Digital Wallet Group Enters Singapore to Expand Mobile Remittance Technology with Acquisition of RediMoney Express

  • FinTech StartUps
  • 31.08.2021 09:50 am

 International IT and fintech company Digital Wallet Group (DWG) has expanded into Singapore by acquiring licensed remittance and foreign exchange company RediMoney Express Pte Ltd (REPL). REPL is a subsidiary of Asia United Bank (AUB), a Philippine-based and publicly listed universal commercial bank. DWG's subsidiary, Digital Wallet Corporation (DWC), is the creator of Japan's first and most popular mobile remittance application, Smiles Mobile Remittance (Smiles). This acquisition will allow DWG to expand Smiles in the Asia Pacific, serve more customers and boost its market presence in the region. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has approved DWG's acquisition.

AUB was appointed as DWG's bank distribution partner in the Philippines in 2019, and the acquisition of REPL further cements their vital alliance. With this acquisition, DWG will bring its expertise in artificial intelligence and fintech to complement REPL's counter remittance service. Additionally, DWG will give customers an enhanced user experience with its competitive exchange rate, convenience, affordability, speed, and 24/7 customer support.  

Eiji Miyakawa, founder and Chief Executive Officer of DWG, said, "Our entry into Singapore through the acquisition of RediMoney Express Pte Ltd is the fruition of a strong partnership with Asia United Bank. Furthermore, having a presence in Singapore is strategic to our global expansion plans in building traction with a sizeable migrant worker community. To serve these customers, we aim to build our Singapore operations and hire roles in customer service, sales and marketing within the next two years and from there, fast-track our expansion into North America and Europe."

"With Digital Wallet Group behind the wheel of RediMoney Express Pte Ltd, we are confident that customers can continue to enjoy exceptional service as we expect DWG to stay true to its promise of bringing smiles across the miles," said Manuel A. Gomez, President of AUB.

Since its launch in Japan in 2017, Smiles has built a loyal customer base among migrant Filipinos working in the country to become the number one mobile remittance service there. It expanded to the Philippines in 2019 with the acquisition of Speed Money Transfer Philippines, Inc (SMTP) and renamed its corporate name to DW Philippines Corporation.

Singapore was the second-largest source of remittances to the Philippines in 2020, after the United States. It contributed 7.2 percent, higher than Japan's 5.3 percent and the United Arab Emirates' 4.3 percent. Moreover, the amount of cash remittances by overseas Filipino workers based in Singapore has increased over the years, from US$1.4 billion in 2014 to US$2.15 billion in 2020.

Besides addressing access and convenience, the high cost of money transfers erodes the purchasing power of the receiving families. The UN Sustainable Development Goal Goal 10.c.1 aims to reduce remittance costs to less than 3 percent and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 percent by 2030. Over the past two years, Singapore was among the lowest-cost corridors averaging 3 percent for remittance transfers to the Philippines, apart from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Spain. On the other hand, the highest cost corridors for remittances to East Asia and the Pacific Region averaged 13 percent.

Lowering remittance costs can become a reality with fintech players like DWG, which uses technology to offer security and convenience at lower rates.

Mr Miyakawa added, "With the global pandemic restricting movements and travel, mobile remittances have been a lifeline for migrant workers around the world to support their families at home. In addition, the digitalisation of remittance services through mobile has also helped unbanked individuals to have greater financial access. This motivation drives the purpose of our business to create a more sustainable and financially inclusive society to benefit our customers, their families and home countries.

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