Despite a sluggish remittance inflow through regular channels amid Covid-19 outbreak, the amount of remittance sent by expatriate Bangladeshis through online or wallet based money transfer services has increased. In April, the expatriates sent remittance worth more than 1 billion taka to their loved ones through bKash via banking channel. However, the amount in March was 270 million taka only.
In this worldwide 'lockdown' situation enforced for preventing Covid-19, expatriate Bangladeshis are staying at home and relying on online or wallet based money transfer services to send remittances to their loved ones bKash wallet back home via selected banking channels.
Expatriates are preferring online-to-wallet money transfer or services like bKash to send small amount of remittances to their family. The number of remittances sent through bKash in April was over 92,000. On an average, the amount of remittance sent by each expatriate was around 11,500 taka.
At present, bKash is offering international remittance services from 93 countries via partnership with six different local commercial banks under the strict guidance of the Central Bank. Relatives of the expatriates in Bangladesh do not need to go to any bank. Instead, they can get the remittance from home and enjoy cash out, send money, pay bill, make payment, mobile recharge and other bKash services maintaining social distance.
Most of the remittances in bKash come from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Middle East, Europe and UK. As a result of strategic partnerships with wallet based service companies like Valyou, Hanpass or Gmoney, the residents of those countries, even in this time of Covid-19, are being able to send money to their relatives’ bKash accounts within a few minutes from their mobile wallets.
Even in this crisis period, bKash is well positioned to partner with world's top 34 money transfer companies including WorldRemit, TransferWise, Ria, Gulf Exchange, BFC (Bahrain Financing Company), BRAC Saajan, CBL Money transfer, Agrani Exchange and NBL Exchange. As a result, the easy gateway of sending money to the relatives from these countries is open. At this particular time, remittance inflow through bKash from the UK, Australia, Canada, the US and the entire Europe has increased a lot via International money transfer organizations like WorldRemit and TransferWise.
Meanwhile, the government's 2% incentive on remittance is encouraging the expatriates to send remittances via mobile banking channels in this difficult situation.
However, international remittance service through bKash via banking channel was launched in December 2017.