MI, Samsara tie up for remittance

KATHMANDU: MoneyGram International (MI) and Samsara Pvt Ltd today announced their alliance to add MoneyGram’s money transfer service to Samsara’s 200 partner locations in Nepal.

Remittance is the backbone of the Nepali economy. “In recent years, remittance agencies have been playing a key role in facilitating the remittance inflow through banking channels,” said Pradeep Bhattarai, assistance director of Nepal Rastra Bank on the occasion. “The Monetary Policy for the fiscal year 2009-10 estimates that remittance touched Rs 2 billion in the fiscal year 2008-09,” he added.

Harsh Lamba, MoneyGram’s regional director for South Asia, said this association between the two agencies will greatly help Nepalis receive remittance easily through formal channels. “Customers should be educated and encouraged to use formal channels,” he added.

The number of remittance agencies has not only increased in the recent days but their reach has also increased. “Samsara will introduce MoneyGram services to rural communities in Bardiya, Bhojpur, Dolpa, Jajarot and Salyan soon,” said Tulsi Gyawali, managing director of Samsara, which plans to provide remittance services at its customers’ doorsteps. “We understand how important it is to be close to the customer, and MoneyGram’s global network greatly enhances the services we provide. The funds can be sent from any of MoneyGram’s global agent locations and received at a Samsara branch in as little as 10 minutes,” he added.

Samsara is one of MoneyGram’s super agents in Nepal. Lamba said that MoneyGram comprises 1,80,000 agent locations in more than 190 countries and has a convenient and reliable network that offers affordable, reliable and convinient services.

Samsara Pvt Ltd — a private remittance company founded in June 2006 — is providing services from more than 350 locations covering almost all 75 districts of the country.

“MoneyGram International — a New York Stock Exchange listed company — is No 2 among global payment services companies that provide consumers affordable, reliable and convenient payment services,” said Lamba. “It has around 1,76,000 global money transfer agent locations in nearly 190 countries and territories.”

In Nepal, MoneyGram is working with three banks — Himalayan Bank, Bank of Kathmandu and Nepal Bangladesh Bank — and five money transfer companies — United Remit, Krishi Premura, International Money Express, Prabhu Money Transfer and Easylink.

Despite World Bank’s report that global remittance is going to fall, Nepal’s remittance has seen a 55 per cent growth by the 10th month of fiscal year 2008-09. “We are also growing,” said Lamba.