Starting July 27, users of SingTel‘s mobile remittance service (mRemit) can use their phones to transfer funds into bank accounts located in Indonesia and the Philippines.

An official document stated that funds can be remitted to more than 80 Indonesian banks, including Bank Danamon, Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Mandiri, and more than 50 banks in the Philippines, including BDO, RCBC and Metrobank. Additionally, recipients will have access to the funds transferred within three minutes of a successful transaction.

Launched in 2012, mRemit has garnered more than 25,000 users to date. The service had previously helped many subscribers in Singapore transfer money to mobile wallets in the Philippines, in collaboration with SingTel’s associate company Globe Telecom’s mobile commerce service GCASH.

Customers who use mRemit will first have to top up their mCash accounts at AXS stations or locations like 7-Eleven, Cheers, Fairprice Xpress and SingTel retail stores.

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According to Johan Buse, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, SingTel, who cited the Indonesian embassy, there are 180,000 Indonesians in Singapore.

He added that such a service is “particularly useful for workers who have very few days off or work irregular hours”. The convenience factor of not having to queue at traditional remittance outlets is definitely a huge incentive for many foreign workers in the island nation.

As a launch promotion, fees for mobile remittance transactions to Indonesia, which can start from S$2.40 (US$1.92), will be waived until August 31, 2014.

The remittance industry is a huge one for many emerging markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2013, The Jakarta Post published an article citing World Bank figures: the Philippines is the largest recipient of remittances in Southeast Asia, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. It is definitely time for mRemit in Singapore, which is home to 21 per cent of all ASEAN migrants, to include fund transfer to bank accounts in other countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, amongst others, in its offerings.

Featured Image Credit: TK Kurikawa /