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Remittance industry a thriving business in Kuwait Al Mulla Exchange begins server-to-server utility

KUWAIT CITY, July 22: The remittance industry in Kuwait is a thriving business, with thousands of transactions made daily to a myriad of countries across the world. In the past, remittance would be a very arduous task; as the process was mainly paper, there was a greater risk of losing the money sent, and not knowing for weeks at a time if it was received would be a nail biting experience. Fortunately, the remittance services in Kuwait provide a far more advanced resource to those in need of sending funds abroad. With so many different providers and a minimal distinction between the cost of sending money abroad, the price matters less than the services and peace of mind that comes with choosing the right, most trustworthy service.
Al Mulla Exchange, a pioneer in electronic fund transfers in the Kuwait Market, now have a server-to-server utility that enhances the remittance process to eliminate all fear from the past; any funds transferred are made available virtually instantly, irrespective of the country it is being sent to, with confirmation via SMS in seconds.  Divisional general manager of Al Mulla Exchange, Rajesh Gairola commented on the upgrades system: “now with this technology you have services which can match others in terms of services and better in terms of prices, so in that sense it is definitely a value addition.
The risk is gone now because there is no paper to get lost; it is there [electronically].
We were the first to provide SMS feedback similar to what you’d be getting from your banks, as and when credit comes to your account. Keeping in view that a lot of the expat community here are blue collared workers, their monthly income might be less than KD 100 a month so for them to each time call the beneficiary over the phone and find out whether they received the funds or not is not only cumbersome but also expensive. So, keeping that in view I thought that [SMS] is the first value added services that we should extend to our customers now everybody followed suit.”
The service itself is safe from hacking and other digital malware, with standard security measures in place to ensure smooth and immediate transactions. “Exchange industry is one where risk of money laundering is very high from a global perspective. In recent times we’ve made a lot of investments in this. We are investing another quarter million this year to further upgrade this software. We’ve done this the last two years and we found that it can help to detect a lot of things which perhaps, earlier because of the number of transactions and remittance, were getting missed out.” said Gairola. Currently, there are three banks in India that has a server-to-server link with Al Mulla Exchange, with a fourth to go live by the end of the month. There are also two banks in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, one in Egypt and the Philippines, and another soon to open in Bangladesh, as these are the major corridors for remittance for Kuwait.
One of the more unique services provide by Al Mulla Exchange that differentiates them from other competitors is the free insurance for anyone who utilizes the service. The majority of people who utilize remittance industry are laborers, who need insurance more so because they are the often the sole breadwinner for entire families, both within the country and abroad. Very few insurance companies can offer these laborers a competitive price for insurance as the risk of injury, or worse, is substantially great. Al Mulla Exchange offers the service free of charge. “A guy passed away and his family wasn’t even aware so we tried to get information from friends... and through the embassy to give us names so that we could cross check and provide the benefit to him. This is automatic. Even if he sends KD 5 or KD 200, we provide it free to all our customers.” said Gairola.
In a bid to bring to the table a more streamlined approach to remittance within the industry, Al Mulla Exchange also has 155 Automated Transaction Machines (ATMs) situated in branches all over Kuwait. These machines cut out the middle man, allowing customers to perform transactions having to interact with a clerk. The machine accepts cash and cards, can refund and print receipts for customers. “We’ve introduced ATMs in our locations because what happens is people prefer whatever transaction they are doing, for personal or financial reasons, to be private and not have someone else know about it, so we would provide this ATM as a kind of outlet.” commented Gairola. Al Mulla Exchange expects the number of machines to increase to 200 within the next 3-4 months in all their existing branches.

By Dina Naser

Arab Times Staff

By: Dina Naser

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