Dubai-based FinTech company Rise rolled out a new platform that allows expatriate workers to eliminate the cost of remittance fees by sharing real-time access to their bank accounts with family and friends.
Currently available in the beta phase of development, the multi-use Xare (pronounced share) app enables users to set daily or monthly limits for recipients, provide short-term loans through credit cards, set up expense accounts for colleagues or send pocket money to their children without them seeing the details of the account.
“Through Xare, we are aiming to build a billion banks worldwide by empowering users to become the bank that their tribe needs to thrive,” Padmini Gupta, co-founder and chief executive at Rise, said in a statement on Monday.
“We believe that people everywhere deserve a fairer banking experience, and who better to give it to them than those that know them best – their friends and families.”
According to the World Bank, more than 1.7 billion adults around the world do not have access to a bank account, while a 2019 survey by payments processor Mastercard found that the use of mobile technology improves financial inclusion.
The Mastercard survey found that 15 countries account for more than 60 per cent of the global unbanked population, where 607 million people have a mobile phone but do not yet have a bank account.
However, Rise's co-founder Milind Singh said the Xare app does not require recipients to have a bank account – only the sender. Registration takes less than 30 seconds and requires a valid phone number, he added.
"On many levels Xare is game-changer for the migrant [workers] and how they control their finances," Mr Singh told The National.
“The trigger for the app was Covid-19 and the lockdown. What if your family didn’t have a bank account at home and nobody was going out? So something like Xare changes that as all they need is a phone number. Once they have downloaded the app and accessed the account, they can start spending.”
To allow recipients access to a bank account, a user selects a contact from their phone to share their card, and can set daily or monthly limits, and even expiry dates, Mr Singh said.
The app’s security system ensures that card details are not seen by beneficiaries and are not stored by Xare centrally, so they cannot be hacked or compromised, the company said in a statement. Once issued with a Xare card, beneficiaries can use their card in thousands of stores to purchase more than two billion products globally.
“We firmly believe that Xare has the potential to make banking fairer and more humane, and we cannot wait to share our innovative solution with those that can most benefit from it," Mr Singh said.
The Xare app will be available to download on the App Store by mid-November. Until then, Android users can apply to join a waiting list to download the beta version.