New money transfer kiosks help foreign workers skip queues

Local FinTech enterprise's machines allow users to also check forex rates and transactions

Pay2Home Group directors Wayne Salamonsen (left) and David Hulme with the Money Transfer Machine at Averic Woodlands Dormitory. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Local FinTech enterprisePay2Home Group is launching automated kiosks that let foreign workers carry out financial transactions such as remitting money to their home countries.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has approved these money transfer machines (MTMs) .

The first machine was installed two weeks ago at North Coast Lodge in Woodlands, and another will be launched yesterday at Averic Woodlands Dormitory, also in Woodlands.

These machines allow users to access multiple remittance services directly through the kiosks.

Services offered include money transfers, foreign exchange rate quotations, transaction payments using bank accounts and checking of transaction history.

The machines will allow workers to skip the long queues often seen at remittance agents.

"Queues at remittance agents can go up to two to three hours long, and having these kiosks will make the process faster," says Mr Khandakar Noman, 34, who lives at Averic Woodlands Dormitory and has been working in Singapore for the past 12 years.

Each machine will be available in eight languages - Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Bengali, Burmese and English.

Pay2Home Group has also prepared incentives to attract early adopters of the kiosk. They include free memberships and lower commission rates, as well as no commission fees for transactions to India and Bangladesh.

The project, which cost $5 million, was first conceived in mid-2014, with a pilot launch in January 2015.

Mr Wayne Salamonsen, 42, director of Pay2Home Group, said that the pilot helped it to identify how to make the machines more user-friendly.

"We were able to interact with customers while they used the kiosk to see what they managed to do themselves, where they had issues in the flow or process and where they needed help," he said.

Mr Ryan Lim, 43, a polytechnic lecturer who specialises in fintech, said: "It is good to see that our local enterprises are coming up with innovative solutions that provide financial solutions to the under-banked.

"Such creative solutions also prove that fintech is not only economically viable, but also has the potential to make a significant impact in people's lives," he added.

Correction note: This story has been edited to refer to Pay2Home Group as local FinTech enterprise, instead of local start-up. We are sorry for the error.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline New money transfer kiosks help foreign workers skip queues. Subscribe