JAPAN - Media
OutReach - 31 August 2021 - International IT
and fintech company Digital Wallet Group (DWG) has expanded into Singapore by acquiring licensed remittance and foreign
exchange company RediMoney Express Pte Ltd (REPL). REPL is a subsidiary of Asia
United Bank (AUB), a Philippine-based and publicly listed universal commercial
bank. DWG's subsidiary, Digital
Wallet Corporation (DWC), is
the creator of Japan's first and most popular mobile remittance application, Smiles
Mobile Remittance (Smiles). This acquisition will allow DWG to expand Smiles in
the Asia Pacific, serve more customers and boost its market presence in the
region. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has approved DWG's
AUB was appointed as DWG's bank distribution partner in the Philippines
in 2019, and the acquisition of REPL further cements their vital alliance. With
this acquisition, DWG will bring its expertise in artificial intelligence and
fintech to complement REPL's counter remittance service. Additionally, DWG will
give customers an enhanced user experience with its competitive exchange rate,
convenience, affordability, speed, and 24/7 customer support.
Eiji Miyakawa, founder and
Chief Executive Officer of DWG, said, "Our entry into Singapore through the
acquisition of RediMoney Express Pte Ltd is the fruition of a strong
partnership with Asia United Bank. Furthermore, having a presence in Singapore
is strategic to our global expansion plans in building traction with a sizeable
migrant worker community. To serve these customers, we aim to build our
Singapore operations and hire roles in customer service, sales and marketing
within the next two years and from there, fast-track our expansion into North
America and Europe."
"With Digital Wallet Group behind the wheel of RediMoney Express Pte Ltd,
we are confident that customers can continue to enjoy exceptional service as we
expect DWG to stay true to its promise of bringing smiles across the miles,"
said Manuel A. Gomez, President of AUB.
Since its launch in Japan in 2017, Smiles has built a loyal customer
base among migrant Filipinos working in the country to become the number one mobile
remittance service there. It expanded to the Philippines in 2019 with the
acquisition of Speed Money Transfer Philippines, Inc (SMTP) and renamed its
corporate name to DW Philippines Corporation.
Singapore was the second-largest source of remittances to
the Philippines in 2020, after the United States. It contributed 7.2 percent,
higher than Japan's 5.3 percent and the United Arab Emirates' 4.3 percent. Moreover,
the amount of cash remittances by overseas Filipino workers based in Singapore has
increased over the years, from
US$1.4 billion in 2014 to US$2.15 billion in 2020.
Besides addressing access and convenience, the high cost of
money transfers erodes the purchasing power of the receiving families. The UN
Sustainable Development Goal Goal
10.c.1 aims to reduce remittance
costs to less than 3
percent and eliminate
remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 percent by 2030. Over the past
two years, Singapore was among the lowest-cost corridors averaging 3
percent for remittance transfers
to the Philippines, apart from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Spain. On the
other hand, the highest cost corridors for remittances to East Asia and the Pacific
Region averaged 13 percent.
Lowering remittance costs can become a reality with fintech
players like DWG, which uses technology to offer security and convenience at lower
Mr Miyakawa added, "With the global pandemic restricting movements and
travel, mobile remittances have been a lifeline for migrant workers around the
world to support their families at home. In addition, the digitalisation of
remittance services through mobile has also helped unbanked individuals to have
greater financial access. This motivation drives the purpose of our business to create a more
sustainable and financially inclusive society to benefit our customers, their
families and home countries."