Bank Simpanan Nasional Malaysia hosts one-day meeting
KUALA LAMPUR, Malaysia, 13 March 2019 – Six financial institutions from WSBI membership and two like-minded banks in Asia met today in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia to explore ways to implement the WSBI remittances platform.
Hosted by Bank Simpanan Nasional Malaysia, the one-day First Remittances Working Meeting aims to present the WSBI Fair Value Remittance Framework and its technical details. It provides an occasion for WSBI, the remittances service provider and interested banks to discuss business conditions and to deliberate on the implementation plan. The WSBI remittances platform is a non-exclusive and white label platform that aims at delivering fair pricing to end-users for remittances.
This remittances gateway provides participating banks with the opportunity to gain control over the remittance products and to offer fair pricing, to move from simple disbursement point to provider of financial services and to become part of the world-wide movement towards financial inclusion.
The Turkey-based payment service company – UPT Odeme Hizmetleri (UPT) – has been selected as the first remittances processor joining the platform. The WSBI platform will enable WSBI member banks to shift from the traditional S.W.I.F.T. system to alternative systems that will increase the interconnectivity with other money transfer players.
With the evolution of digitisation, the working meeting was also a chance to discuss how the remittances can be transacted in a full digital manner and how to connect mobile wallets / mobile banking of participating banks.
The working meeting follows earlier discussions that WSBI held in 2017 and early 2018 to set up an extensive end-to-end remittance platform to enable cross border remittances services among banks in various countries. WSBI launched last October the 'Fair Value Remittances Framework' when UPT was selected as the first remittances processor. WSBI sees that participating banks would gain competitive advantage in remittances services by plugging into the extensive networks run by WSBI members and the more than 10,000 outlets that UPT has developed so far. The opportunity of distributing remittances in a digital way will also be addressed.
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 outgrowth of that work is the WSBI Fair Value Remittance Framework, which responds to the 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 remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent should be eliminated.
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.
UPT understands well this trend. 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.
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.
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 per cent 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.