Convenience the key driver of remittances
More than 250M migrants being served by money transfer industry
Convenience, often misunderstood as ease, has played a vital role in human evolution. While convenience does imply ease, its impact on the world we live in, and the world we are creating, needs to be looked at from a multi-dimensional perspective. Almost every invention, discovery and innovation is rooted in humankind's innate desire for making things more convenient. In recent years, with rapid technological advances, convenience has become the heart of businesses across the service sector.
The financial services sector, especially, has seen a paradigm shift in the way business is done. With fintech launching a tide of convenient financial services available to people on their smartphones, financial services look different every day. Consumers have taken the driver's seat and their voracious appetite for more convenience is opening a world of innovation and opportunities to financial institutions of all types and sizes.
When it comes to innovation for convenience in the financial services sector, the remittances and payments industry has led the way in many ways. For centuries, travellers and migrants have used various ways to send money from one country to another. Back in the day, people came up with innovative ways of their own to send and receive money.
Today, money transfer companies have established themselves and are constantly working to make global money transfers more convenient and accessible to millions of migrants around the world. But how does a money transfer company define convenience? Is it just the ease of sending and receiving money? Or is it much more? Let's look at different aspects that define convenience in the remittance industry.
Convenience is. the obvious
The most obvious aspects of convenience, when it comes to transferring money, are the ease of sending and receiving money. Every remittance transaction involves two customers - the sender and the receiver. The remittance service provider needs to consider both when considering convenience. Providing the sender with convenient touch points to initiate a transaction, and an integrated network of partners and services on the receive side for easy payment of remittances.
While the classic approach for any remittance company is to ensure that a sender has access to multiple touchpoints or branches to initiate money transfers conveniently, a company should believe in adopting innovative solutions that brings the service to the customers as well.
Convenience is inclusive
For an industry that serves over 250 million migrants, convenience cannot be exclusive to certain countries or groups of people. Many migrants belong to countries with poor financial infrastructure and systems, and reaching these underserved people is bringing true convenience in the industry. Brands have to develop new ways to reach them.
Convenience is peace of mind
Convenience shouldn't be looked simply from the perspective of ease. Peace of mind plays an important role in any financial transaction. After all, customers are willing to trust you with their hard-earned money. Remittance companies have a prime responsibility to make sure that the money is safe and secure at every stage of the transaction. Offering customers the best exchange rates and charging affordable transfer fees plays a major role in customer satisfaction.
The global average of sending money today is around 7.09 per cent of the amount sent, which is still quite high. The sector must constantly find new ways and adopt new technologies to make money transfers more affordable. Other aspects like transaction tracking, free cancellations and refund, and confirmation that the money has been received also play a key part in making sure that the customer feels content while sending money.
Convenience in the remittance sector, like other industries, plays a vital role at every level of strategy and execution. While there are countless innovations in this space, it is out-of-the-box thinking that helps a remittance company utilise them correctly. In the money transfer space, collaborations play a key role in bringing more convenience to the people. Innovative partnerships with like-minded institutions around the world have made the brand one of the most convenient money transfer firms in the world. The coming years are going to be really exciting for the industry with new technologies like blockchain being tested and implemented across financial services, including remittances. The future is going to be faster and more transparent, and at the heart of innovation, will be convenience.
The writer is vice-president for global marketing and communications at Xpress Money. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.
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