Applicant name: Moneytrans Payment Services
Applicant type: Private Company
Headquarter City: Brussels
Headquarter Country: Belgium
Innovation Name: Smile
Innovation Type: Project
Category: Remittance Evolution
Status of Innovation: In-market
Innovation Active Since: 01/01/2022
Innovation Description: The SMILE offering is an exclusive multi-service solution aimed at supporting migrants’ digital financial inclusion and financial resilience and, in turn, that of their relatives abroad. This new product suite takes advantage of the hybrid Moneytrans distribution model combining the best of both in-person and online distribution channels.
The SMILE bundle offers the following features under a single umbrella:
  1. A current account (the SMILE account), thanks to which online financial services (described below) are made accessible. This account can be opened online or at the agent and funded in-cash at a Moneytrans physical access point. Every account has its own individual IBAN allowing migrants to receive salaries but also to authorize direct debit for rent (direct debit being often a condition to access house rentals) or bills which represents a key step toward financial autonomy for migrant workers.
  2. A Mastercard debit card linked to the current account allowing free payments throughout the Mastercard network and withdrawals at any ATM. The card is optional and costs from EUR 20 to EUR 36 according to the fee scheme (yearly or monthly), which is 3 times cheaper than any similar bank product.
  3. Remittances at reduced costs. When a transfer is paid by debiting a SMILE account (whether through an agent or online), the transfer fee is min. 20% cheaper compared to transfers initiated in-cash or through credit cards, bringing total transfer costs below 4% on average.
  4. An Accident Insurance for remittance senders and eventual repatriation costs, which will benefit to their relatives in receiving countries in case of financial incapacitation or death in Europe. The insurance product has just been launched as a pilot on a freemium basis as a loyalty reward for SMILE account users, with the intention to switch to a paid service scheme in 2023 with broader insurance coverages.
  5. A personalized customer support initiated in branches and at the agent, in-person, for retail customers and extended through online channels.
What has been a strategy you implement to be ahead of the market? Eversince the rise of the digital in the remittance space 10 years ago, Moneytrans has been building its global strategy to shift its customer base from a cash-based and remittance-only experience to an omnichannel experience bundling remittances with other financial services. The remittance market remains fragmented between online and cash over-the-counter solutions and continues to lack an approach that would support customers’ smooth transitioning from cash to digital. Moreover, the market is predominantly dominated by mono-product remittance business models which de facto limits financial options for remitters. The innovative “phygital” distribution approach has therefore emerged as the solution for migrant customers to make it much simpler to enter the digital space and adopt an offer made of multiple services.
What has been your competitive advantage in adapting so quickly to market change? Moneytrans’ deep knowledge and closeness to its customer base after being in the market for over 20 years dealing with customers face to face and listening to their needs and wishes.
What has been the biggest change that was essential for your evolution? PSD2 and open banking have definitely opened the doors to new opportunities in the payment industry by giving access to non-banking financial institutions to the full range of payment services. Account issuing, Swift connectivity, payment and card processing are no longer reserved for banks! In the particular case of the remittance space, in addition to expanding the range of services to be offered to our customers, it has also made possible to reduce dependence on banks and the risk that goes along with.
What was the inspiration for this innovation? Provide real added value in a sector that caters to an underprivileged clientele with an innovation line that goes way beyond the remittance product itself and its.
Who can benefit from your innovation most? Under- or unbanked migrants with limited financial knowledge and a lack of trust in the traditional financial sector.
What are you most proud of about your innovation? It is a truly differentiation making the bridge between divided online and retail approaches, hence allowing migrants of any tech or financial background to embark the digital transformation.
Why do you think you should win this category? We believe our new service offering addresses like no other the specific needs of the migrant workers in Europe and actively contributes as much to their relatives’ financial inclusion abroad as their own!


Full Name: Miguel Fernández-Rosas
Role: COO
Full Name: Jeremy de Smet
Role: CEO