The Malaysian Reserve

Outward remittances to slightly increase this year

According to BNM’s data, the value of housing loans that had been approved by lenders last year stood at RM87.2b (Pic by Muhd Amin Naharul/TMR)

by FARA AISYAH / TMR file pix

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) expects the outward remittances for this year to marginally increase against the RM33 billion achieved in 2017.

BNM director of money services business regulation department Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa predicts the value to increase by a single-digit percentage this year.

“We expect it to increase partly because we are doubling up our technology usage,” he told reporters at the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

The total figure recorded was a slight decrease compared to RM34.2 billion in 2016, which was partly due to the current exchange.

According to Nik Mohamed Din, the top five countries receiving Malaysia’s outward remittances are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, India and the Philippines.

Last year, Malaysia achieved the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals target of 3% cross-border remittances cost by 2030.

“Although we have reached that level, we hope to bring it down further with the use of technology,” Nik Mohamed Din said.

The remittance cost back in 2006 was 12%, but in 2017 it dropped to 3%.

He said this was made possible with BNM’s new Money Services Business Act 2011, developmental efforts which ensure technology is used and that there is healthy competition.

The e-remittance portal as well as the mobile applications can reduce the cost of outward remittance.

To date, there are 344 money service operators licensed by BNM, including 34 remittance service providers.

Remittances to low- and middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region came up to RM1.01 trillion in 2017.