Mobile Remittance

THE CHALLENGE

In an emerging economy like Bangladesh, is there an easy, trusted way for its citizens to transfer money abroad? Robi Axiata Limited, a trusted mobile phone operator in Bangladesh, recognized the need for a more convenient method of remittance, one that allows seamless and real-time fund transfer from one’s bank account to that of another. The telecom operator was looking for a convenient and secured way to conduct foreign remittance that will be a centralized payment system where customers could transact and transfer money safely. All they had to do was registering at any one of Robi’s many outlets located throughout the country. They could verify their payment status easily from wherever they were.

THE SOLUTION

This called for a USSD solution, created by ssd-tech for Robi’s customers with universally accepted GSM enabled mobile handsets.

SSD-TECH developed a remittance validation and disbursement system via SMS notification and confirmation that was user-friendly for people transferring funds and at the same time manageable for those facilitating it.

Called as the Robi Francis System, it was a first of its kind mobile phone remittance service in the country created to facilitate Bangladeshi expatriates living abroad to transfer money through their mobile phone. The Robi Francis System was an easy, convenient and secure way of receiving foreign remittance – where selected Robi Service Partners (retailers/distributors) would act as Cash-out Points (accredited by partner banks) from where the beneficiaries could withdraw their remittance in cash.

 

KEY BENEFITS DELIVERED

To kick start the project, ssd-tech first of all studied the key contact points and their modes of interaction in order to create a seamless remittance experience for customers using the Robi Francis System. The key contact points involved in every remittance transaction include:

  • The Sender
    Responsible for making the transfer and must pass on the reference number of payment transaction to the recipient for verification purposes
  • The Beneficiary
    The person who would receive the reference number for verification and be notified via SMS upon transfer completion
  • Robi Merchantrade / Partners
    Acts to process the remittance transaction with system generated reference numbers
  • Robi Payout Point
    Processes the payout through USSD application that is connected to the Merchantrade (and a bank in Bangladesh)

SSD-TECH then proceeded to create an integrated remittance validation and disbursement system. Beyond developing the front-end functionality for the ease of Robi’s remittance customers, ssd-tech’s extensive back-end scope of deliverables included the following 2 separate platforms for facilitators’ convenience:

  • Remittance Platform
    Manage the Remco (Remittance Companies) Partners information including their branches. An interface would be created (web based, responsive and USSD) to Remco Partners for processing transactions
  • Remittance Middleware Platform
    Manage the Bank Partners’ information and Remco Partners’ Bank Account. A web service enabling Bank Partners to process remittance transactions and claims.

In addition, all Distributors, Agent Tellers, Agent Managers, Remco Partners and Bank Managers would be given detailed transaction reports to keep tabs and manage transfers and validate claims. A ‘Dashboard’ report would be generated for their convenience showing the total statistics of daily transactions/claims, e.g., top distributors, top agents, top remittance banks, number of void retries. With this easily digestible performance overview, all parties facilitating the remittance system would be able to regularly make comparisons on which particular method/resource was working hard for them, and respond quickly by channeling their energies in the right direction. Each party would also be given hands on training on how to manage the system.

THE RECOGNITION

A Certificate of Completion was presented to ssd-tech by Robi Axiata Limited certifying the successful implementation of the Robi Remittance project also known as “Project Francis” satisfying all quality requirements on the day of launch of the service (dated October 23, 2013).

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