UPT becomes first framework processor
ISTANBUL / BRUSSELS, 26 October 2018 – The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and Turkey-based UPT Odeme Hizmetleri (UPT) today agreed to launch a new remittances framework that enables participating banks worldwide to offer remittances under fair commercial conditions.
As launching processor for WSBI's Fair Value Remittances Framework and by the agreement, UPT commits to offer their remittances platform to participating banks willing to process remittances under the framework's fair and transparent conditions. The partners will first approach Asian members of WSBI to test the framework, after which other participants will be invited to join the initiative.
WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose said: “UPT is an ideal partner because they are the world's first national global money transfer and payment national platform built to send or receive money to and from a bank account, a credit card or even by cash – either domestically or internationally – in multiple currencies."
UPT CEO and Board Member Serhan Kavi added: “Bringing a global thought leader on remittances like WSBI to the UPT remittance network will help the UPT team on the ground to deliver real-time end-to-end inexpensive remittances across the world."
Image of signing ceremony: (Left to right) UPT CEO Serhan Kavi, AktifBank Deputy Chairman & BKT Chairman Mehmet Usta, and WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose at signing ceremony today in Istanbul.
WSBI Fair Value Remittance Framework
WSBI has been actively involved in the global policy debate on setting a fair value framework for international remittances. The association's work on fair remittances practices dates back to 2003 when it crafted a “Fair Value Remittances" value proposition that promotes end-to-end transparency and accountability in migrating from cash to account-based remittances. It served as input to the 2007 BIS / World Bank International Guiding Principles.
The association developed further a “WSBI Fair Value Remittance Framework" to respond to needs from WSBI member banks and non-member financial institutions seeking to set standardized contractual terms and conditions governing their bilateral relationships. These financial institutions aim at raising overall market efficiency, notably through greater choice and service quality for customers. These banks also look to offer customers a more ethical value proposition while boosting overall economic impact. By doing this, they put in practice the World Bank/BIS General Principles for International Remittance Services and work towards reaching the relevant United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal number 10 that specifies that by 2030, the transaction costs of migrant remittances should be reduced to less than 3 per cent and that should eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent.
De Noose added: “This initiative is consistent with WSBI's overall remittances strategy, including our commitment to drive wider financial inclusion. It adds to 15 years of continued focus by WSBI's to address the urgent need for a more fair approach to remittances for banks and consumers alike."
The World Bank calculates that remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries – LMICs – in 2017 rose by 8 .5 percent to $466 billion. Remittances globally reached $613 billion, with flows rebounding in all regions in 2017. The trend is expected to continue in 2018, with remittance flows to LMICs growing an estimated 4 .1 percent year on year to $485 billion.
Setting off on its journey in 2010 under the brand Uncostly Payment Transfer in Turkey, and being a subsidiary of Aktif Bank, UPT has been proceeding on its way under the brand of Universal Payment Transfer since 2012. The UPT strategy includes plans for international expansion, which includes neighbouring Asia countries. It is hence logical and strategic for UPT to establish a collaboration with Asian Members of WSBI and after with other participants.
Kavi added: “Partnering up with WSBI is in line with UPT's vision, objectives and ambitions towards further development and expansion, a natural result of UPT being not only the biggest money transfer institution in Turkey, but also the oldest. Taking our footprint and presence into a logistic financial hub like Turkey, is indeed a milestone and a key step towards solidifying such a goal."
Notes to editors:
UPT Odeme Hizmetleri (UPT) keeps growing across the five continents, reaching 400,000 service locations in nearly 200 countries around the world. This extensive network has made UPT the most popular transfer system of Turkey at home and abroad. UPT is the new generation money transfer system for sending and receiving domestic and international money transfers in TRY, USD, EUR or GBP for cash pay-out or to any local bank account or credit card from any UPT Service Location around the world. The money sent is automatically transferred to the respective bank account or credit card. UPT is a subsidiary of Aktif Bank, the biggest investment bank in Turkey. UPT completed the Licensing process under the Law on Payment and Security Settlement Systems, Payment Services and Electronic Monetary Organizations numbered 6493, which entered into effect on 20/06/2013, successfully, and became the first entity to obtain the license across Turkey. Please find more information on www.upt.com.tr.
WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks around the world. WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. Supporting a diversified range of financial services to meet customer need, WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalisation that is just and fair. It supports International efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. WSBI members have total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries who seek retail banking services. WSBI members are committed to further unleash the promise of sustainable, responsible 21st century banking.
About Aktif Bank
Aktif Bank is Turkey's largest privately-owned investment bank, Aktif Bank pioneers a next generation banking system as it diverts from the conventional, branching-based expansion model and instead builds its processes through digital channels and according to the business partnership agreements performed with the leading organizations of the sector. Aktif Bank provides services to 7 million people, accounting for 14.3% of the entire private banking customer market in the Turkish banking sector. In addition to its main areas of activity, the Bank has made significant difference in a wide range of services and products with its subsidiaries which provide innovative solutions in a variety of areas, such as money transfer, insurance, card products and extensive kiosk solutions. Having received hundreds of global awards for its groundbreaking products and solutions, Aktif Bank is among Turkey's top international award-winning organizations for its performance in various fields with its total number of accolades to 152 such as payment systems, technology, quality, innovation, investment products, distribution channels and communication. Please find more information on www.aktifbank.com.tr.
Remittance flows by region1
The World Bank reports that Europe and Central Asia remittance flows swelled by 20 .9 percent in 2017 from the year prior while in Sub-Saharan Africa they expanded 11 .4 percent. The Middle East and North Africa both grew by 9 .3 percent in 2017 and Latin America and the Caribbean activity grew slightly less at 8 .7 percent year on year. The East Asia and the Pacific regions increased in 2017 by 5 .8 percent and in South Asia by 5 .8 percent.