Category Archives: Middle East Money Transfers

Mobile Money Transfer in The UAE With RAKBANK

By Mohammed Waseem

Money transfer at the touch of a button is a new trend in the money transfer space. In different places in the world, mobile solutions have been introduced to make this true, to enable senders to transfer money on the go from anywhere at any time, just by touching a button on their smartphone or tablet. Mobile apps are made available for different platforms to increase adaptability and to increase the customer base.

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK), a UAE based bank has introduced an excellent mobile app for UAE mobile phone users that promises easy money transfer on the go. The bank promises to make life more convenient by allowing users to make instant money transfers. The service is available in the bank’s present mobile app and not as a standalone app.

RAKBANKThe feature is called MobileCash and it allows UAE residents to make instant money transfer to anyone in the United Arab Emirates, at any time and from anywhere. Of course, senders need to be customers of the bank in order to be able to use the service.

No fee is chargeable for sending money using MobileCash and the service is ideal for sending smaller amounts, such as in case of sharing expenses, paying back a friend and so on. The sender needs to provide the mobile number of the recipient and their name in order to send money. The recipient has to visit any RAKBANK ATM and enter the code received by SMS and the amount being received, in order to withdraw the cash.

The code is valid for 24 hours, within which the money has to be withdrawn, failing to do which would result in the money being credited back to the sender. The app is a great introduction and similar to many such solutions available in other countries. With this feature introduced, the customers of RAKBANK have one more reason to remain loyal to them.

Money Transfer From The UAE With Arab Link

By Mohammed Waseem

UAE is a country which has all kinds of people from most countries of the world who work there and support their families back home. They use money remittance services to send money every month to their families. There are many local money transfer services which specialize in transfers to particular countries and few others which support transfers at a global level.

Arab Link is an Abu Dhabi based foreign exchange and money transfer service provider which works in close cooperation with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and aims to become the leading provider of exchange and money transfer services. They buy and sell foreign exchange and provide other services like money transfer, payroll cards and special payments services for Filipino nationals working in the UAE.

Burj Khalifah, United Arab Emirates
Burj al Khalifah, United Arab Emirates

The money remittance services they offer have flexible speeds. For urgent and high speed transfers, they have partnership with Western Union to offer services with reach to over 200 countries with over 300,000 locations. Other than this, they have also partnered with iRemit, Xpress Money, EzRemit and Instant Cash for speedy money transfers. They also have partnerships with other money transfer services for transfers to specific countries. For example, they have partnered with MoneyMo, M Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier for transfers to Philippines.

Apart from these, Arab Link also supports Telex, Wire and Swift transfers regionally and globally. They also support direct credit into bank accounts in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and a few other countries. They enable transfers to Indian bank accounts through NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) which is usually meant for local transfers in India between bank accounts. These transactions usually take 1-3 days to complete.

Arab Link have partnered with Mint Tech which is meant to benefit Mint’s payroll card holder base in the UAE for sending money home. They can access the services of Arab Link from Mint ATMs, Mint POS machines, mobile phones and directly through Arab Link. Recipients would receive cash in their bank accounts or at their door step; alternatively, they can collect it over the counter.

For mobile money remittance, they have partnered with Luup, which has enables remittance corridors linking the UAE with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines and Egypt. This is meant for real time transfers to these countries. Arab Link is the first exchange house to offer real time account-to-account transfer service via mobile phones. They believe this is a revolution in money transfers, as account-to-account transfers usually take 2-3 days with standard banking apps but they ensure instant transfers. They will soon introduce international mobile top-up services as well.

The number of expatriates in UAE is so high that the native Emiratis are outnumbered in their own country at a ratio or 11:1, which means that the expatriates make 91% of the population in UAE. This suggests the huge size of the market and the potential companies like Arab Link have. If they tap this market well, they can grow their business and take it to greater heights.

Xpress Money, an Online Money Transfer Service

By W. H. Abdelgawad for SafeCashTransfer.com

Update: I started researching this article four months ago, but when I checked just now I found that the website – which used to be XpressMoney.com – is down, and that the company seems to have migrated their website to XpressMoney.biz (if it is even the same company).

That seems strange and shady to me. So at this point I’d have to say that I cannot recommend Xpress Money. Nevertheless, here is the review that I started back in May 2012:

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Xpress Money
Xpress Money logo.

I recently learned about a money transfer service called Xpress Money. Xpress was founded 12 years ago and is based in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Their website says they have 135,000 agent locations in 125 countries. They seem to specialize in money transfers to Asia and the Middle East (they have no agents in Latin America, as far as I can see). Unsurprisingly, their corporate officers, directors and shareholders are mostly Indians and Arabs.

It looks like the Xpress Money service does not have independent money exchange centers. In Canada, for example, the Xpress Money service is offered through major banks like RBC Royal, BMO, Canada Trust and Scotia Bank, and is available to account holders at those banks.

Sending Rates and Currency Exchange

Xpress Money’s money transfer fees are reasonably low. I used their rate calculator to find out how much they charge to transfer $100 from the USA to India. Their fee is $8.

Some unscrupulous money transfer services offer low transfer fees, but hit you hard on the exchange rate. That’s where they make their profit. Is Xpress Money doing that?

In a word, no. Xpress Money’s exchange rate for the transfer is 53.36 INR (Indian rupees) for one U.S. dollar. I checked Yahoo Finance’s currency converter, and the current exchange rate on the open market is 53.79. If you sent $100 through Xpress Money, your recipient would get 5,336 INR, as opposed to 5,379 on the open market. That’s a difference of 43 rupees, or about 8 cents U.S.

So you’re losing almost nothing on the currency exchange.

Xpress Money User Reviews

I’ve never used Xpress Money’s service and I don’t know anyone who has. Their website has several positive testimonials from customers who have sent money to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. But of course Xpress would not give publish negative experiences on their website.

They also have a Facebook page with 40,000 likes. It’s a mix of corporate news, interesting articles and random odd facts, like, “Eating a packet of crisps a day is equivalent to drinking five liters of cooking oil a year.” (Ha ha).

If you have used Xpress Money, please comment here and let us know if you were happy with the service or not.