WorldRemit Ramps Up its Mobile Payments Presence in Bangladesh

November 30, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

There’s no doubt that WorldRemit has well-begun the process of becoming a household name worldwide. We’ve seen this outfit make a big advance recently following a late September addition of WeChat to its partnership lineup. Now, it’s made a similar advance thanks to new partnerships that should drive expansions in Bangladesh.

The new partnerships focus on BRAC Bank and bKash, which should open up digital money transfers into a shockingly wide range of new users. BRAC Bank, for example, counts 1.5 million customers to its credit across 186 branches and 30 SME centers. Meanwhile, bKash boasts as many as 30 million users who could get in on this action.

Given that WorldRemit’s master plan is to have 10 million customers in emerging markets online by 2020, this move—which could ultimately reach a combined total of 31.5 million users assuming zero overlap between BRAC Bank customers and bKash users—could fairly readily put WorldRemit over the top ahead of schedule.

Some may not believe Bangladesh a useful target for such efforts, but the “Bangladeshi diaspora” is fairly substantial in nature. It’s not only the ninth-largest recipient of remittances—cash sent from other countries—but also one of the five countries with the largest number of emigrants currently living abroad.

WorldRemit’s chief commercial officer Tamer El-Emary noted “…Our partnership will support financial inclusion by enabling the unbanked Bangladeshi population to receive remittances straight into their mobile money accounts. Considerably expanding WorldRemit’s footprint in Bangladesh, the partnership will also connect us to over one million BRAC bank accounts and hundreds of cash pickup locations across the country.”

Not only is WorldRemit poised to tap a fairly large market in sheer numbers, it’s also tapping one that has a vested interest in easy ways to send cash back and forth between countries. That entire list of “biggest expat population” should be target one for WorldRemit, and by breaking into Bangladesh, it’s done a good chunk of the job already.

See a need, fill a need; it’s not just pithy business advice from old animated fare, but rather a good plan for any business. That seems to be what WorldRemit has done here, and when the results come in, it should prove to all watching just how good the plan was.