Malaysian fintech firm BigPay launched international remittance services to enable users to send money directly from Malaysia to bank accounts in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, without extra charges or hidden fees.
“We’re focused on democratising financial services in ASEAN, so it’s an exciting moment for us to be able to offer Malaysians a cheaper and better alternative to remit money,” said Chris Davison, the CEO and co-founder of BigPay in the press statement.
Davison claims that approximately USD 25 billion is lost globally per year through remittance fees and that companies like BigPay can contribute to financial inclusion because it offers easy, low-cost money transfers.
BigPay’s international remittances will be offered at a fixed fee per area or country with competitive exchange rates, the firm says. Users can deposit funds into BigPay through their bank cards or via bank transfer.
BigPay is one of the first fintech firms in Malaysia to receive approval from Bank Negara Malaysia to use eKYC (an electronic “Know Your Customer” identification process) for remittance. This allows BigPay’s customers to submit all documents within the app using document identity verification and facial biometric technology to remove the need for physical, in-person verification.
According to a 2018 World Bank brief on Migration and Development, remittances to East Asia and the Pacific region grew almost 7% to USD 143 billion in 2018, faster than the 5% growth in 2017. Remittances to the Philippines rose to USD 34 billion, Flows to Indonesia increased by 25 percent in 2018.
According to the World Bank, in 2019, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to reach USD 550 billion in total, making this their largest source of external financing.