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New low-cost money transfer service launches in the UAE

New low-cost money transfer service launches in the UAE

Tech firm to launch service in 2020

Global money transfer firm TransferWise is set to launch its low-cost platform in the UAE after it received a licence to introduce the service in 2020.

The tech firm opened its 13th global office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which will serve as a hub for its expansion in the Middle East, a statement said.

It was granted the licence to operate as a money services provider by ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory authority.

TransferWise will go live as one of the first entities to be functional under the ‘providing money services’ category.

“Money transfers from dirhams have long been one of our most wished for currencies, so we always knew we’d begin our expansion into the Middle East in the Emirates,” said Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of TransferWise.

“TransferWise will soon be able to help those living and working in the Emirates by bringing innovation and competition to the market, resulting in lower prices.”

The company serves six million customers worldwide and processes $5bn in customer payments each month including domestic and cross-border payments, the statement added.

According to the UAE Central Bank, expats sent about Dhs80.96bn back to their home countries in the first half of 2019. About Dhs33.04bn – or nearly 41 per cent – of that money was remitted via money exchange companies. India, Pakistan and the Philippines were the top three beneficiaries of remittances from UAE.

Read: Top 10 nations for remittances from the UAE

According to the World Bank, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait were in the top 10 remittance sending countries globally in 2017.

Read more: Understanding the GCC’s changing remittance market

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