The unbanked constitute a massive opportunity to improve life for an underserved market

It is a space made up of a demographic comprising primarily foreign workers who have ventured out of their home countries to make their living in another country.

It is estimated that Filipinos, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, and Indonesians make up more than 60% of Malaysia’s migrant workforce and, as such, a flow of remittances between these countries (along with infrastructure issues) have enabled a gap to form.

This gap has led to the development of new digital tools and platforms that address the need for seamless, secure, and accessible remittances for foreign workers and other unbanked demographics.

In order to enhance service offerings between the two countries, EVOLET (Malaysia) and Alterra (Indonesia) have partnered up to better serve the unbanked and cross-border workforces via their respective digital platforms.

Two countries, two networks, one problem

Remittances traditionally have been cumbersome, including between Malaysia and its neighbor Indonesia.

Due to red tape and the flagging of certain countries by Malaysia’s central bank, moving money as a foreign laborer in Malaysia can be a tedious process.

With an annual foreign remittance of about RM34 billion, it is estimated that Malaysia has around 2 million non-citizens in the country.

In Malaysia, Indonesian migrant workers may have to hold their entire salaries in cash and face issues with security due to staying with large groups of people under one roof. There are also large fees that come with conventional remittances. This is where EVOLET has managed to make a difference with its e-wallet app.

However, remittance is only a part of the equation. After going cashless, these workers can use their e-wallets for digital services such as delivery and e-hailing. This can enhance their mobility and spending power.

As workers are also consumers, cross-border remittances and spending ‘on the ground’ in both Malaysia and Indonesia could be enhanced via a strategic partnership between two platforms with similar goals.

Through the EVOLET partnership with Alterra, Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia can now pay their bills in their home country directly through the app, reducing the need to remit money back home simply to pay bills. With financial management and budgeting more streamlined, a more structured approach to banking can be introduced to the unbanked demographics in Malaysia.

Alterra provides a wide range of services in Indonesia. These include bill payment services (such as for electricity bills) and distribution for the Telco sector. As a distribution network, Alterra has enabled individuals and SMEs to sell digital products.

Alterra has processed millions of transactions every month and has had partners like Shopee, Traveloka, and Tokopedia. Through a dashboard, partners can get notifications and monitor remaining deposit, product availability, and other information in real time.

Through this partnership, EVOLET can potentially access 1,500 digital products in categories including electricity tokens, e-money, credit & data packages, multi-finance, and more. Customer service is also available on Alterra 24/7 for customer satisfaction.

On top of that, EVOLET also serves as a salary management service provider. Employers can opt in with Salary Advance which is the latest feature from EVOLET. With Salary Advance, employers will not only manage their migrant workers’ financial well-being, but this would also help with productivity and trust.

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