May 17, 2021 finance & economy

Expats remittances stable with majority transactions conducted online

Many managers of exchange companies’ branches revealed that expats and citizens transferred money a few days leading up to, and during the Eid holidays, on average. Another observation is that most customers opt for large companies instead of small ones due to their quality of services, particularly the online transfer services that became a necessity due to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, Al Rai reported. A source mentioned that the Indian community came first with regard to most remittances conducted, followed by Egyptians, then the Filipino community.

The director of an exchange compnay said that the number of customers for large companies increased during the Coronavirus pandemic as they were attracted to the online services provided after developing their sites where they facilitate the transfer of funds without requiring the person to visit the branch or call the service center, and also ensured the commissions remained the same whether visiting the branch or transferring online.

Highlighting the high demand for remittance and transfer services during Ramadan and Eid, the director noted that usually the month of Ramadan and Eid is considered a prosperous time for exchange companies because of very high demand, but the Coronavirus pandemic has altered the situation so a large segment of society has turned to online channels and has given up visiting branches. He expected that the revenues of the second quarter will be greater than the first of this year. The fears of health repercussions of the coronavirus with a worrisome death and infection rate contributed to people avoiding gatherings and close contact with others, especially under the directives of the Ministry of Health.

For his part, Hossam El Din Saleh, director of the LuLu Exchange Branch in Fahaheel, said that the recent partial curfew, the limited use of the airport, the hindrances on the return of expat arrivals, and the halt to new visas affected the expatriates’ demand to transfer money to their countries at the rates that were evident before the Coronavirus pandemic.

Underscoring the huge need for the online services provided by large remittance companies during the pandemic, he noted that they allowed customers to transfer their money through apps, and online website in a few simple steps. He noted that the Indian community comes first in terms of the volume of remittances, followed by Egyptians, then the Filipinos.

Currency exchange decreased 90 percent

An official in a branch of exchange companies pointed out that the airport closure hit the currency exchange side terribly, as it decreased by about 90 percent, as the currency exchange is limited to citizens who want to take a vacation outside the country after they are finally allowed to travel.

He stressed that the currency exchange return to stability is linked to the return of travel to normal, indicating that the demand of citizens in the recent period is for the dollar and the Saudi riyal.

87% increase in profits of exchange companies

The monetary statistics issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait showed that the net profit of exchange companies jumped during the first quarter of this year by 87 percent on an annual basis, as it recorded a net profit in the first three months of 2021 about KD9.94 million, compared to KD5.31 million in the same period of 2020.

While the statistics reported that the number of exchange companies decreased by the end of the third quarter to 35 companies, compared to 38 companies in the same month of 2020, their assets increased by 14.6 percent to KD261.4 million, compared to KD227.9 million at the end of March of last year.


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