MasterCard Drives New P2P Solution in Bangladesh
In a quartet joining forces to bring mobile cross-border payments to 22 million Bangladeshis, MasterCard is linking up with Western Union, bKash and BRAC bank.
The companies said in a joint statement Sunday, April 17, that they are launching a new international remittance receiving service in the nation. The service will allow bKash’s customer base to use mobile phones to receive remittances that come from outside the country directly into their bKash accounts.
Separately, in an interview with PYMNTS before the launch, Barb King, who serves as SVP of MasterCard’s P2P segment, said that the new partnership between her firm and bKash, BRAC and Western Union “plays on the strengths of all the organizations included,” and that reception of the remittance program has been positive in the few weeks since it has gone live. The MasterCard piece of the puzzle, she added, and one that had been partly an impetus for the service’s launch, namely MasterCard Send, which debuted in the United States last year, “is brand agnostic” in its allowance for funds to be sent from one consumer to another. The company, King stated, has also already been in partnership with Western Union.
The pact would be a furtherance of Bangladesh’s standing as the eighth largest receiver of international remittances globally. With bKash’s installed base of 22 million Bangladeshis, built over five years since launch, family members will have a new and incremental avenue through which to send money to their loved ones within Bangladesh. The main conduits would be mobile devices, or alternatively, physical pickup of cash remittances at Western Union agent locations, spread out across 200 countries globally. Users registered with bKash can gather the remittances set from any location and send channel served by Western Union, and the remittances can be sent 24/7.