Canadian startup Centigram has launched a mobile app which allows migrant workers and their families living in the Philippines, Australia, Canada, India, Italy, Mexico, UK, and the United States to send and receive financial support in the form of “eGift” without fees.
Through the Centigram mobile app, migrant workers can send eGift cards that their families can use to buy goods and services from the top local and global brands of their choice, either online or in-store.
Centigram users, also called Centigramers, can send up to $500 (Canadian dollars) worth of eGift cards per day.
Centigram said the app was designed to meet the requirements of people living abroad for an instant way of sending financial support to their loved ones without the extra charges.
The Centigram app uses a closed-loop system that allows eGift cards to be transferred instantly and free of charge. Only a Centigram username is required.
According to an International Money Fund Working Paper, “The World Bank estimates that about $550 billion was sent back by migrant workers to low- and middle-income countries in 2020.” However, it should be noted that, when sending a money transfer through traditional or electronic means, families do not usually receive the total amount as remittances are charged 7 percent on average. Plus, there are often currency conversion and other hidden fees, making it expensive to send money.
Sameem Monzaviyan, founder and CEO of Centigram, said: “At Centigram, we give the migrant worker, our modern-day heroes, the ability to instantly send financial support to their families back home while making sure the entire amount goes directly to the recipients.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic restricting people’s mobility, Centigram also allows users to send and receive financial support around the world at any time.
“This pandemic has disrupted the way we do things, so we leveraged technology to help us all. With Centigram, we have made sending financial support in the form of eGifts as easy and inclusive as sending an instant message,” Monzaviyan added.