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Govt must keep providing every facility, access for the smooth flow of remittances

Govt must keep providing every facility, access for the smooth flow of remittances

Interview with Mr. Danyal Khan Afridi – Head of Operations, M A Fast Move Ltd UK (Shpun Remit)

PAGE: Tell us something about yourself

Danyal Khan Afridi: I started my career as a manager in hospitality and then drifted my focus to help those people who were struggling to send their hard earned money to their loved ones hence why I decided to take part in the remittances business.

PAGE: Tell us something about your product and your key initiatives till date?

Danyal Khan Afridi: The story starts with a few friends having the vision to change the way remittances are sent to their home country. With big aspirations and dreams, they took sail on a rough yet enjoyable journey to become the market leaders in their domain. We started from a small garage in Birmingham and were determined to do the greater good. The vision slowly grew and instead of their home country, they wanted to do the same worldwide. Slowly yet successfully, tide after tide, the journey resulted in the firm becoming an Authorized Payment Institution, a status only a few have endeavored. We knew that in the current market the one thing to set us apart will be technology. Thus, we created state of art platforms to create a flawless and smooth experience for everyone.

PAGE: What is the future of remittances in Pakistan in terms of opportunities and challenges?

Danyal Khan Afridi: If it carries on with the same pace as now, it can definitely give a huge boost to Pakistan’s economy. However, there are shadows which are taking place above these (such as FATF grey list, red list country in the UK in regards to the AML, terrorist financing list etc) and many other aspects where Pakistan as a country lacks. The Government of Pakistan will have to take the initiative to make sure the Pakistanis living overseas don’t become the victims of these and are always connected to their loved ones. It is equally as important for the people living overseas as it is for the economy of Pakistan.

PAGE: How the pandemic has affected remittances globally?

Danyal Khan Afridi: As per the World Bank report, the remittances is projected to decline by 14% in 2021, which is a huge drop in this sector. The foremost factors driving the decline in remittances include weak economic growth and employment levels in migrant-hosting countries, weak oil prices and depreciation of the currencies of remittances-source countries against the US dollar. This has a huge impact on those countries who are heavily reliant on the remittances from abroad and leads to so many other routes, which a developing country would not like to head to.

PAGE: How do you see the market in Pakistan? Your target audience?

Danyal Khan Afridi: During the pandemic situation Pakistan was one of the countries which did not lose out on much in regard to the remittances, instead it gained. Overseas Pakistanis love their country, they always want to be connected to that part of the land no matter where they go and one way of doing that is to help the ones in financial need. We aim to target those areas in Pakistan which do not have as much access or are not aware of the banking facilities in Pakistan, Their relatives living overseas are forced to use the illegal way of sending their hard earned money to them as the beneficiary will not be aware of the facilities that banks in Pakistan provide. Our target audience are mostly those people and they are the ones that need the most help. They should be introduced to these services, which is available for them throughout the country and there should be banks situated locally, which they can easily get access to. Once people are aware of these facilities in those areas, I can promise you the remittances sent to Pakistan will be twice as high.

PAGE: How do you plan to compete with existing products in the market?

Danyal Khan Afridi: We are one of the few Asian companies who have an API (Authorized payment institution) status, which helps us to give the better rates to our customers. Partnership with tie-up banks is the key to success as their customer service has a huge impact on our business. Shpun Remit (product name) marketing team is operating on all social media platforms to keep our customers in the loop of our facilities. As mentioned earlier, to be the best relies heavily on customer service skills on both sides and turnaround time.

[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan[/box]

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