Mobile app allows OFWs to remit money
Seattle-based digital money transfer company Remitly Inc. is hiring more Filipinos to support its growing remittance business.
Remitly chief product manager Karim Meghji and human resources head Allie Hanegan—two of the company’s key officers—are leading the expansion in the Philipines.
“First, we’d like the public to know that Remitly is a mobile app—a digital tool that helps people, families and foreign workers send money to their loved ones at home,” Meghji said.
The company’s first market is in fact the US-Philippines, or overseas Filipino workers in the US sending money to the Philippines.
“We have a very strong connection to this market because this is where we started. The foreign Filipino workers in the US, the expats working there, we know we have a good chance of delivering the service they need. Five years ago was when it began. We’re sending money here. Now, we’re sending from three countries—the US, Canada and the UK. We send money to the Philippines, Mexico, India, Latin American countries like Panama, Nicaragua, Equador and few others,” he said.
The company also operates from Manila, where it is hosting backend operations, customer service, risk and fraud analysis and support services for the US-Philippines and Canada-Philippines markets.
It has recently opened its Nicaraguan operations center that serves the Latin American market.
From a workforce of 120 people, Remitly aims to beef up manpower to over 200 people.
“We look for people who are hungry and want to make a difference. Like if they see a problem, they want to fix it. We have a lot of people seeking us out and they apply directly. Maybe because our rates are a little better than competition. We give competitive salaries and good benefits,” Hanegan said.
The Manila office is also open to hiring fresh college graduates and people from different industries.
“Something that works for us is open house. We get a lot of interest and we really want people to come to us and be hired by us,” said Hanegan.
She said attrition rate in the company is very low, with most of the pioneers still working for Remitly.
The Philippine operations center is currently hiring customer service representatives, risk investigators, leadership and support team and technology experts.
It does customer service, financial services that involve risk and fraud analysis and protection as well as technical support functions
“With what has to do with risk and fraud, transactions are not always done legitimately. We have investigators here who look at those transactions. They can identify cases that are fraud here,” said Meghji.
Remitly will soon open the UK-Indian market which will be be served by the Manila Office. It also looks at China and Vietnam as potential expansion areas.
Remitly has 40 to 45 people in the Philippines doing investigation on potential fraud cases.
“They use our technology and a variety of tools to understand transactions that can be fraud or in violation of policies we have. We stay away from transactions that are illegal in nature. This group takes care of the safety of our customers,” Meghji said.
Account capture is the most prevalent case of fraud the remittance industry is most likely to deal with.
“Account capture is almost like identity theft. We are very careful of understanding the cases customers are sending. There are cases when stolen credit cards are using Remitly to send money to themselves or to family. We are always careful to look for signals that can be fraud. There’s a number of techniques fraudsters attempt to use our platform,” said Meghji.
Remitly grew its revenue multiple times over the last fives years and aims to sustain the trend. It is dependent on its partners—banks and cash pick-up centers—in bringing seamless money transfer to recipient countries.
On an annual basis, Remitly is transferring transactions of over $2 billion globally.
The Philippines has hundreds of millions of transactions, representing about a third of overall transactions.
“Philippines is not the biggest transaction market but we find the Filipino worker in the ÙS and Canada sending more frequently in smaller amounts. In the next 12 months, we hope to capture bigger market share globally and in the Philippine market,’ said Meghji.
Remitly aims to become the world’s most customer-focused payments company, enabling remittances across international borders.