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March 31, 2022

On the web

Revolut Expands Its Global Remittances Offer With Seven New Corridors

Business Review

“Revolut, the global financial superapp with over 18 million customers worldwide, announced today that customers from the UK, EEA, Japan, Singapore and Australia can now transfer money to bank accounts in Colombia (COP), Nepal (NPR), Peru (PEN), Bolivia (BOB), Guatemala (GTQ), Egypt (EGP) and Costa Rica (CRC), supporting seven additional local currencies.”

March 4, 2022

On the wires

Walmart Announces New Low-Price Fee on Money Transfers to Mexico

“Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is making it significantly cheaper for its customers to send money to Mexico. Customers can now send money from any Walmart store in the U.S. to any Walmart store in Mexico for as little as $2.50 per transaction through its Walmart2Walmart money transfer program — at least 50% lower than similar offerings on the market. This game-changing low fee marks another major milestone for the retailer as it remains committed to providing more inclusive and affordable financial solutions for all customers, including unbanked or underbanked households that rely on services like wire transfers for everyday money management.”

February 16, 2022

On the web

Coinbase Eyes Challenge to Western Union With Crypto Remittances


Coinbase Global Inc. , the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, is wading into the international money-transfer business, seeking to tap into a huge market dominated by firms like Western Union Co . Coinbase said it has launched a free pilot program for sending crypto funds to friends and family in Mexico. Receivers can convert the tokens into pesos at participating locations across the country or invest the funds into a Coinbase account. The service will become fee-based after March 31.”

December 20, 2021

On the web

Taptap Send Raises $65M to Build Cross-border Remittances Focused on the Most Underserved Markets


“Taptap Send has been steadily growing and adding more countries to its list of served markets. It currently covers some 20 countries for receiving money, some of the very poorest and/or least developed places in the world including Bangladesh, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Zambia.”

November 17, 2021

On the wires

Mastercard Partners With Home Remitt to Enable Simple, Safe and Affordable International Money Transfers | Middle East/Africa Hub

“As the demand for quick, secure, and simple digital payments solutions continues to grow, Mastercard has partnered with Home Remitt to enable migrants living in South Africa to safely and conveniently send money in near real-time to their family and friends back home. This secure and reliable service will offer individuals an opportunity to save on the soaring remittance costs that currently characterise the South African cross-border payments market. Through this partnership, Home Remitt integrated Mastercard Cross-Border Services into its money transfer service, providing migrants with an affordable means to send money to millions of bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash pick up locations in India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Pakistan, with other countries to be enabled in the near future.”

September 3, 2021

On the web

U.S. Allows Personal Remittances to Flow to Afghanistan


“The United States has told financial institutions that they may process personal remittances to Afghanistan, a Treasury Department spokesperson said on Thursday, a move taken in tandem with steps to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian aid. The decision to allow money transfers could provide some relief for the Afghan economy, which is nearing collapse after moves by the United States and other countries to halt foreign aid and freeze some $9 billion in Afghan assets after the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15.”

August 31, 2021

On the web

August 19, 2021

On the web

LuLu Financial Holdings and NPCI International Ink Agreement to Enable Real-time Remittances to India on the UPI Platform


“LuLu Financial Holdings (LFH), an Abu Dhabi-based holding company investing in financial services, has inked an agreement with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to offer real-time remittances to India. The partnership will enable LuLu Financial Holdings through its affiliates to connect to UPI infrastructure and facilitate remittance to beneficiaries in India who are onboarded on UPI-powered apps. The solution will assist with real-time beneficiary name validation and facilitate requisite compliance checks in a secure manner.”

August 16, 2021

On the web

Revolut Makes Remittances a Priority As It Enters the U.S.

American Banker

“The London-based Revolut in the past two months has launched products designed to tap the U.S.-Mexico remittance corridor, support for crypto withdrawals, and payments for flights and hotels. There’s a focus on cross-border payments, where Revolut contends it can find new users by offering lower fees and digital rails, despite a highly competitive U.S. market focused on the same services. Revolut earlier this month launched U.S.-Mexico remittances, which reached an all-time high earlier this year, totaling $4.5 billion in May alone, according to BBVA Research , adding that was a 31% jump from the same month in 2020.”

August 6, 2021

On the web

Chilean Fintech Looks for Slice of Giant Money Transfers Market


“Chilean fintech Global66 is tapping into the vast pool of remittances and money transfers sloshing around Latin America, hoping a new wave of products will give it an edge over a hoard of competitors. The start-up that employs 200 people in eight different countries plans to use its latest funding round to promote a new app through which clients can send money instantly between accounts on its platform at low cost, company founder and chief executive officer Tomas Bercovich said in an interview. It already allows customers to move funds between commercial bank accounts.”

July 30, 2021

On the wires

Revolut Launches US-Mexico Remittance Corridor, Enabling Expats to Easily Send Money Back Home

“Revolut, the financial superapp with 16 million customers worldwide, announced today its simplifying cross-border payments between the US and Mexico with the launch of its US-Mexico remittance corridor. With this launch, Revolut customers in the US and Mexico can now easily transfer money between one another without any hidden fees, at the real exchange rate. In May 2021, remittance flows between Mexico and the U.S. increased a whopping 31% , reaching over $4.5 billion as migrants continue sending money to loved ones to alleviate the impact of the pandemic.”

July 13, 2021

On the wires

Thunes Enables Cambodia’s Advanced Bank of Asia (ABA) to Make Instant Cross-border Transfers to Bank Accounts

Thunes , a leading global payments network, today announced a partnership with ABA Bank (“ABA”) that enables Cambodians overseas to send money back home quicker and cheaper from around the world. Previously, customers making international money transfers to Cambodia had to pay high fees averaging close to 12% on a US$200 transfer[1] and wait several days for the funds to reach their recipient. Now, powered by Thunes’ last-mile capabilities and extensive global network, Cambodians living, working and studying overseas can send money back home instantly and at more competitive rates.”

July 7, 2021

On the wires

Nium to Acquire Wirecard Forex India Private Limited

Nium , a leading global payments platform, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wirecard Forex India Pte. Ltd – a foreign currency exchange, pre-paid card, and remittance service provider in India. Wirecard Forex is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India as an Authorized Category II Money Exchange Dealer (AD II) and the acquisition includes Wirecard’s AD II licence. With this license, Nium can directly engage in a variety of payment services activities across the subcontinent, including currency conversion, money transfer, and pre-paid card issuance.”

June 29, 2021

On the web

Taptap Send Gets $13.4M for a No-fee Money Transfer Service Aimed at Price-conscious Emerging Market Users


“Remittances — specifically when people in developed countries send money to family or friends in emerging markets — continue to be a huge lever to help those in more challenging economies survive and improve their lot. Today, a startup that has built a remittance platform that it believes is the most economically sympathetic and useful to the people who use those services the most is announcing some funding to continue growing. Taptap Send , which provides a “free” mobile money transfer service from eight countries to 15 others, has raised $13.4 million, money that it will be using to continue expanding its scope and the services that it provides to its customers.”

June 24, 2021

On the web

Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Confirms Direct Listing on the LSE in Early July, Reportedly at a $6B-$7B Valuation


“Following Wise’s announcement earlier this month that it planned to go public by way of a direct listing on the LSE, today the company made the news formal with a regulatory filing . The London-based company — formerly known as TransferWise and primarily in the business of transferring money across different currencies — with 10 million users said it plans to list in “early July 2021” but did not provide further details on pricing of its class A shares, in keeping with how direct listings work. It’s been reported, however, that the plan is for the valuation to be in the range of $6 billion to $7 billion with the listing.”

June 23, 2021

On the wires

Passbook by Remitly Launches Suite of New Features

Remitly , the mobile-first provider of international remittances and financial services for immigrants, today announced the launch of several new digital banking features in the Passbook by Remitly app. Remitly is rethinking how immigrants access banking services, and with the addition of new features, making the product work harder for customers. Sunrise Banks N.A. issues the bank account and provides the banking services that customers can access through the Passbook app. Enhancements include a streamlined identity verification process, more than 40% faster bank transfers on average, early payday, person to person payments, and immediate activation of the Passbook Visa® debit card.”

June 22, 2021

On the web

Africa Leads the Way on Reimagining Remittance Regulations

World Economic Forum

“When travelling abroad, you might have encountered difficulties in withdrawing money and marvelled over how the rules and regulations differ from country to country. And if you ever tried to send money to someone outside of your country, you might have been even more exasperated. This is the state of affairs for remittances – the money that breadwinners living abroad send to family back home. Different countries have different rules about what sort of companies can operate a money-transfer business. Fully licensed banks? Fintechs? Or the rules might differ about the maximum amount of a single transaction. Or what forms of identification for remittance senders or receivers are acceptable. Or what kind of bank account you must have in order to receive or hold foreign currency. There might even be rules regarding what you can spend your remittance money on once you receive it.”

June 15, 2021

On the wires

Nium and Travelex Launch New Digital Remittance Offering in Hong Kong – NIUM

Travelex , one of the market leading  foreign exchange brands, alongside advanced global payments platform Nium , has today announced the launch of its new digital remittance offering (“Travelex International Money Transfer”) to users in Hong Kong. Already live in Australia and Singapore , this digital remittance offering – powered by Nium’s global payment rails and real-time payment capabilities – enables Travelex users in Hong Kong to remit money to more than 50 markets across the world almost instantly [1] .   Over recent years, Hong Kong has developed a diversified and inclusive payment ecosystem that enables residents to make instant domestic fund transfers via the Faster Payment System (FPS) [2] . However, cross-border payment remains to be a challenge given the long processing time and high costs involved, with the local government looking at ways to enhance and speed up its cross-border bank remittance services.”

May 11, 2021

On the web

Google Pay Launches International Money Transfers With Wise and Western Union


“Alphabet Inc’s Google has launched international money transfer partnerships with remittances firms Wise and Western Union Co for users of its U.S. payments app, the companies said on Tuesday. Google Pay users in the United States can now transfer money to app customers in India and Singapore, with plans to expand to the 80 countries available via Wise, and 200 via Western Union by the end of the year. Google’s foray in the $470 billion remittance market, marks a further step by the technology company to expand its financial services offering, ramping up competition in the digital payments sector.”

On the wires

Remitly Receives Investment From Visa to Help Accelerate Expansion of Cross-Border Money Transfer Network in Emerging Markets

Remitly , the mobile-first provider of remittances and financial services for immigrants, today announced new funding from Visa, a world leader in digital payments. On the heels of a meaningful year for Remitly, Visa has made an equity investment in the digital provider, showcasing confidence in the quality and continuity of Remitly’s vision to provide transformative financial services products for immigrants across the globe.”

May 6, 2021

On the web

EXCLUSIVE U.S. Remittance Processor Remitly Hires Advisers for IPO -sources


“Remitly Inc has hired investment banks to prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) in New York this year that could value the U.S. remittance payments processor at around $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. It would be a significant jump from the $1.5 billion valuation the Seattle-based company attained in its last private funding round in July 2020.”

April 30, 2021

On the web

After Dropping Out of College in Nigeria, These Tech Entrepreneurs Have Now Been Snapped up by the Influential Y Combinator


“The co-founder and chief executive of Nigerian fintech Flux says dropping out of college helped to pave the way for the launch of a new crypto payments company, one that has since been backed by renowned start-up accelerator Y-Combinator…Flux is a cryptocurrency remittance app. It lets users convert sovereign currencies into crypto and then send those funds overseas, claiming to make the process of international cash transfers faster and more efficient.”

April 29, 2021

On the web

Thailand, Singapore Launch Linkage of Real-time Payment Systems


“The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched on Thursday a linkage of Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow real-time retail payment systems. Describing it as the first of its kind globally, they said in a statement the linkage followed several years of collaboration between the BOT and MAS, payment system operators, bankers’ associations and banks. ( bit.ly/3t3aNe8 )”

April 27, 2021

On the web

Bitcoin’s Most Recent Adopters Are Working-class Migrants

Rest of World

“Salgado is now part of a growing number of Latin Americans using cryptocurrency to transfer money from the United States south of the Rio Grande. They represent a new wave of crypto users who are not tech enthusiasts or white-collar financiers but rather working-class people whose livelihoods depend on a technology that is often seen as experimental. The savings in commission fees makes crypto remittances a gamble worth taking for low-wage migrants. Before Bitcoin, like most migrants, she would send her money via the international transfer companies Western Union, MoneyGram, or Vigo.”

March 23, 2021

On the web

Afriex Raises $1.2M Seed to Scale Its Payments and Remittances Platform Across Africa


“Sending money from the U.S. to Nigeria can be a painstaking process. For remittance platforms like Western Union, it will cost a transfer fee and take between one to five business days for money sent from a U.S. debit card to enter a Nigerian bank account.  Crypto remittance platforms are rising to the challenge of fixing these cross-border payment issues by reducing time and fees. Just yesterday, we talked about Flux , a Nigerian fintech solving this problem in the present YC W2021 batch. Today, another YC-backed startup, Afriex — but from the Summer 2020 batch — is raising a $1.2 million seed round.”

March 8, 2021

On the wires

TerraPay Forays Into Bank Account Payments in the USA and Canada to Facilitate Same Day International Money Transfers and Cross Border Remittances

“TerraPay, a leading global payments infrastructure company, announced its expansion into Bank Account payments in the USA and Canada markets to facilitate digital cross border remittances and speedy money transfers to senders (partners and their customers) from key corridors around the globe. TerraPay’s objective is to build global digital payment highways that interconnect financial institutions such as Banks and Mobile Wallets across the world, nurturing inclusivity, independence and empowerment to all in the global ecosystem.”

February 24, 2021

On the web

New Finablr Owners in Merger Talks With Bahraini Payments Firm


“The UAE-Israeli consortium that acquired UAE Exchange is in merger talks with Bahrain’s BFC Group Holdings to create a Middle Eastern remittances and currency firm with more than 24 million customers in 30 countries. Prism Group AG and Abu Dhabi’s Royal Strategic Partners teamed up in December to buy the assets of Finablr Plc , the London-listed payments firm that collapsed after disclosing more than a $1 billion in hidden debts.”

January 15, 2021

On the wires

bKash and Mobile Money Connect Through RippleNet to Power Wallet-to-Wallet Remittances

“Ripple, the enterprise blockchain solution for global payments, today announced a partnership with Mobile Money, a Malaysian mobile wallet company. Through RippleNet, Ripple’s global payments network, Mobile Money has connected to bKash, Bangladesh’s largest provider of mobile financial services (MFS) which serves over 45 million users. The partnership will power seamless wallet-to-wallet payments to serve the remittance corridor between Malaysia and Bangladesh.”

December 11, 2020

On the wires

Xoom, a PayPal service, announces secure money transfers to mobile wallets in 12 countries in Africa

Xoom, PayPal’s money transfer service, announced that the company’s customers in the US, UK, Canada and Europe can now send secure and convenient money transfers directly to mobile wallets in key markets across Africa with a focus on the underbanked segment. This new service expands the company’s offering to send money to mobile wallets in Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—with plans to include more markets in 2021.”

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