How mobile money is scaling international remittances and fostering financial resilience: Learnings from Valyou Malaysia
COVID-19 has been cruel to us all, but the economic impact of the pandemic has been especially severe on migrant workers and their families in the developing world: the earnings these already economically vulnerable groups have been able to send home fell last year by 20%, as businesses have closed and travel been curtailed. This money is frequently a lifeline for people in considerable need, and rapid innovation is required to help mitigate the loss.
Around 800 million people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) rely on remittances – small sums of
money sent home for essentials such as food and healthcare, often by family members working abroad.
Approximately 200 million migrant workers, half of whom are women, send money back to loved ones in this
Thankfully, the mobile ecosystem has a means to help, in the form of mobile money services. In a three-year pilot between 2017 and 2020, supported by grant funding from the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development, mobile money provider Valyou trialled and expanded an app-based international remittance service tailored to migrant workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh in Malaysia. The successes of the pilot are the subject of our detailed new case study.