SINGAPORE: Indonesians working in Singapore will now be able to remit money to family members who currently do not have bank accounts, with the launch of a new service by Singtel.
The service allows customers in Singapore to send money to about 4,500 cash-out points across Indonesia via the Singtel Dash app. The cash-out points are post office branches operated by PT Pos Indonesia.
The service was launched at the Indonesian Embassy on Sunday (Mar 26) on the sidelines of Festival Rising50, a concert to celebrate 50 years of bilateral ties between the two countries.
The embassy said around 200,000 Indonesians live and work in Singapore each year, with their remittance from Singapore to their home country totaling about S$570 million annually. Many work as foreign domestic workers (FDW) in Singapore households.
The embassy said current options to remit money are limited. Many workers are forced to visit remittance outlets on their days off to send money home.
Besides this option, Singtel Dash also offers a service that allows customers to remit money to a bank account in Indonesia.
To make use of the cash-out option, customers sending money to Indonesia for the first time will first need to register physically at SingCash outlets at Lucky Plaza and City Plaza. They will also need to provide details such as the name, date of birth and mobile number of the person they will remit the money to.
After registering, customers can either top up their Dash account on the app if they have a Singapore bank account or at 7-Eleven and AXS points if they are topping-up with cash.
On the app, customers will then need to select their beneficiary and enter the remittance amount for the transaction to go through. They can remit up to S$999 each time.
"FAST AND CONVENIENT"
Singtel, which is partnering Indonesian telco Telkomsel, said the service is more reassuring than waiting for a traditional remittance transaction to go through.
Singtel Consumer Singapore’s Chief Executive Officer Yuen Kuan Moon said: “Dash remittance is fast and convenient. When they send the money, the first thing is that the recipient will immediately get notified ... So the immediacy is one way to ensure that the money is safe.”
Mr Yuen said that as part of the launch, Singtel Dash is waiving the S$9-per-transaction remittance fee until the end of March. This will allow Indonesian workers here to try out the service for free and assess whether it is indeed a fast and convenient option.
He said Singtel Dash will extend the service “later this year” by allowing its customers to remit money directly into Telkomsel’s mobile wallet, TCash.
Workers Channel NewsAsia spoke with after the launch said they were signing up to remit money via the app as it was efficient and easy to use. Lasmini, who has been working in Singapore for almost 12 years, said she sends money home as often as twice a month.
Previously, she would have had to wait between 20 and 30 minutes at a remittance outlet to complete the transaction. “Now it is easy. I walk into 7-Eleven to top-up and can (then) send money (over),” she said.
MOST INDONESIANS HAVE NO BANK ACCOUNT
Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, Ngurah Swajaya said the service fits in with the Indonesian government's programme to promote financial inclusion. He said it is estimated that some 65 per cent of Indonesians do not have a bank account.
Mr Ngurah added that while many of these Indonesians come from remote areas, there are also many city-dwelling locals who have no need for bank accounts, as most of their transactions are made in cash.
The Indonesian government has set a target to ensure that about 75 per cent of its population will have access to bank accounts or a digital equivalent by 2019.