MoneyGram Expands Mobile Wallet Network in Asia through Integration with bKash in Bangladesh
MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI), the global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, today announced the expansion of its mobile wallet network through the integration with bKash, Bangladesh’s leading mobile financial service (MFS) provider. This is the latest integration as part of MoneyGram’s ongoing partnership with Thunes, a B2B company that powers payments for the world’s fastest-growing businesses. With this launch, over 55 million bKash wallet users in Bangladesh will now be able to receive funds instantly from around the world.
“The digitization of our receive network is a core component of our growth strategy, and this latest integration can help improve the financial lives of millions of bKash wallet users in a large and growing market,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “As we recently announced, total transactions received digitally through the MoneyGram platform reached a new all-time high in the third quarter of this year, with 63% year-over-year growth, and this partnership will further support this strong growth. As consumer preferences shift toward receiving transfers digitally, MoneyGram is committed to offering innovative financial solutions and is well-positioned to meet these demands.”
Across many areas of the world, especially in parts of Asia, remittances remain a vital role in consumer lives, while demand for digital options and mobile wallets continues to surge. According to the World Bank, an estimated 22 Billion USD flowed into Bangladesh in the form of remittances in 2020, accounting for almost 7% of the country’s GDP in the year. This latest integration with bKash will increase access to direct remittance services and help accelerate financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
“We believe that access to fast and affordable global payments is one of the basic human rights, and that technology can help us achieve it,” said Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Thunes. “We are glad to partner with MoneyGram and bKash to get us one step closer to that vision and enable seamless digital payments to the vibrant Bangladeshi community”
bKash is a leading and high-growth player in the digital landscape of Bangladesh. Along with receiving remittances in real-time, bKash wallets can be used to pay for a variety of products and services including mobile recharge, utility bill payments, and payments of various food delivery and ridesharing services. A study released earlier this year by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) even found that household incomes for bKash users had risen over 15%, partly due to the ease and speed of transferring emergency funds to Bangladesh during recent cyclones and flooding. During the pandemic, bKash has helped Bangladesh boost its inbound remittance and promoted cashless transactions further by offering 1% cash bonus on top of 2% government incentive and wide range of payments solutions.
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