Oct 022014

By Mohammed Waseem

Indian post office, Department of Post has made a money transfer service which is fast, convenient and accessible to all Indians. Generally, a person needs to visit a post office and fill the send money form before handing over the cash to the clerk. But here, the form can be downloaded and filled in before visiting the post office.

From a mobile phone, users can visit http://www.dopmobile.in/ to access the postal services and download the forms. Any amount between INR 1000 and 10000 can be sent with this service. When the sender visits any of the post offices and hands over the form and the cash, the details are entered into the mobile application by the clerk and both the sender and the recipient receive a confirmation message with the transaction ID.

DOPThe sender also receives a secret code that has to be communicated with the recipient. The recipient can immediately visit any of the post offices and collect the cash by providing the transaction ID and the secret code.

Or amounts between 1000 and 1500, the fee applicable is INR 45 (fee+tax), INR 79 for amounts between 1501 and 5000 and INR 112 for amounts between 5001 and 10000. The recipient is required to collect the cash within 14 days of the transaction date, after which, the amount is returned to the sender.

The sender receives an SMS that the money was not collected and has to be withdrawn from a post office. The sender has 7 days from the date of receiving the SMS to collect the cash from a post office.

This service is called DOP Mobile Money Transfer and is called so because it enables instant money transfer from one place to another place using mobile, through Indian post offices. The difference, however is that the mobile app is not used by the sender to send money, but by a post office clerk to process the transaction.

Sep 102014

By Mohammed Waseem

Indians are used to receiving money using Western Union and MoneyGram, when they talk about instant money transfer. A system exists to send and receive money between bank accounts within the country, known as NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer), but this requires at least 12 hours for the approval of a beneficiary and requires a day for the funds to be deposited to the beneficiary account.

Once the money has been deposited, the recipient is free to do whatever they want with it, as it is in their bank account. Banks have been less innovative, until recently, when Bank of India (BOI) announced the introduction of instant money transfer to anyone in India. When I say anyone, it includes those who don’t have an account with the bank as well.

Bank of IndiaThe service is available throughout the year and can be accessed at any time of the day, by both the sender and the recipient. Senders should, however be customers of the bank; they should have an account at BOI.

The service is ideal in cases where the bank details of the recipient are not know or the recipient doesn’t have a bank account, or even when the recipient prefers cash or needs the money instantly. Cash, here, refers to withdrawal from BOI ATMs, without using a BOI card; and in fact, without using any card at all.

The card-less cash withdrawal works with a mobile number. The sender has to provide the recipient’s mobile number, on which, partial transfer details will be sent. Rest of the details have to be communicated by the sender, personally. This ensures extra security and zero fraud risk. The sender provides the sender code to the recipient while the latter receives a PIN via SMS. Both of these have to be provided along with their mobile number at a BOI ATM to withdraw cash.

As per regulations, withdrawal limits of INR 25000 per month and INR 10000 per transaction apply per recipient. Once initiated by the sender, the recipient has 14 days to withdraw the cash, after which, it is cancelled and the amount is credited to the sender.

Aug 222014

By Mohammed Waseem

With advancement of technology and the introduction of new products and services in the developed world, the developing nations also start services that help them in keeping up with the pace. Pakistani telecom company, Telenor is among the leading telecom providers in Pakistan, with operations in Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh as well.

Telenor Pakistan partnered with a Pakistani bank, Tameer Micro Finance Bank to introduce branchless banking in Pakistan. This service is called Easypaisa and is available for all Pakistanis to use. Banking transactions are carried out using a mobile phone, whether the user is a Telenor subscriber or not. The service is innovative and has a wide reach.

EasypaisaWith Easypaisa, Telenor reaches thousands of unbanked customers, who reside in Pakistan. The service is only available in Pakistan for customers to take advantage of banking services without visiting any of the bank’s branches.

Easypaisa offers a money transfer service for sending money to and from Pakistani cities. It can be accessed at any Easypaisa shop, Telenor Franchise, Telenor Sales & Service Center or a Tameer Microfinance Bank branch. The service also allows the customers to send money from one Pakistani city to another. The concept also includes mobile money, which enables Pakistanis to take their cash wherever they go, without carrying physical cash or even the plastic money.

Anyone with a Computerized National Identity Card (Nadra CNIC) can use this service to send and receive money across Pakistan. They can use it to send money to family and friends from any Easypaisa shop. It is ideal for people who work in cities and have families in rural villages. The best part of the service is that anyone, including non-Telenor users can use it and no registration is necessary. Inter-Bank fund transfers can also be done using a mobile phone.

To send money, senders need to present their identity card and hand over the money and the fee at the Easypaisa shop, after which, they are provided with a 5-digit money transfer control code which has to be communicated to the recipient. The recipient has to collect the money by visiting an Easypaisa shop and presenting their identity card and the code. A demo can be accessed here for sending from a mobile phone.

The fees for transferring money to a mobile account start at Rs. 30 (inclusive of the 16% Federal Excise Duty) and goes up to Rs. 480. The minimum amount that can be sent is Rs. 1 and the maximum amount is Rs. 15000. The fees for transferring money to a mobile account start at Rs. 15 (inclusive of the Federal Excise Duty) and goes up to Rs. 280. Even here, the minimum amount that can be sent is Rs. 1 and the maximum amount is Rs. 15000.

Recipients in Pakistan can receive money from 80 countries through sending partners of Easypaisa. These partners include Xpress Money, Al Ansari Exchange, MoneyGram, Word Remit and Placid Express.

Jun 012014

By Mohammed Waseem

Apart from the popular players like Western Union and MoneyGram in money transfer, we have Xpress Money, which operates on a global level. They operate in most countries and have agents spread across major countries. They have over 170000 agents in around 150 countries and they are working on including more locations.

Xpress Money targets expatriates living abroad, who send money back home. They promise simple, fast and safe service that is dependable and affordable as well. In addition, they promise competitive exchange rates and full refund on cancellation. They also have a fraud helpline in many countries, which serves as a point of contact in case of suspected fraud or scam.

Xpress MoneyServices offered by Xpress Money include cash to cash, cash to bank account, door to door, mobile money transfer, online money transfer and cash to card transfers. For cash to cash transfers, it is the traditional agent route, where the sender visits an agent and hands over the amount along with a fee and is provided a 16 digit X-PIN which has to be communicated with the recipient. The recipient then visits an agent and collects the cash. Cash to bank account requires the sender to hand over the cash and the fee to the agent, after which, the money is deposited into the recipient’s account.

Mobile money transfer and online money transfer are the on-the-go transfer services where the sender does not have to visit an agent. The door to door service is not offered by many money transfer operators; Xpress Money is one of the few operators supporting this service. Cash to card transfer is one of the most convenient services, where sender can send money directly to the recipient’s debit card.

They have an easy to use fee calculator on their website, which helps the sender estimate the total charges applicable to send money. Recipient pays no fee to collect the cash. For the recipient, they have the agent locator, which helps them find the closest agent to collect cash from.

Though not as popular as the leading players, their service is quite good and dependable. For a few countries, they require the sender to specify where the recipient should collect cash from, in other words, anywhere payment is not available there. This page has the list of countries where anywhere payment is available.

May 282014

By Mohammed Waseem

Being able to send money instantly something everybody likes. Most money transfer companies promise to make money available within 10 minutes. How about making money available within 60 seconds, even to the unbanked? V2Pay, a US based startup offers such a service with a promise to transfer money in 60 seconds with their product, V2Remit. They also offer other products including V2Card for prepaid cards, V2ID for electronic identity verification, V2Call for integrated data and mobile recharge, V2Agent for creating global agency networks, V2Loan for micro loan software solutions, V2Merchant for payment processing and V2ATM for card-less withdrawal solutions.

The company seems interesting with innovative products offered. V2Remit is a way for individuals to send money globally, at any time in less than 60 seconds, via smartphone, SMS, tablet, computer, or over the counter at one of the V2Pay agents. The recipient can collect the cash without any need for a bank account or a bank card. They see a huge potential among unbanked customers and report that there are over 5 billion unbanked people in the world, compared to 2 billion banked.

V2RemitV2Remit uses V2ID for transaction security and for compliance with the standards of Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC). V2Remit is also offered to businesses which can offer the service through ATMs, POS and over the counter (OTC). These businesses include other money transfer operators, banks, telecom companies and governments.

In order to send money, the sender has to register with V2Pay. A card, a bank account or an e-wallet has to be added to fund online transfer from. In order to send money, the sender has to login and select the recipient, enter the amount and payout currency, confirm deadline for the recipient to collect the money, create a 4 digit PIN code for the recipient, optionally add a personal message and confirm the transfer. A reference number is then generated and communicated to the sender for tracking the transfer.

The recipient receives an MMS to notify the receipt of money. They have to click on the virtual debit card image and see the GPS mapping of a supported ATM nearby, a POS machine or agent locations for cash collection. The sender can also choose a payout location for the recipient to collect the money from. Additionally, the sender can also opt to receive exact details of the collected money. This seems interesting and is innovative, while it makes use of technology to provide the best service. However, it may not be helpful for the technologically illiterate or the recipients who don’t own smartphones or phones that don’t support the GPS technology. They may have to depend on the MMS alone and look for the supported payout locations themselves. This can, however be solved if the sender supplies them with the exact address of the payout location.

Money can be sent to any country in 60 currencies at great exchange rates. V2Remit is available on all devices, which allows the senders to make on-the-go transfers and ensures anytime and anywhere access to the V2Pay account.

Mar 082014

By Mohammed Waseem

Malaysia is a country which has a good number of foreigners working there. It is a country which has over 10 million expatriates who support their families by sending money to them back home. Merchantrade, a Malaysian money transfer company offers services to the expat community to transfer money internationally.

Merchantrade began as a calling card and payphone service provider and later began offering other services. Today, it is the most successful mobile telecommunication and money transfer service provider in Malaysia. They also offer services like online remittance, foreign exchange and mobile remittance. They have 62 branches across Malaysia and also have online services for anytime access. They call itself a service available for anyone residing in Malaysia.

Merchantrade BranchMoney transfer is available for major countries in Asia including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka. They offer bank transfers to any bank in Indonesia, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka. In addition, they have access to over 170000 payout locations across Asia.

In order to send money, a user has to register online or visit a Merchantrade branch. For online transfers, users need to register on their website, prove their identity and then send money. They provide the exchange rates for various countries on their homepage, which makes it easier for the sender to make a choice. They have also provided details of fees for each transaction and delivery times, which makes the service more transparent. It usually takes between 1-3 days for the money to be delivered, depending on the country and transfer amount. Users can send money 8 times in a month and transaction limits apply depending on each country.

For personal transfers, senders have to visit any of the 62 Merchantrade branches or 60 agent locations across Malaysia and complete the sending procedure. Apart from these, they offer mobile money transfer through Doowit for money to be available for collection in person or as direct bank deposit. They also offer immediate money transfers through MoneyGram.

Overall, they seem to be a very good service which has huge potential. They have the potential to expand to other continents.