Remittance To Cheer Up Syawal Celebrations

07/04/2024 11:48 AM

By Nabilah Saleh

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 (Bernama) -- As Syawal approaches, there is a significant increase in remittance transactions from Malaysia to predominantly Muslim-populated countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, highlighting the desire to connect with loved ones before the celebrations begin.

Malaysia’s largest Money Services Business (MSB) operator, Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd recorded more than half a billion ringgit in remittance transaction volume during the month of Ramadan last year and the trend is expected to continue this year as well.

According to Research and Market, the international inbound remittance market in Malaysia increased by 2.9 per cent in 2022 to reach US$1.63 billion (US$1=RM4.74) in 2023.

The international outbound remittance market in Malaysia increased by 2.1 per cent during 2022 to reach US$8.94 billion in 2023.

Over the forecast period (2023-2028), market size is expected to record a CAGR of 1.7 per cent, increasing from US$8.76 billion in 2022 to reach US$9.72 billion by 2028, it said.

The global remittance market was valued at US$738.62 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to project robust growth in the forecast period with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.78 per cent through 2029, reaching US$1031.45 billion, said the report.


Robust infrastructure

Managing Director of Merchantrade Asia, Ramasamy K. Veeran told Bernama that Merchantrade has invested and built a robust infrastructure to ensure seamless transactions.

With 95 branches and over 480+ agent locations nationwide, Merchantrade's physical touchpoints are well-equipped to support its growing customer base.

“In preparation, Merchantrade branches remain open on the weekends, with additional resources deployed to key branches to handle the influx of walk-in customers on weekends.

“It is an important period for our Muslim customers throughout the nation, and we are glad to be able to support them," he said noting this heightened demand can be seen in Merchantrade branches located in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Penang and even as far as Inanam, Sabah.

While those branches are strategically located in highly migrant-populated areas, Merchantrade also operates branches in rural areas to provide easy access to remittance services where formal remittance service providers are scarce.

Operating a hybrid model, the company has invested ahead of time in building secure online platforms as well as educating customers on how to use them.

Their award-winning digital platforms for easy, secure and fast remittance transfers include Merchantrade Money (a card-based e-wallet and Visa Prepaid Card), Valyou (a network-based e-wallet) and eRemit Malaysia (a fully digital money transfer service).

“This accessibility is particularly crucial for customers across various industries, including construction, plantation, and manufacturing, many of whom live and work in remote or rural areas across Malaysia.

“Often, they are compelled to travel long distances and even take a day off from work to visit the nearest formal remittance service provider.

“With Merchantrade's digital remittance platforms, these individuals can now conveniently send money back home to their loved ones without having to leave their homes,“ said Ramasamy.

He added that in 2023, digital remittances through their channels saw a significant increase of nearly 20 per cent month-on-month, especially in March leading up to Syawal, with Bangladesh and Indonesia being the top corridors.


Social impact of remittance

As Malaysia has become home to over two million documented foreign workers from neighbouring countries, with Indonesia and Bangladesh boasting the largest migrant populations in the country, there is an imperative need to help them support families back home.

As primary income providers, the remittances sent home cover necessities such as food, household maintenance, clothing, healthcare, education, and loan repayments.

Ramasamy emphasised the need to help its customers connect with their families, especially during festive seasons.

“We are proud to be the trusted brand for our customers to send money back home during this busy period. It is our responsibility to ensure it reaches their families on time,” said Ramasamy

Merchantrade's role extends beyond facilitating large volumes of remittance transactions; they also serve as a vital "last-mile delivery system", connecting and supporting families across geographical distances.

Ramasamy highlighted that through an extensive global partner network, the company has established direct partnerships with key entities, comprising over 70 payout partners, with more than 40 of them being established banks.

Merchantrade continually forms like-minded partnerships with those who understand the importance of every dollar sent, he further noted.

With a mission to enrich the lives of its customers, Merchantrade's remittance services have become an essential lifeline, especially during the festive season of Syawal.

By providing convenient access and secure transactions, Merchantrade ensures that the spirit of togetherness and generosity transcends geographical boundaries, allowing families to celebrate Syawal with warmth and joy.





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