" 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, are an important way out of extreme poverty for a large number of people."

-- 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 be striking. For example, in Mexico, one of the largest receivers of remittances in the world, recipients 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.