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Posted On: 12 August 2008 08:02 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Q-post money transfer system coming

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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United Nations • Arab expatriates working in Qatar are set to benefit from a new money transfer system becoming available at post offices that will enable them to wire cash home faster, cheaper and with added security. A deal struck recently between Q-Post and postal agencies in seven other Arab countries will establish an electronic system designed to make it easier for migrant workers to send cash to their families. A computer network connecting Qatar's post offices with those in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen will arrange transfers for between about $3 and $6. Ali Al Kubaisi, Q-Post's financial and commercial director, said the system would be operational at Doha branches from September 1 before rolling out to post offices across the country in coming months. "This system has been designed to respond to the needs of a growing number of migrant workers living in Qatar and beyond," said Al Kubaisi. "For a small fee, they will be able to get money back to their families with improved security and within a very short space of time." The deal between eight Arab postal agencies was brokered by Nasser Fathi Qaddoumi, an adviser to the UAE's Emirates Post, and signed in Geneva during the Universal Postal Congress, which runs until today. Other Arab countries are expected to join the system by the end of the year. "The multilateral agreement gives the Arab region — with some countries in Asia and others in Africa — a push to provide better services to migrant workers," said Qaddoumi, chairman of the Arab League post committee. "For example, more than 80 percent of the UAE's population of 5.8 million people consists of foreigners, and the situation in other Gulf countries is not much different." The system relies on technology designed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), an organ of the United Nations that was established in 1847 with headquarters in Berne, Switzerland, to help the postal systems of different countries cooperate. One of the main advantages of the new system is that it uses an existing network of post offices that covers rural towns and villages across the Arab world, whereas private currency exchanges are usually located in big cities and metropolitan areas. A Moroccan working in Doha, for example, will be able to wire money to his family about 6,000km away even if they live in a remote town, when previously this would have been difficult, time-consuming and expensive. To use the service, customers will visit a Q-Post branch, fill out a form giving their own and the beneficiary's details and hand over the cash they want transferred. The clerk will explain how much this represents in the destination currency. The beneficiary can then visit the nearest post office in the recipient country, show proof of identity and collect the money. Organisers say the cash would be available in the destination country within a few hours. The Pen