The UK arm of Barclays announced that UK consumers will soon be able to send money back (also known as a remittance) to India through the financial institution’s popular mobile payment service, Pingit.
With approximately 1.5 million British Indians and another 1 million Indian students and visitors in the UK at any given time, Barclays is attempting to enter the lucrative remittance market which between the UK and India alone accounts for £2.5 ($4.2) billion annually. According to Barclays, neither senders nor recipients need to be Barclays customers to use the Pingit application, but there is a minimum transaction of £25 ($42) and a maximum of £1500 ($2520), with payments taking up to 48 hours to go through. Despite the potentially lengthy waiting time, by receiving funds straight to one’s phone, consumers in rural India can be saved from long voyages to the closest Western Union or MoneyGram office.
“Our goal is that no-one is left behind in the current digital revolution, and this launch demonstrates continued innovation by Barclays to meet the needs of UK consumers,” said Ashok Vaswani, CEO, personal and corporate banking at Barclays. “It also marks an important step for future Pingit development and opportunities internationally.”
The opening up of the service to Indian remittances follows Barclays opening the service to Kenya and other African countries in 2012. Barclays has also announced a deal with Blackhawk Network to provide a range of merchant gifting options to users of the app, highlighting the fact that Barclays is committed to extending functionality of the app in an increasingly competitive mobile payment environment in the UK.
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