India received $89 billion in remittances in 2021, with the GCC countries contributing a significant share of this volume. Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Financial Holdings (LuLuFin), which processes over 10 million transactions annually, is a leading player in the global remittances segment, with India the largest remittance receiving country.
Speaking at the Global Fintech Festival in Mumbai, Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director of LuLu Financial Holdings, said for companies to innovate for NRIs, “knowing what happens at the salary level will lead to better fintech products that keep the end-consumer in mind.”
Ahamed said the launch of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is a revolutionary move that will enable expats to exercise greater control over meeting their families’ expenses in India. A longstanding demand of the NRI community, its rollout will help channel remittances to pay bills for utility services and other domestic expenses.
He spoke of the need for greater industry-government collaboration to achieve financial inclusion, citing the example of UAE’s Wage Protection Scheme, which over the last decade, has empowered millions of unbanked blue-collar workers to enter the formal banking system through the issuance of payroll cards. Financial inclusion is a priority in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and meeting this goal requires consistent effort from all stakeholders. Bringing the world’s unbanked and under-banked migrants into formal banking channels will enable salaries to be transferred into accounts.
LuLuFin provides remittance-as-a-service for banks and financial service providers, apart from enabling structured financing solutions for MSMEs in the GCC region and microfinance for retail consumers in India.
Through its insistence on partnerships and use of technology, the company has achieved a turnaround time of less than 15 seconds for remittances to some of its most important corridors, including GCC to India. It has also brought down the remittance fees to India to less than the UNSDG target of 3 per cent for every $200 remitted.