International money transfer provider DeeMoney has announced a partnership with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to enhance money transfer services offered by the two providers from Thailand to Myanmar, according to The Nation on 7 November.
Regarding the nature of the partnership, SCB Digital Juristic Function Executive Vice President Thanawatn Kittisuwan said “The collaboration with DeeMoney enables us to introduce a new form of international money transfer service through the DeeMoney application to Myanmar workers and business operators in Thailand who hold accounts with SCB. This service is designed to offer swift, secure, and competitively priced money transfer solutions."
"At present, more than 300,000 Myanmar workers and business operators in Thailand have deposit accounts with SCB. We anticipate that this partnership will not only expand our account base but also open avenues for providing additional financial services to the Myanmar community in Thailand.”
The two companies said that they are targeting at least 150,000 active users and a transaction value exceeding THB2bn ($56m) by the end of 2024.
The collaboration is also aiming to offer superior exchange rates compared to the existing market rates, although there was no mention of how much higher these rates would be.
Both companies said they have received authorisation from the Bank of Thailand and the Central Bank of Myanmar for the collaboration.
DeeMoney noted that according to its survey conducted in February 2023, over 94% of Myanmar workers typically transferred money to their home country through informal channels such as money transfer agents or hundi, while some transport physical cash upon visiting Myanmar.
DeeMoney says customers can transfer funds to over 25 banks in its network in Myanmar, including the country’s biggest banks such as A Bank, AYA Bank, CB Bank, KBZ Bank and Yoma Bank.
The company also said there is a strategic objective to extend money transfer services to e-wallets such as Wave Money, A+ Wallet, AYA Pay, and others.
DeeMoney said that transfers to e-wallets would be available immediately while bank transfers would take one business day to process. The maximum transaction value for each transfer is capped at THB50,000 baht ($1,400).
A flat fee of THB49 ($1.40) is charged per transaction.
DeeMoney CEO Aswin Phlaphongphanich said "DeeMoney and SCB share a strong partnership that acknowledges the significance of advancing financial services for over 2 million Myanmar citizens residing and working in Thailand.”
“These individuals annually [send back] $1.33bn or approximately THB48bn. Our aim is to empower them to transfer money securely through the DeeMoney application, eliminating the reliance on brokers as seen in the past.”
"This collaboration between DeeMoney, SCB, and partner banks in Myanmar marks a significant step towards developing the crucial cross-border remittance ecosystem between Thailand and Myanmar for the future."
SCB's Thanawatn Kittisuwan added “The trajectory of international money transfers in the banking industry during the first nine months of 2023 signals a more favorable direction, indicative of economic recovery and enhanced foreign trade.”
The partnership announcement follows similar agreements made as banks and fund transfer providers seek to tap into the remittance market for overseas Myanmar workers.
United Amara Bank (UAB) and Krungthai Bank announced on 28 August a remittance service for sending money from Thailand to Myanmar. As a result of the partnership, the process has been simplified for sending funds through Krungthai’s APG Web Application, ATMs, or bank counters, with the money instantly available to be accessed at UAB branches.
Thai lender Kasikornbank's digital wallet K PLUS and KBZPay announced on 22 August a partnership to start a smartphone-based remittance service for sending money from Thailand to Myanmar. Through the service, an international remittance initiated from Kasikornbank's app is transferred to a KBZPay account in kyat. Previously, customers would have to visit a bank branch to process a remittance.
CB Bank announced on 4 October a partnership with Merchantrade for remittances from Malaysia. The partnership means that funds can be remitted from Merchantrade Remit in Malaysia to CB Bank branches, which can be withdrawn or transferred in kyat.