By ZAM KARIMbytz@thestar.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR: Merchantrade prepaid subscribers who are migrant workers in the country can now securely remit money to their home countries easily and in many more locations, thanks to the just-launched Doowit Mobile Remittance Service.
With the mobile-based backend system in place, the company's agents are now able to initiate the transaction over their mobile phone. And, a much easier system-setup enables Merchantrade to expand its network of agents faster to cover more areas.
At the moment, the company has 64 centres and 56 authorised agents nationwide. Plans are underway to increase the number of agents to 700 within the next 24 months, said Ramasamy Veeran, managing director of Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd.
"Through Doowit, customers can transfer money at up to three transactions daily - from a minimum RM200 to a maximum of RM1,500 - to countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia," he said.
However, customers can only use the service up to five times in a month, with a maximum transferable amount of RM7,500 in total.
To use the service, subscribers first need to register their cellphone number, as well as provide up to five beneficiaries in their home country. One phone number is valid for one country only - meaning all five beneficiaries must be in the same country.
Once registered, the customers simply hand over the cash to the agent,who will use a mobile phone to initiate the transfer. The transaction period can be as short as five minutes to as long as 24 hours, depending on the recipient country.
There will be no service charge imposed on the customers.
Merchantrade is the country's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which offers telecommunications services riding on Celcom Axiata's physical infrastructure.
Since its inception in 2007, the company has been focusing on the migrant workforce market. It has more than 300,000 prepaid subscribers nationwide. With the introduction of Doowit, it expects its number of subscribers to double within two years.