Mastercard debuts remittance-linked checking for migrant workers

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As part of its financial inclusion campaign, Mastercard has partnered with Moneytrans to launch remittance-linked checking for migrant workers with a goal of obtaining 1 million users by 2025.

The new remittance-linked checking account is called a Smile account and is accessed by using a Mastercard debit card. It is designed for its target audience of foreign-born workers in the European Union, with an integrated remittance service. The Smile accounts are being launched in March in Belgium, followed by rollouts in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and France by the end of 2020. Additional European countries will be added in 2021.

“We are extremely proud to bring such a cutting-edge product as a Debit Mastercard to Moneytrans’ customers, as we believe that innovation should benefit everyone. With this product, overseas workers get access to a wide range of services and are no longer forced to evolve in a cash-only environment,” said Guillaume Degrijse, vice president of business development for Western Europe at Mastercard, in a press release.

The Smile account offers many of the same features as a traditional checking account. The debit Mastercard can be used for internet shopping, as well as in-store purchases and ATM withdrawals in 210 countries, while Moneytrans can remit money to over 140 countries using its 250,000-location network.

According to Mastercard, based on data from Eurostat, the EU is home to over 38 million foreign-born workers from non-EU countries that remit over €53 billion (about $59 billion) to friends and family in their home countries.

Belgium-based money transfer agent Moneytrans currently serves over 2 million active customers throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the U.K. and Romania. Most of its customers remit money to countries in Africa, followed by nations in Latin America.

Mastercard is committed to bring 500 million people into the financial system by 2020. The Smile account is expected to give 1 million migrant workers access to both an IBAN formatted account and a debit card with worldwide acceptance by 2025.

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Financial inclusion Mastercard Debit cards Cross border payments