No bank account, no problem for remittances to Indonesia

Singtel and Indonesian carrier Telkomsel are making it more convenient for Indonesians to receive remittances from Singapore.

Money transferred via the Singtel Dash mobile payment app from Singapore to Indonesia can now be retrieved from 4,500 post offices operated by PT Pos Indonesia.

This will benefit individuals in Indonesia who do not have bank accounts. A 2014 World Bank report showed that only 36 per cent of adults in the country have a bank account.

The service, also managed by Weselpos Instan, PT Pos Indonesia's remittance business, was launched yesterday at a festival to celebrate 50 years of bilateral ties between Singapore and Indonesia.

Since May last year, the Dash app could be used to transfer money to Indonesia, but it could only be sent to a bank account. A flat fee of $9 is levied with a limit of $999 for each transaction.

As a promotion, Singtel said it will waive the remittance fee until the end of the month, for customers who send money from Dash for cash-out at the post office.

Dash, which can also transfer money to China, India and the Philippines, allows users to do away with queuing at remittance agencies. It can be topped up with a bank account or a Singtel bill, as well as at AXS machines and 7-Eleven outlets.

Singtel and Telkomsel are also working on a remittance service between mobile wallets, from Singtel Dash to Telkomsel's TCash. It is targeted to be ready in the third quarter.

There are about 200,000 Indonesians living and working in Singapore, with total remittances amounting to over US$409 million (S$572 million) annually.

Domestic worker Iin Surati, 36, said: "On Sunday, it takes an hour to queue at the remittance agent in Tampines. I'll try Dash, but I will still transfer to a bank account, as it is safer than having my mother collect the cash at the post office, which is far from her house in Solo."

Adrian Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'No bank account, no problem for remittances to Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe