Working overseas is not a walk in the park. Despite the beautiful smiles sent back home through Facebook updates or posts shared on social media, the anxiety and stress of living far away from home is a reality that every migrant worker must deal with all for the sake of providing for their families.
It is for this very reason that migrant workers toil long hours, sometimes without even taking a day off – to send money to buy food for their loved ones and support their needs back home.
Start-Up Helps Migrant Workers to Have More Control Over Their Money
However, the money being remitted back home by migrant workers does not always end up as food on the dinner table, especially when it is handled by someone (usually) in the family, who may have other uses for it in mind… It is for this reason that BeamAndGo, a social impact e-commerce start-up launched in Singapore back in 2015, was introduced to help thousands of Filipino domestic workers in Singapore — and elsewhere — gain more control over the remittances they send back to relatives at home, as shared in a report by Today Online.
Because of its scope and reach, which has benefited thousands of migrant workers based in Singapore, the firm is now looking at expanding to other South-east Asian markets including Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam — and could do so as soon as 2022. Many foreign domestic workers in Singapore are from Indonesia.
The first market of the platform, which are Filipinos, have used the service to buy SMS codes through the website and send money back home in the form of vouchers, which can be used by their relatives to redeem groceries, medicine and gas, among other necessities.
Of note, the website also has pre-packed packages with groceries, such as rice and canned food, which users can choose to have delivered to their families.
This gives the users the guarantee they desire – that their hard-earned money is, for example, putting food in the mouths of their children back home — and not being used for other impractical purposes.
To date, the website has already partnered with about 800 supermarket branches, 800 pharmacies, 2,000 gas stations and 2,500 convenience stores in the Philippines, which accept the vouchers the workers send home.
At present, BeamAndGo has 170,000 Filipino users working around the globe in places such as Hong Kong, Japan and the Middle East. Singapore accounts for 6,661 registered users.
Other than its economic value, the platform has also encouraged users to be more ‘smart’ when it comes to the use of the money they earn overseas in the form of a training platform called LearnAndGo, which conducts workshops on financial literacy and cultivating better spending habits.