Feb 112014

By Mohammed Waseem

With the rise in money transfers across the world, many new companies have come up and are providing excellent service which is sometimes way better than the market leaders in the business. What makes them leaders is the volume of business, their strong networks and reach and the trust customers place in them. If the startup companies succeed in winning the customers’ hearts and win them, this could affect the market share of the leaders.

One such money transfer company is International Money Express, which is headquartered in Nepal and has operations in many other Asian countries and a few countries in Europe, America and Australia, which numbers to over 25 countries of operation with over 75,000 agent locations. The company has over a million customers worldwide. They also have strategic alliance with exchange companies and commercial banks in Malaysia, the Middle East, Australia, UK and USA.

IME agentIME has been serving customers for over 13 years now. The company recently won the CIP award 2014 for bringing in the largest volume of inward remittances through banking cannels among all remittance companies operating in Nepal. Their tagline suggests that they are a fast, reliable and secure way of sending money. Their vision is to become leading remittance service provider in the world backed by innovation, team spirit and passion for service excellence.  Their IT infrastructure is entirely hosted in Malaysia due to its superior technological capabilities.

IME charges the lowest fees for international transfers and in most cases money is instantly available for collection. They use their competitive advantage of low cost, safe and prompt transfers and the ability to transfer small amounts at low costs to compare themselves with other money transfer services. They have launched an innovative product in Nepal, which enables payment of education fees at any of the IME agent locations, which number over 2600 across the country.

In order to send money with cash, customers should visit any of IME branches or agent locations and hand over the transfer form, transfer amount and the fee there, after which they would be provided with the IME Control Number (ICN) which has to be communicated to the recipient, who can visit any of the agents to collect the money, almost immediately. Money can also be deposited into bank accounts in the same process with the difference that the recipient does not have to visit an agent; they would be notified by SMS that the amount has been deposited. They also offer a door to door service which works in a way similar to the above, except that the amount sent would be delivered at the recipient’s residence once the address has been verified by the agent.

Other than cash transfer, IME also has online payment service which can be accesses from IME website after signing up for an account; payment can be made with a credit card and the amount is immediately available at the recipient’s end.

IME does have the potential to grow and expand further, but it will take time until they become direct competitors of leaders in the money transfer industry.

Jan 292014

By Mohammed Waseem

Asia has many local money transfer services which work on a small level, mostly for transfers to limited destinations. Most of them are unable to match the efficiency and convenience provided by the world leaders in the industry. This makes them remain small scale and some of them partner with the leaders.

I spoke about Hafiz Bros in my previous article, in this article I will discuss about a Nepalese money transfer service called Prabhu Money Transfer. They are quite well known among Nepalese people residing in Nepal and elsewhere. They specialize in sending money to Nepal and have operations in a few other countries, too. They have partnerships with banks, exchange houses and agents in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and a few other countries and they are working hard to grow this reach. They reach thousands of locations in these countries and also in a few European countries. They aim to be the most preferred money transfer service in Asia.

Prabhu Money TransferThe ways to compete in the money transfer market include speedy transfers, low fees, good exchange rates, good customer service and good overall customer experience. Prabhu Money Transfer has two types of services; they have instant transfer in one minute and they have direct bank account transfer at various locations which generally takes 3-4 days.

Prabhu Money Transfer also supports online money transfer from the USA to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam; and for this, payments are accepted only by check or e-check at present. They charge a fee which is almost half of what Western Union charges. They charge no fee for transfers over $1000 from the US, except for Pakistan, where this limit is $100. Additionally, when I compared their exchange rate with that of Western Union, they had a better rate.

In addition to these, they have a transaction tracker, a fee calculator, agent locator, etc. which help in enhancing customer experience, though improvements are possible and required in this. With all these efforts, they are working on expanding their network in their goal to be the best in Asia.