" With the number of migrants
worldwide now reaching almost 200 million, their productivity
and earnings are a
powerful force for poverty reduction. Remittances, in particular,
an important way out of extreme poverty for a large number
-- François Bourguignon, Senior
Vice President and Chief Economist, The World Bank
For some developing countries
remittances have exceeded foreign investment inflows and foreign
aid combined. In some cases, remittances constitute more than 30%
of a developing country's GDP. The impact of remittances to
the recipient can
in Mexico, one of the largest receivers of remittances in the
typically spend about 70% of remittances on rent, utilities, food
and other living expenses.
The plight of the sender can be just as dramatic. These immigrants
left their friends and family and ventured to a foreign land in
search of opportunity; an opportunity to provide for their family.
The most common thread among immigrants across the world is the
usage of wireless technology. In many cases, the wireless phone
is the immigrants’ lifeline to their loved ones back home.
In some developing countries, wireless penetration has reached
90% with nearly the entire population having at least one mobile/wireless
phone. With the emergence of a ubiquitous device with global reach,
a new paradigm is emerging. Coupled with advances in mobile payments,
the ability to use a mobile device as a virtual bank account has
changed the landscape and blurred the distinction between the wireless
and banking/financial industries.
At aKos, we seek to facilitate an environment where immigrants
can cost-effectively and effortlessly send funds, and where recipients
receive those funds in cash easily, safely and securely at merchants
they already frequent.