Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) aims to reduce the cost of remitting funds in Sabah from 4.5 per cent to 3 per cent in the next two years, said its director of Money Services Business Regulation Department, Nik Mohd Din Nik Musa.
He said the target would be achieved through the Kota Kinabalu Greenback 2.0 initiative.
"The initiative is organised by the World Bank Group in collaboration with BNM and Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) to attract more foreign workers in the city to use legal remittance platforms, thereby improving efficiency and transparency in the remittance market" he said.
Nik Mohd Din told this to reporters after the launch of the project on Sunday, 4 March.
Sabah Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid, officiated the launch.
Also present were BNM Deputy Governor Jesscia Chew Cheng Lian, World Bank Group Country Manager for Malaysia, Faris Hadad-Zervos and the Mayor of DBKK, Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.
Nik Mohd Din said the remittance rate for Kota Kinabalu was slightly higher due to transportation costs.
"At the end of 2017, the remittance rate for the national level was 3.1 per cent and Kota Kinabalu was at an average of 4.5 per cent" he said.
"Therefore, our target and goal is to lower the remittance rate in Kota Kinabalu to 3 per cent by 2020 as envisaged in this project so that remittance costs will be cheaper," he said.
Nik Mohd Din said the Kota Kinabalu Greenback 2.0 project would be implemented for two years beginning today, and Kota Kinabalu is the second city to be declared a â€˜remittances champion city' after Johor Bahru, which implemented it from November 2015 to November 2017.
On Kota Kinabalu's Greenback 2.0 project, Nik Mohd Din said, the city's foreign workers, including the surrounding areas, could now make remittances more easily and efficiently using electronic and digital platforms via e-remittance applications.
He said the new technology, e-KYC, or electronic know your customers, would allow remittance company to verify the authenticity of their customers' identity, and at the same time allow senders to remit money with ease.
Nik Mohd Din said BNM would be organising a Cash Remittance Carnival with various activities including briefing foreign workers, SMIs as well as the public to recognise legal remittance companies in Kota Kinabalu.
"There are a total of 13 legal remitters with more than 80 branches here and its surrounding areas" he said.