A Western Union remittance branch. Photo: iStock.
A Western Union remittance branch. Photo: iStock.

Foreign migrant workers in Taiwan may soon be able to send money home to their families through convenience stores, thanks to test policies set up by the Taiwanese government.

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) chairman Wellington Koo spoke to the press at the 2018 Annual Conference on Financial Information Systems  known as the Financial Regulatory Sandbox. He informed delegates of a new amendment named the Financial Technology Innovation and Experiment Act that may enable migrant workers to send remittances to their families back home using local convenience stores, Central News Agency reported.

As of now, migrant workers often send money using Western Union Quick Cash, which has long been criticized for security shortcomings and its use for money laundering. Quick Cash is a real-time online service which is quick and convenient. And yet flaws in the remittance forms can be exploited by money launderers, and this has forced numerous Taiwanese banks to cease offering Western Union remittance services.

Instead, the “micro-remittance” services in convenient stores could be set to offer a better alternative, as the option allows migrant workers to send smaller amounts of money, more frequently.

FSC Chairman Koo emphasized that the new service will only be available to migrant workers. He explained that remittances will be fixed, regular and transparent to both sender and recipient. Overall, the service is expected to enhance migrant workers’ labor autonomy, he said.