At Xpress Money, community outreach and improving the financial literacy of potential at-risk communities is a key part of our brand values. In particular, we want to open channels of communication to audiences and demographics – such as blue-collar workers – who might be at risk of being defrauded, or being persuaded to abandon legal remittance channels.
That’s why, in the first quarter of 2017, we upped the ante on our outreach efforts, and took our message on the importance of using legal channels for safe, secure and transparent money transfers to over 297 labour camps across the GCC.
Our teams visited camp residents in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In total, we managed to reach out to 128,000 workers, convincing them of the value legal and licensed channels offer. Our target audience was a diverse mix of nationals from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia – all key remittance receiving destinations from the UAE
There were two elements to our outreach. First, we wanted to promote financial security and inclusion by raising awareness among blue-collar workers – who can be at risk of falling prey to grey remittance channels and scams – that legal channels offer security, convenience and competitive rates.
Grey channels, and the hundi system, can rely on getting people to carry cash home in person. These people can sometimes be perfect strangers, unknown to the recipient. This leaves workers – who budget very carefully to be able to send money home monthly – open to abuse. There is little recourse available should the cash carrier disappear. Neither is there any assurance that the money will swiftly reach its intended recipients. With the UAE offering some of the lowest remittance fees in the world, it makes economic sense to choose the legal route.
Second, given our commitment to helping create a vibrant and sustainable remittance industry in the UAE, and help the country maintain its global position as a hub for financial flows, we wanted to support the regulators and authorities of the UAE in helping broadcast the importance of financial transparency.
We are proud of the efforts our teams put into communicating effectively with large and dispersed audiences. In the UAE, they visited 160 camps to address over 80,000 workers. They visited 23 camps in Oman to talk to 15,000 workers, and another 26 in Saudi Arabia to reach an audience of 24,000. 70 camps were visited in Qatar to reach 6,900 individuals while 16 camp visits in Bahrain reached out to a 1,000-strong audience.
At Xpress Money, we’re not just in the business of financial transactions. We’re also in the business of ensuring that the UAE’s remittance industry stays vibrant, sustainable and operates to world-class standards. Part of that commitment is to ensure that our clients derive the maximum possible benefit from our services, and have the knowledge and wherewithal to safeguard their hard-won wages.