Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Wegagen Bank’s tie-up with WorldRemit for a digital money transfer service for Ethiopia. Hatton National Bank PLC unveiled the rollout of HNB Solo in Sri Lanka, personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) are on the rise in the Philippines, and Canadian bank CIBC is launching a new small business platform called CIBC SmartBanking for Business.
In Ethiopia, Wegagen Bank is working with WorldRemit for a digital money transfer service, according to reports. With the offering, money transfers can be facilitated to the bank’s Ethiopian branches or over 1.2 million Wegagen Bank accounts. World Remit launched its service for mobile money in the country in 2018. WorldRemit Head of East and Central Africa Sharon Kinyanjui said, according to reports, “Like WorldRemit, Wegagen Bank is committed to offering its customers choice and convenience through digital financial services.” With the offering, over 3 million Ethiopian people who live abroad in more than 50 nations can transfer funds home, per the report.
In Sri Lanka, Hatton National Bank PLC unveiled the rollout of its HNB Solo digital wallet and payment app, Lanka Business Online reported. To tap into the app, users can download the program from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. After downloading the app, they can enter their mobile numbers and personal details to register for Solo. Clients can also link the app to their bank account or card. HNB Deputy General Manager, Retail Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said, according to the report, “The Solo eWallet offers our large customer base the option of cashless and digitally enabled payments with the swipe of a screen.”
And, in the Philippines, personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) are on the rise, according to Xinhua. In March, personal remittances from OFs arrived at $2.8 billion from $2.6 billion in March of last year. Total remittances for Q1 of 2018 reached $8.1 billion from $7.8 billion during the same period in the prior year. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said, according to reports, “The continued growth in personal remittances during the first three months of 2019 was driven by steady remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to 6.2 billion U.S. dollars, and compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, which totaled 1.7 billion U.S. dollars.”
On another note, Canadian bank CIBC is launching a new platform for small businesses that combines accounting, banking, and payroll services, the institution recently announced. The platform, which is dubbed CIBC SmartBanking for Business, lets small businesses receive a holistic, streamlined view of their company finances with add-on services integrated with CIBC in addition to cloud-based accounting platforms. “Business owners are faced with simultaneously managing every facet of their business,” CIBC Senior Vice President of Business Banking Andrew Turnbull said in a statement. “We are introducing a valuable business intelligence tool to help clients manage their banking, accounting and payroll in one place, saving them time so that they can focus on achieving their growth ambitions.”