Muscat: It is impossible to remit money if one does not have a resident card, money exchange officials confirmed on Tuesday.
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In a new move, every customer will have to produce their resident or identity card, which is now being scanned by smart card readers at the exchange houses, while remitting or changing money. “This is being done to enhance due diligence and to support KYC (know your customer) requirements,” Tonny George Alexander, director of the Oman UAE Exchange, said, adding that they have already installed smart card readers at 52 branches in Oman.
Banking experts said this move will prevent money laundering and also help in tracking the customers’ transactions in case of any problems.
Alexander also said Smart Card Readers ease errors during transactions.
“The Smart Card Readers read all the required information from the Civil ID and resident cards and keep a record electronically at the exchange houses,” Alexander said.
While the Oman UAE Exchange has already introduced the smart card reader system, some exchange houses say they are in process of installing it at their companies.
“We are in talks so that we can also install these smart card readers at our branches,” an official at Global Money Exchange said.
He also said that at the moment, they are scanning resident cards and keeping a record at all the 35 branches in the Sultanate.
“This is also being done for the safety of the customers,” he further clarified.
Expats are also happy with the move. “This is a good move as illegal immigrants will not be able to send money as their ID cards are either expired or they don’t have one,” said Satish, who regularly sends money to his home town in India.
Remitting money to one’s home country is part of the routine of expats. From helping dependent families, building a dream house to meeting other financial obligations back home, most expatriate workers in Oman need the services of a remittance company.