A Dog's Breakfast
The blogger is the Co-founder of Bayfikr ( www.bayfikr.net ) - a mobile platform giving expats and immigrants the ability to get home country VAS. He graduated with an MBA from London Business School and has been remitting money to Pakistan for the last 8 years. He is on a mission to change remittances forever.
A Dog’s breakfast is a British phrase used to describe a complete mess.
If you are reading this and live in a developed country, there is an 80% chance you own a smart phone, a 90% chance you have setup a direct debit for at least 1 bill payment and a 95% chance you use your smart phone for your banking needs, including P2P transfers. If you are a white-collared worker and remit money, 9/10 times you will use your banking or MTO app (Western Union, Transferwise etc.). If you are a blue-collared worker however, you will only use your phone 4/10 times to send money; even lower if you are in the GCC.
No convenience, no control, utter confusion
Imagine you are a Pakistani, Bengali or Nigerian expat and have to pay for your parent’s hospital treatment back home, renew your yearly car tax or pay a home country utility bill for your family. How would you do so through legal channels? Most likely you will:
1. Ask someone (family or friend) to pay for you. This is under the assumption that the other person is trust-worthy, they have enough money to spare and a bank account to which you can send money to later.
2. Send money to your home bank account (opened digitally or otherwise). You will first login to your international account and send money to your home account. Then you will login to your home account, check if the money has arrived, make sure the biller is serviced by your bank and finally make the payment. Crucially, the account has to be active, and the sending account has to be in your name.
3. Send cash. To do that you will physically go to an exchange house. There, you will spell the recipient's name correctly (banks will not allow collection if the receipient name is incorrect), specify the exact amount to be collected and send the correct transaction number. The receiver will then have to physically go to a bank or pick-up point, present the correct form of ID and specify the correct transaction number to receive the cash. Once received, the recipient can then make the payment on your behalf. It's worth mentioning that banks, MTOs and regulators hate cash because it throws up all sorts of AML issues.
Why does this have to be so complicated? Why does it have to be confusing, inefficient and multi-stepped? Modern expats and immigrants want convenience and control of the money they send. They want to pay for items back home without the hassle of sending money to different accounts. They want a single step solution.
Do you see the future?
At Bayfikr, we do. We want expats and immigrants to use their international bank accounts to pay for items back home. With Bayfikr, you simply login, select the biller/business you want to pay, see the amount due and pay. That’s it! No need to setup additional bank accounts or send money to others. We want you to do more, so you get control.
Click here to read part 1.
Bayfikr is headquartered in the UK. It is a part of the prestigious NIC Pakistan.