DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and Citibank Berhad have activated DiGiREMIT to facilitate the transfer of money from Malaysia to Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines via SMS.
DiGiREMIT is designed to simplify the transfer of money using the mobile phone from anywhere and at anytime to the widest distribution networks in the three recipient countries. More recipient countries will be included later.
DiGi provides the service, as a remittance agent of Citibank Berhad, to individual DiGi Prepaid and DiGi Postpaid customers who can register at any of the 47 DiGi Centers and DiGi Service counters nationwide.
The service offers multiple payment delivery options including direct credit to accounts with local banks in the beneficiary's country and cash pick-up at designated agents. The distribution network is managed by Citi's Global Transaction Services.
Albern Murty, DiGi's Head of Product Management, said: "DiGi is ready to lead the change for people to use the mobile phone as a financial tool with value propositions that are hard to ignore."
Albern said: "We want to make it truly easier and more convenient for our customers. They are not required to have a bank account in Malaysia to register for DiGiREMIT. Their beneficiaries do not have to maintain accounts with specific banks or mobile service providers to complete the money transfer."
Noel Saminathan, Director of Citi's Global Transaction Services, said: "Money transfers via mobile phone are no longer limited to domestic micropayments or mobile-to-mobile transfers. DiGiREMIT is unique in the simple SMS-based access to a multi-currency and multi-channel distribution network from a single mobile interface."
Noel added: "The easy accessibility to the service will offer under-banked segments of our community, particularly migrant workers, the opportunity to improve their financial security for the benefit of their appointed beneficiaries and the economy of their home countries."
Migrant worker remittance is often a large source of national income for recipient countries. According to Citibank research as at December 2006, Malaysia is a major source of migrant income in ASEAN with an estimated total migrant remittance of more than RM5 billion yearly.
Albern said: "DiGi's strategic alliance with the Citi guarantees security of remittance. Our customers will have a peace of mind knowing that their money is 100% safe."
As a value add, DiGi will update both sender and receiver via SMS on each transaction.
DiGi is waiving the remittance fee for every transaction carried out from now until October 31, 2007 to encourage customers to try out this new way of remittance during the Hari Raya season. The fee starts from RM8 for all the three countries depending on the mode of delivery in the receiving end. More incentives are being planned.
DiGiREMIT customers will automatically receive free personal accident coverage of 10 times the aggregate made in a month, up to a limit of RM10,000, for the next calendar month.
The country's fastest growing mobile operator has started a series of road shows in venues popular among the migrant community to create awareness and educate them about the convenience of DiGi REMIT.
DiGiREMIT requires a one-time registration at any designated DiGi outlets.
The registration creates a virtual wallet for the customer to load up to RM5,000 at any one time. He can then remit via SMS anytime, anywhere at their convenience or over the counter at designated DiGi outlets subject to a limit of RM5,000 per transaction.