The launch represents a significant milestone as it marks the first time Western Union outbound international money transfers has become available to international workers or expatriates in Sri Lanka via 61 MMBL Money Master locations across 35 cities and 17 districts, including Ampara, Batticaloa, Colombo, Gampaha, Jaffna, Kandy and Kegalle. Services are to be progressively extended island-wide.
Customers may send up to USD $500 to a bank account, or for cash pickup in minutes[i] at more than half a million walk-in Agent locations in 200 countries and territories.
“We are very pleased to announce the launch of the outbound international transfer services from Sri Lanka to the rest of the world, for this international group of customers. As Sri Lanka advances its position in the global economy, as an international hub, the country’s ability to facilitate international money movement and payments with regulated and convenient access along with speed, becomes instrumental to supporting economic growth, social development and financial inclusion,” said Sohini Rajola, Regional Vice President, South Asia and Indo-China.
“At Western Union, we are passionate about the role we play in the lives of our customers, and we relentlessly focus on their evolving needs, whether that is a Sri Lankan citizen working across the globe or an international citizen in Sri Lanka. While our customers care about moving money from one country to another, we care about making sure we can serve customers in nearly every country in the world and connect their money for them”, she said.
Full activation of more than 2,000 MMBL Money Master locations will provide international citizens living and working in Sri Lanka island-wide access to send money abroad to fund a host of expenses from sending money back to their home countries or provide funds to loved ones for international education, medical services, travel, and goods and services.
“Our goal is to deliver better customer experience and fuel future growth and innovation in the country. With Western Union, we are pleased to come together, and enrich customers lives with increased access to money transfer services – both inbound and outbound – and improve customer satisfaction,” said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence; Chairman, MMBL Money Transfer.
Western Union has been enabling consumers in Sri Lanka to receive money transfers since 1995. Western Union moved money into Sri Lanka from more than 170 countries last year. International residents using the new outbound service will enjoy zero transfer fee[ii] during this introductory phase.
As Sri Lanka strengthens its strategic position as the hub of the Indian Ocean, it is making strong progress at the global and domestic level, securing opportunities for local businesses in global production networks and bringing opportunities to rural communities by building infrastructure connecting rural and urban areas and linking Sri Lanka’s economic hubs. Active public-private partnerships with international companies and their workers is enabling rapid socio-economic growth. The Western Union service offered by MMBL Money Master provides a formal sector, reliable channel for these foreign workers to send their earnings back to their families.