InfoCorp Technologies and Maybank Singapore sign MOU to collaborate on financial inclusion projects
04 October 2017
First FinTech project is a cashless blockchain-based mobile application for migrant workers
InfoCorp Technologies ("InfoCorp") has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Maybank Singapore for a joint collaboration on strategic partnerships to provide financial inclusion to the unbanked in Singapore and the wider ASEAN region.
The first project to be launched under this MOU will be InfoCorp's CrossPay mobile solution for 16,800 migrant workers residing at Tuas View Dormitory. This blockchain-based mobile application solution will facilitate convenient cashless payments between the workers and merchants operating within the multi-purpose dormitory.
Using this solution, migrant workers will be able to store their identities on their mobile devices and make payments via a private blockchain platform for different goods and services within the dormitory compound. Merchants will be able to settle these payments through Maybank with the dormitory operator.
Cashless solution reduces theft and benefits both workers and merchants
Currently, cash represents 80% of transactions within the dormitory, as non-cash payment modes and services do not meet the migrant workers' needs. According to a survey done by the dormitory, the average time spent queuing at the ATM may range between 15 to 30 minutes. Many workers do not have a bank account or an ATM card due to minimum sum requirements imposed by most banks. For those with bank accounts, cash withdrawals and account balance enquiries are only done at ATMs.
The CrossPay solution will reduce the need for workers to withdraw or use cash on a daily basis. This reduces the risk of loss or theft for the worker. At the same time, the merchants will also benefit, as this cashless method of payment is more efficient, with a lower risk of cash loss due to human error or theft.
"Although there are different cashless payment solutions in Singapore, they are designed for more sophisticated bank customers with online banking access and mobile wallet apps. These solutions are not suitable for migrant workers as many of them have no experience with banking services. Introducing CrossPay to migrant workers therefore makes sense as it is a solution that specifically caters to their needs," said Mr Roy Lai, CEO of InfoCorp.
Remittance solution in the works
Maybank will be an integral player supporting this cashless ecosystem, starting with opening bank accounts for the dormitory operator and the businesses within the compound. Under Phase 2 of the project, targeted for 2018, Maybank intends to work with InfoCorp and other remittance partners on a cost-effective remittance solution that migrant workers can use to send money home to their families and other dependents.
"We are excited to be a part of this innovative project to provide FinTech solutions to migrant workers in Singapore, as they are a relatively unbanked customer segment. With our broad business footprint in all 10 ASEAN countries, we see the potential to work with InfoCorp on serving those with little access to conventional banking services," said Mr Amos Ong, Head, Global Banking, Maybank Singapore.
Trial targeted at end of Q4 2017
A pilot trial of the solution will be conducted by dormitory operator TS Group in the supermarket at Tuas View Dormitory. TS Group aims to then expand the trial to other merchants in the compound at the end of Q4 2017. It is also in discussion with InfoCorp to trial CrossPay in its other dormitory in Mandai, which houses 2,000 workers.
"TS Group has been in the business of providing a high level of care and comprehensive service to the underserved community such as migrant construction workers and domestic workers. By partnering with InfoCorp, TS Group is raising the bar and transforming our dormitory into a cashless community. Furthermore, the model is scalable and we can integrate this into our other dormitory businesses," said Mr Tome Oh, Director of TS Group.