Malaysian mobile wallet company Mobile Money announced on Jan 14 that it had inked a partnership with Ripple, an enterprise blockchain solution. Through RippleNet, the latter’s global payment network, it will connect with Bangladesh-based mobile financial services provider bKash to facilitate wallet-to-wallet remittance between the two countries. 

“More than ever, the [Covid-19] pandemic has demonstrated that there is a strong need for remittance solutions that enable people to transfer money anytime and anywhere. Our partnership with Ripple makes us one of the first few ewallet companies to offer such digital remittance solutions to Bangladeshi workers, ” says Mobile Money founder Lee Eng Sia. Mobile Money expects a 20% increase in its user base of Bangladeshi workers following the deal. 

Under this new deal, bKash and MobileMoney will be granted access to a wide range of RippleNet’s features - including wallet-to-wallet transactions. Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) has been named the local banking partner in Bangladesh to perform remittance settlement processes under the purview of Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank. 

Bangladesh is a big market for remittances - it has the third largest flows of remittances in South Asia and the 11th largest worldwide. Malaysia is one of the top five sources of remittances for the South Asian country. According to Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director & CEO of MTB, Bangladesh remittances hit an all-time high of US$18.2 billion ($24.1 billion) in 2020. bKash is Bangladesh’s largest provider of mobile financial services (MFS), serving over 45 million users.

Says bKash CEO Kamal Qadir, “bKash is happy to have partnered with Ripple in collaboration with MTB of Bangladesh to deliver a cost effective, fast, transparent and reliable remittance sending experience to more than 10 million non-resident Bangladeshis all over the world. This partnership will...contribute further to our national economy by encouraging inward foreign remittance flow through legal channels.”

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“As Ripple is bolstering our presence in South Asia, we are excited to contribute to the infrastructure of the region to transform the way cross-border payments are executed,” says Navin Gupta, Managing Director of South Asia and MENA.