UAE-based Emirates Bank is teaming with Californian technology consultancy Infospan to launch an electronic money transfer service that will enable unbanked consumers to send and receive funds via ATMs, call centres and mobile SMS messaging.
The service is aimed at unbanked migrant workers in the UAE and will enable users to send and receive money instantly around the world.
Jamal Bin Ghalaita, general manager, consumer banking and wealth management, Emirates Bank, says the bank has received interest from employers, merchants and government agencies to use the service by creating a stored value card that can be recharged.
"We intend to extend this service to not just our customers but also other banks in the region," he adds.
Emirates Bank says there is an urgent need to provide employers with a service to pay lower income workers via a bank account instead of the current practice of paying cash. The new service will enable employers to credit salaries to workers accounts automatically.
Farooq Bajwa, chairman of Infospan, says the firm cusomised a service that was operational for transactions between US and South American countries to be deployed across the UAE.
"With the bank's strong presence in the UAE and our global payments network, we can provide customers, especially the largely un-banked blue-collar workers with an instantaneous, highly secure and very convenient platform to remit funds, and pay local and international bills," adds Bajwa.