Money Transfer Services in Lebanon at the Present State
Lebanon is considered a highly remittance-dependent economy with an average of USD 7 Billion flowing into the country every year. Currently, the money transfer service industry in Lebanon is monopolistic. As a result of this monopoly and the collapse of the banking sector, high sending fees are incurred on the sender, an additional 2% cash-out fee on the receiver, and limited options to both sending and receiving parties.
So what does the future hold for the money transfer industry in Lebanon?
The Future of Global Money Transfer and its Reflection on Lebanon
Since the turn of the century, the global money transfer and remittance market has seen a major transformation. From one individual handing the cash to another in a different country or region to a global payment infrastructure enabling instant money transfer digitally at a touch of a button.
Fintech startups have surpassed many challenges and obstacles such as complex regulations, forcing their way into disrupting the financial market previously monopolized by traditional players.
Looking to the future, the rise of fintechs, neo banks, and transformative emerging technologies such as open banking, p2p (wallet to wallet), blockchain, 5G internet infrastructure, AI, web3 and many more, will enable highly reliable financial services accessible to everyone on the globe. This will boost cashless economies reliant on digital payments and result in reducing the fees to an unprecedented efficient cost. All these powerful financial networks and new rails will make money transfers faster and more convenient than ever.
Traditional money transfer services and financial institutions will have to find new ways to adapt to the new reality of easy, quick, and cost-effective money transfers.
The future of money transfer will mark the end of the non-instant and exclusivity model of remittance.
Purpl: The Champion of the Unbanked
With 82% of the Lebanese population unbanked (no longer have or use banking services), after the free fall of the banking sector, the money flow has been mostly dependent on cash. Banks have lost the trust of the people.
Purpl’s mission is to make banking infrastructure available to the unbanked, allowing them to use ATMs to cash out their money without needing a bank account or card.
Purpl is the first remittance and cash-out aggregator in Lebanon, combined with a digital wallet and is live now with 2 remittance partners, Paysend and Remitly, and will continue adding more over time.
Purpl has eased it for everyone in Lebanon to gain access to financial services, and with its full digital experience and strategic partnerships, we are on our way to democratize remittance with an aim to achieve the UN SDG target of reducing the cost of remittances to Lebanon to a max of 3%, from a present high number of 12%.
Written by: Ahmad Haidar