TrueMoney goes in­ter­na­tional

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS - SUCHIT LEESA-NGUANSUK

Lo­cal mo­bile pay­ment com­pa­nies are gear­ing up to ex­tend their pay­ment ser­vices over­seas af­ter the Bank of Thai­land eased for­eign ex­change rules.

The cen­tral bank in March eased the reg­u­la­tions to al­low com­pa­nies that hold pay­ment li­cences un­der the law reg­u­lat­ing e-pay­ment to act as in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer agents to pro­vide ser­vices through elec­tronic chan­nels such as web­sites and mo­bile phone apps.

The bank has capped over­seas money trans­fers at 200,000 baht per day per per­son.

TrueMoney, the e-money arm of As­cend Group, a sub­sidiary of True Cor­po­ra­tion, is mov­ing to ex­pand into in­ter­na­tional mo­bile pay­ment ser­vices through money trans­fers, tar­get­ing Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers.

“We see strong po­ten­tial for the in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer ser­vice in Thai­land, as the coun­try was home to 3.9 mil­lion mi­grant work­ers in 2015,” said Saran­rat Srichi­raratana, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of TrueMoney.

Mi­grants from the neigh­bour­ing coun­try work­ing in Thai­land trans­fer money home to the tune of 77 bil­lion baht an­nu­ally, with an av­er­age of 30,000 baht worth of trans­ac­tions per per­son per year.

Half of the ex­ist­ing 2 mil­lion Myan­mar work­ers have not legally reg­is­tered to work in Thai­land or have no le­gal sta­tus.

These il­le­gal work­ers nor­mally use in­for­mal meth­ods to trans­fer money home, a risky and ex­pen­sive or­deal.

Ms Saran­rat said TrueMoney aims to at­tract those un­banked mi­grant work­ers in Thai­land to help them send re­mit­tances to their fam­i­lies and pay lower fees than the ex­ist­ing in­for­mal means.

Aroon Sud­weha, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of TrueMoney, said the com­pany had teamed up with the Asia Green Devel­op­ment Bank in Myan­mar to de­vel­oped the in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer ser­vice.

The com­pany will limit over­seas money trans­fers to 200,000 baht per day per per­son, not ex­ceed­ing 30,000 baht per trans­ac­tion, she said.

TrueMoney charges cus­tomers 50 baht for a trans­ac­tion of 100-5,000 baht. The fee will dou­ble to 100 baht for trans­ac­tions worth 5,000-10,000 baht, ris­ing to 300 baht for trans­ac­tions over 30,000 baht.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Bank, the av­er­age global cost of send­ing re­mit­tances stood at 7.3% of the amount sent.

Ms Aroon said the com­pany aims to have 2.4 mil­lion trans­ac­tions from the new in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer ser­vice within one year of op­er­a­tion, gen­er­at­ing rev­enue of 240 mil­lion baht.

TrueMoney is plan­ning to ex­pand into Cam­bo­dia and other coun­tries in South­east Asia where the mar­kets are open to in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer ser­vices.

She said com­pe­ti­tion in the lo­cal e-pay­ment and mo­bile wal­let mar­ket is ex­pected to be in­tense over the next few years.

TrueMoney aims to have 5 mil­lion users by 2017, up from 4 mil­lion cur­rently.

Mo­bile leader Ad­vanced Info Ser­vice and To­tal Ac­cess Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also look­ing to jump into the in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer mar­ket soon.

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