Mashreq Bank, the Dubai lender controlled by the Al Ghurair family, has tied up with India’s Federal Bank to offer customers a free money transfer service from the UAE to India through its digital QuickRemit platform.
Under the tie-up, customers will not be charged remittance fees when they use the QuickRemit application to send money to India, Mashreq Bank said on Monday.
“A fully end-to-end automated solution will ensure that customers get the benefit of instant transfers in a safe and secure manner and the Indian diaspora in the UAE will surely benefit from this,” Shalini Warrier, executive director of Federal Bank, said in a statement.
Remittances are an important source of household income and foreign exchange inflows in India, with the country accounting for 33.6 per cent of all outward personal remittances from the Emirates, according to the UAE Central Bank's 2020 annual report. They are now an integral service, particularly after the resurgence of Covid-19 infections that is threatening to derail the country's economic recovery.
QuickRemit transactions through Mashreq Bank jumped 50 per cent during 2020, the lender said.
“This partnership with Federal Bank comes at an important time, as the growth of the UAE remittance market improves and begins to return to pre-pandemic levels,” Tooran Asif, executive vice president and head of consumer banking at Mashreq Bank, said.
“In particular, this tie-up will help to support our popular QuickRemit service to strengthen our India corridor, which has grown significantly over the years.”
In October, the World Bank said global remittances would fall 14 per cent by 2021 compared with pre-Covid-19 levels in 2019. The Washington-based lender projected global remittances would decline 7 per cent to $508 billion in 2020 and 7.5 per cent to $470bn in 2021. This compares with the 2008 global financial crisis, when remittances fell about 5 per cent.
Outward personal remittances from the UAE dropped by 5 per cent or Dh8.3bn year on year in 2020, according to the UAE Central Bank. The top three countries for outward personal remittances in 2020 were India, Pakistan and the Philippines, it added.