DiGi Remit is designed to simplify the transfer of money using the mobile phone from anywhere and at any time to the widest distribution networks in the three recipient countries.
DiGi provides the service, as a remittance agent of Citibank Berhad, to individual DiGi prepaid and DiGi postpaid customers who can register at any of the 44 DiGi centres and DiGi service counters nationwide.
The service offers multiple payment delivery options including direct credit to accounts with local banks in the beneficiary's country and cash pick up at designated agents. The distribution network is managed by Citi's global transaction services.
Malaysia is a major source of migrant income in the Asean region with an estimated total migrant remittance of more than M$5 billion ($1.5 billion) yearly, according to Citi.
It is estimated that less than half of remittances are flowing through formal channels, exposing migrant workers to unsatisfactory and relatively costly services for these transactions.
Albern Murty, DiGi's head of product management, says: "We are excited to work with Citi in our step forward to change the way individuals transfer money. As Malaysia's first non-financial institution to be appointed as a remittance agent, DiGi is ready to lead the change for people to use the mobile phone as a financial tool."
Noel Saminathan, director of Citi's global transaction services says: "Money transfers via mobile phone are no longer limited to domestic micro-payments or mobile-to-mobile transfers. DiGi Remit is unique in the simple SMS-based access to a multi-currency and multi-channel distribution network from a single mobile interface."
He adds: "The easy accessibility to the service will offer under-banked segments of our community, particularly migrant workers, the opportunity to improve their financial security for the benefit of their appointed beneficiaries and the economy of their home countries."