Millennials drive the need for innovation in remittance industry
October 12, 2017 | 5:48 PM
by Times News Service
Photo: Supplied

Muscat: Xpress Money is doubling down on its efforts to create new digital channels and augment existing ones as research shows Generation Y, or millennials, want to be able to conduct financial transactions online and through their smartphones.

“Generation Y, or the millennials, are holding their financial providers at arm’s length and want to consume services online and on mobile. This creates tremendous opportunities for a slew of new services to cater to this demographic. In parallel, many of our demographics continue seeking direct face to face contact and interpersonal connections. We are therefore innovating new digital channels while also investing in bolstering our physical presence through new outlets, collaborations, partnerships and round the clock support,” said Sudhesh Giriyan, COO - Xpress Money.

Traditional bonds between service providers and young consumers are loosening, with Generation Y showing more willingness to switch providers for better service. The millennial generation is also keen to consumer financial services online and via smartphones – with some 43% of respondents globally listing online services as the most important aspect of their financial experience.

“Our research has pinpointed the powerful drivers currently shaping financial service provision for a younger generation. First, traditional bonds have loosened, with young customers more willing to switch to a better customer service experience – in terms of fees, time, flexibility, support and online service provision. They also want to be able to consume products and services online without physically visiting branches. Generation Y is nomadic and also used to getting products and services delivered to meet their needs wherever they are. From car-hailing apps to flexi-accommodation to food deliveries via a smartphone, millennials are digital natives that want to access services wherever they are. These people already pay their bills online, find their tribes online through social media, and shop online. Financial services are the inevitable next step,” added Giriyan.

Xpress Money is preparing for a digital future by seeking partnerships in the fintech space to boost service delivery and create new digital channels.

“The millennial experience is about first and last mile fulfilment, i.e. ease of requesting services, and ease in transaction fulfilment. This opens up the field for collaboration between fintech startups and conventional operators to enable a seamless end-to-end transaction that starts with the smartphone. The transactions in the middle of the value chain are still powered by the powerful treasury functions and well-regulated processes that remittance providers bring to the table,” added Giriyan.

This hybrid financial service provision model combining fintech and conventional treasury functions is something that Xpress Money is investing in. Not only is the brand curating partnerships with fintech providers such as WorldRemit to create new remittance channels but has also innovated an open API to enable transactions for banking partners. Xpress Money’s API is plug and play and lets banks and financial institutions tap the brand’s processing power to fulfil international transactions. Powerful regional banking brands such as ADCB are relying on this API, where customers can request a transfer directly through their banking portal with Xpress Money handling fulfilment.

“While fintech innovation and digital channels are exciting, and inform our future direction, we are also cognizant of the needs of other demographics where customers value face to face interaction. While innovating in the digital space, we’re also expanding our geographical presence and 24/7 customer service support to offer unparalleled coverage, service and financial inclusion,” concluded Giriyan.

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