customers since its launch in 2011.
Now people around the world can use Western Union’s trusted global network for sending cross-border remittances that can be received by bKash customers directly onto their mobile phones or collected from a Western Union® Agent location. Western Union’s network includes an unparalleled 500,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories as well as digital channels such as WU.com and bank account based transfers.
MasterCard plays a critical role in this relationship by providing the real-time, back-end solution via its innovative MasterCard Send Platform, which, by connecting bKash, BRAC Bank and Western Union, helps to further enhance the efficiency and reliability of the end-to-end remittance process.
By using the new service, bKash’s registered customers can receive remittances from every Western Union send market and channel directly into their bKash account, 24 hours a day. The process is simple to use; customers simply enter the Western Union money transfer control number (MTCN), amount and bKash PIN and the request will be processed using MasterCard’s secure payment technology and funds credited to the bKash account.
The service accepts single transaction remittances of up to BDT 35,000 (approximately US$500); up to BDT 115,000 (approximately USD $1,500) over five transactions per customer per day; and combined monthly remittances of up to BDT 150,000 (approximately US$1,900) and a maximum of 20 transactions a month.
Once the transfer is completed, the funds can be accessed instantly. Customers can then either cash out the money via 120,000 bKash agent locations across the country, or can utilize the account balance to make person to person fund transfers, top-up mobile airtime, pay bills and shop in-store. They can also store the money in their bKash accounts and earn interest on savings.
bKash makes financial services accessible and affordable to millions of Bangladeshis, who would not otherwise have access to simple banking services, and helps drive financial inclusion by bringing the poor and unbanked into a regulated financial system. The service is approved by Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh and the overseas fund flow will be processed by BRAC bank as per foreign remittance regulation practice.
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