Doha – The implementation of the Wage Protection System (WPS) seems to have boosted the morale and dignity of blue-collar workers in a big way as they can now remit wages conveniently with the help of ATM cards to their home countries.

Under the WPS, it is mandatory for the employers to transfer salaries directly to the bank accounts of the workers.

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“Since the implementation of the WPS, there has been an overall improvement in the volume of monthly remittances from the baseline customers that include workers mostly from Asian countries. This is because blue-collar workers are now getting their full salaries credited to their accounts on time,” said Anand Jakati, manager Al Mana Exchange.

The WPS has also brought a sea change in the lives of expatriate workers, with the opening of their bank accounts and issuance of the ATM cards.

Jakati said,”All outlets of Al Mana Exchange have the facility of Point of Sales (POS) system which enables customers, including low-income earners, to use their ATM cards to remit their salaries back home without the need to withdraw cash from ATMs.”

He added,”This new facility of POS being offered at all our outlets has immensely benefited our baseline customers since it has made cashless remittances possible. With the salary transfer made transparent, we know when the salaries are being credited and when we should be ready for the rush days.”

He said the pattern of rush days has also changed.

“Earlier, the last two weeks of the month used to see rush but now the trend has changed to the last and the first week of the month. We can prepare ourselves better for the rush days since the salary transfers have been streamlined.”

Echoing Jakati’s view, Zubair Abdul Rahiman, operations manager at Al Zaman Exchange, said:”There has been a sizeable increase in the total number of customers sending money to their countries on a monthly basis. This increase in number can be attributed to the fact that more blue-collar workers now get their salaries credited to their account on time.”

“There may not be a massive increase in the volume of remittances but improvement is certainly there. Earlier, many workers used to send money once in two or three months but with the WPS in place, they are able to make timely remittances. With the help of ATM cards, they can also remit their salaries to their loved ones conveniently,” Abdul Rahiman added.

He said the system has also boosted the dignity of the workers, resulting in psychological relief for them.

“By having bank accounts and ATM cards, they do not feel deprived in any way. The system gives them a freedom to remit money as per their convenience without having to carry cash,” he added.

To cash in on the opportunity offered by the new system, leading exchange houses are opening outlets in areas with labour concentrations.