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Singtel e-wallet Dash to roll out remittance service to Myanmar

SINGAPORE-BASED users of Singtel's mobile payments platform Dash will be able to send money to Myanmar by March, thanks to a new grant agreement between the telco and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

On Tuesday, Singtel inked a three-year partnership with UNCDF to launch and promote safe and affordable remittance for the over 180,000 Myanmar nationals in Singapore.

The grant agreement is part of the UNCDF's Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations programme. The sum of the grant and its exact terms were not disclosed. 

Through the partnership, Singtel aims to accelerate financial inclusion in Asean, said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel's international group.

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"With the rapidly growing number of smartphone users, we see tremendous opportunities to provide financial services at affordable rates to people and small businesses in the region," he said in a press statement.

Singtel Dash plans to build a network of remittance cash-out points with banks, mobile wallets and cash pick-up services in Myanmar.

The platform already offers remittance services to five countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and China. 

In 2017, Singtel and its associate Telkomsel launched a mobile remittance service to Indonesia, where money transferred from the Dash app in Singapore could be cashed out in Indonesia at 4,500 post office branches operated by Pos Indonesia.

Remittance is a small, but growing feature on Dash. The app is primarily known for its e-wallet and mobile payments capabilities. In 2017, it introduced a Visa virtual account that can be used at retail outlets, e-commerce platforms and on transportation. 

In growing its remittance capabilities, Dash is up against numerous competitors, including fintech startups such as TransferWise and InstaRem. 

Fellow telco M1 has a digital remittance service, M1 Remit, which can send money to 11 destinations across Asia. 

In addition, the e-wallet space has also grown crowded, with the likes of Grab's e-wallet GrabPay. Nevertheless, Mr Lang believes that there is still room to stand out. 

"Singtel's mobile financial business serves both the domestic and cross-border needs of our customers - this sets us apart from the myriad of mobile wallets available in Singapore," he said in the statement.