Open finance platform UBX is enabling more than half a million Filipinos in Singapore to make digital cross-border remittances through its network of access points at more affordable rates.
Through a partnership with ThitsaWorks, a fintech backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, UBX will provide the necessary digital infrastructure for international remittances between Singapore and the Philippines through its banking-as-a-service venture i2i.
“This is the big step forward to enable fast, convenient, and ubiquitous cross-border remittances for the benefit of the Filipino migrant workers in Singapore,” said John Januszczak, president and CEO, UBX. “”I am confident that this partnership will also accelerate financial inclusion in the Philippines by giving clients across all regions of the archipelago, regardless of how rural or remote, access to secure and connected payments through any financial service provider including rural banks, cooperatives and other community based financial institutions.”
While many remittance options exist for overseas migrant workers in Singapore, options to reach rural areas where many workers’ families live are complicated, expensive, and slow. Filipinos who only have accounts with microfinance institutions (MFIs) and rural banks cannot receive direct payments.
With its strategic partnership with ThitsaWorks, i2i aims to connect small financial institutions to real-time payment networks to enable fast, convenient, and ubiquitous cross-border remittances. This means that overseas Filipinos in Singapore may use the service to send money to any monetary account in the Philippines, regardless of bank, financial institution, or even cash agents under the i2i network.
The commercial operations of the pilot program is set for the first quarter of 2023. There are roughly 600,000 overseas Filipinos in Singapore remitting roughly SGD2.8 billion annually.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore recently awarded ThitsaWorks the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof of Concept (POC) grant for the Inclusive Cross-Border Remittances Project.
“I believe this project will positively affect the remittance challenges that many overseas migrant workers in Singapore undergo, which we witness daily,” said Nyi Nyein Aye, CEO and co-founder of ThitsaWorks.