MasterCard, Western Union partner on mobile remittances in Bangladesh
The new service enables bKash's registered customers to use their mobile phones to receive remittances from abroad directly into their bKash mobile wallet accounts,
MasterCard, Western Union, bKash and BRAC Bank Monday launched an 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 mobile wallet accounts, according to a press release.
Western Union noted in the announcement that Bangladesh is the eighth-largest receiver of international remittances worldwide.
The service builds on bKash's success as the service has attracted more than 22 million customers since its launch in 2011, according to the announcement. The integration with Western Union enables consumers to send cross-border remittances bKash customers can receive directly to their mobile accounts or collected from a Western Union agent location.
MasterCard is providing backend support to the new service via its MasterCard Send Platform, which connects bKash, BRAC Bank and Western Union to help further enhance the efficiency and reliability of the end-to-end remittance process, according to the announcement.
Western Union said the process is simple to use: Customers simply enter the Western Union money transfer control number, 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.
"We are excited to launch the new remittance service together with MasterCard and Western Union, who are leaders in their respective fields, allowing people in Bangladesh to receive money into their bKash accounts from their friends and families abroad," Kamal Quadir, bKash CEO, said in a statement. "It brings tremendous value to Bangladeshis living at home and abroad."