Announces that its Indian subsidiary Ingedigit India Software Services Ltd. ("IISS"), located in Chennai India, is expected to commence prepaid debit cards and remittance services to Indian banks and their customers as early as next quarter.
The first stage of this program allows customers in India to have their domestic bank accounts and debit cards linked with cards of Indians working abroad. Those users can then simply remit funds to family members at home at any time by loading funds, by having their wages directly deposited to the card, or with the added convenience of using their regular cell phone. Unlike traditional remittance programs family members will have access to the remitted funds immediately in a more convenient way and at a fraction of the normal cost. They simply withdraw the funds from the client bank's ATM network as required.
For the past 3 years, IISS has been working with several banks in India to approve and implement these Card-to-Card and Mobile Remittance Services. One of these banks has already secured approval for their program from the Reserve Bank of India -- the central bank of India responsible for regulating all Indian banking -- clearing the way for launch of services. Compliance is clearly a major issue to guard against money laundering and other illegal activities. The IISS Card-to-Card and Mobile Remittance Services are fully compliant with the guidelines laid down by the Reserve Bank of India.
India is the world's largest recipient of remittances. Remittances grew from $49.6 billion in 2009 to $55 billion in 2010, an 11% increase and nearly twice as fast as the world average according to the World Bank's latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. IE Market Research Corp, a market intelligence and business strategy consulting firm, sees Mobile Money Transfers reaching $148.5 billion in 2014 for a CAGR of 86.2% in its latest Global Consumer Telecommunications Survey.
Mohamed Najeeb, Chairman of IISS, is a former Additional Labor Minister for the Government of the State of Kerala, the state in India that provides the most Non Resident Indian (NRI) labor. Mr. Najeeb is also a retired General Manager of NORKA ROOTS, a quasi - governmental public organization that helps all Keralite NRIs. Mr. Najeeb stated, "In 2002, NORKA ROOTS was established to act as the single interface between the State of Kerala and those living overseas. Today, about two thirds of Keralites live outside the state with the majority living abroad. More than 30% of all NRIs living abroad are from the State of Kerala making it the single largest market for overseas money remittances to India. The largest individual remitter markets are the United States and the Gulf Coast Countries, where 40% of the 5 million NRIs are from Kerala. We are targeting these markets with our Indian banking partners to provide Card-to-Card and Mobile Remittance Services in the least costly and most effective way for NRIs to bank and remit money home to their families."
Vincent Browne, Chairman and CEO of Flint Telecom Group, commented, "This will be another major milestone for us in early 2011 and was a key consideration in acquiring Ingedigit and Power2Process in October. India is one of the main emerging markets in the global economy and is clearly a highly attractive market for remittances and mobile financial services where currently less than 1% of the population use these types of services. Many leading analysts expect this number to increase to over 10% or 120 million users by 2015, accounting for approximately 8 billion transactions a year."
Mr. Browne added, "The banking relationships are the critical success factor in the India market and Mr. Najeeb and the team in India and here in the U.S. have done a truly remarkable job in developing such strong banking relationships over the past few years. This is a significant competitive advantage. IISS and its banking partners will offer services both within India and to the millions of Non Resident Indians overseas. IISS receives fees for every transaction carried out by users of the services. We expect IISS to attract significant numbers over the next few years due to the rapidly growing remittance and mobile money transfer segment in India and in conjunction with our banking clients that already have millions of customers that will want these services."