Bitcoin can play a major role in the world of remittance services, due to its instantaneous borderless transactions and very low transaction fees. Areas such as The Philippines have been reaping the reward of Bitcoin-based remittance services. And there is a new player on the market, as Zinger wants to use Bitcoin to become the world’s first instant remittance service.
The World of Remittance As We Know it
Sending funds to the other side of the world has never been easier in this day and age. Without services like Western Union, Xoom or MoneyGram, it would take weeks or even months to move funds from one country to another. Especially if the destination country was an unbanked or underbanked nation, such as African countries or even The Philippines.
However, all of these services have one major flaw, and that is the high fees associated with the current remittance model. Granted, there are operation costs, staff to hire and logistics to take into account for companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram but, when customers are forced to pay fees up to 50 EUR or more per transaction to send money overseas, things start to get a bit hairy.
Additionally, the person who picks up the funds will have to travel to the nearby Western Union or Moneygram office as well. For recipients living in major cities – or close to them – this is not a major concern. But not everyone has easy access to these offices, and they will often have to pay for travel to get there and back home again. Suddenly, a US$100 money pickup turned into US$80 due to travel expenses.
Over the past year and a half, Bitcoin has started playing an ever important role in the remittance world. Various companies have been targeting underbanked areas such as The Philippines and African countries, in order to facilitate the transfer of money in and out of those countries. And to great success, as there is a huge market for these cheaper alternatives.
Zinger Takes Bitcoin Remittance To A New Level
When Zinger was first announced, the company had one single goal: servicing the Canadian-Filipino remittance corridor. Due to its great success, Zinger had to look at ways to expand their business. That expansion comes in the form of a partnership with coins.ph, which will allow banked workers in Canada to use Interac for sending a Bitcoin transmission to a coins.ph wallet.
In practical terms, popular payment system Interac will be handling transactions by purchasing remittances in Canadian Dollar, authorizing a sender’s bank account and alerting a BTC transfer in Zinger. This funds will then arrive in a Bitcoin wallet operated by coins.ph before it is converted to the local currency to cash out.
“Under the hood things get very complicated very fast, which is an important problem we solve. Right now Filipinos sending remittances through bitcoin have to buy their bitcoin in Canada [and] then send it to coins.ph. We have streamlined that process for them and taken out the complexity of managing multiple exchange rates and multiple fees along the way.” – Zinger CEO Lorne Lantz told the media.
Cashing out a coins.ph transaction can be done in several ways. The most obvious choice is to withdraw local fiat currency from one of the 24 supporting banks, or recipients can opt to receive the funds in person in cash. Alternatively, courier delivery or cardless ATM are options as well.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of Coins.ph and Shutterstock