6 Remittance Startups in Southeast Asia to Knowby Fintech News Singapore September 8, 2016
Remittances can contribute to a big chuck of the GDP of a country, notably in emerging markets. The World Bank estimates that migrants will send up to US$636 billion home in 2017, with three quarter of that amount being remitted to developing countries.
In 2015, remittances to South Asia grew by 2% or US$117.9 billion. Given their magnitude and contribution to national economies, reducing remittance cost would add billions to these local economies.
Digital platforms, mobile and cutting edge technologies have already shown that not only can the remittance costs be significantly brought down, but the money can also be delivered virtually in the hands of the beneficiary.
Today, we take a look at some of Southeast Asia’s remittance startups that are doing just that.
FlexM is a Singaporean financial service provider offering mobile payments, payroll and remittance solutions in Asia.
FlexM offers a number of services: Payroll Cards are a flexible and cost efficient method of managing payroll by using prepaid cards; Consumer Cards provide consumers access to a prepaid value to pay bills, in-store purchases, and online shopping; Virtual Cards allows for payments in virtual environments; and Corporate Expense Cards are targeted at employees, vendors and consultants of companies who are unable or not willing to provide a traditional corporate credit/debit cards, allowing them to pay for a range of business-related expenses.
In April, FlexM announced a new partnership with MatchMove for provide foreign domestic workers with an e-wallet for everyday expenses, online purchases and remittances in Singapore.
Sendah and Sendah Remit (Ayannah)
Sendah is Ayannah‘s B2C gift remittance service for migrants. Initially targeting overseas Filipinos, the service now has a growing base of over 50,000 customers with high lifetime value. The company plans to expand the service to other immigrant communities from South Asia, Latin America, and other markets.
Sendah Remit is a bank grade Software-as-a-Service that allows interoperable international and domestic remittance transactions across different networks. Together with Sendah Direct, Ayannah‘s B2B payments service, Sendah Remit aims at becoming the largest digital payment network in the Philippines.
Fastacash is not a remittance startup per se but enables peer-to-peer payments through its platform. Singaporean Fastacash provides a social payments B2B solution that allows end-users to make payments across any social and messaging channel from any part of the world. The social payments platform allows users to transfer value, whether it is money, airtime, tokens of value, etc.
Fastacash has raised over US$23 million in venture capital so far and has signed key partnerships with the likes of Cellum and MyPAY.
Rebit.ph (Satoshi Citadel Industries)
Rebit.ph, a service of Filipino Bitcoin startup Satoshi Citadel Industries, is an online platform for remittances that leverages the Bitcoin network for fast and affordable cross-border money transfers.
Rebit.ph allows users located in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the Emirates, the UK, the US and Vietnam, to send money to the Philippines with Bitcoin.
The sender sends bitcoins to a Rebit.ph address, which are then converted to the local currency of the recipient. The amount is then sent to the recipient’s bank account or via cash pick-up at a local pawnshop or at Rebit HQ in Makati. Rebit.ph doesn’t charge any fee to use the platform. Only third-party fees apply for payouts to bank accounts and through pawnshops.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Bitspark too is a remittance platform that leverages the Bitcoin network. Bitspark currently allows users to send money to three markets: the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The startup, an Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific alumnus, focuses on the Asia-Pacific region and is known for pioneering the world’s first blockchain-powered cash-in and cash-out remittance platform.
Another Bitcoin-based remittance service is Toast, a company headquartered in Singapore providing a peer-to-peer money transfer service application that allows Filipinos in Hong Kong to remit money back home directly from a smartphone.
Senders can topup their Toast account via bank transfer or by buying a Toast topup cards. Recipients can choose cash pick-up or direct bank withdrawal.
Toast is a Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore alumnus.
Florin Remittance Award
On October 12 and 13, 2016, the Global Payment Summit 2016 will be hosted in Singapore and will include the Florin Award ceremony during which “Florins” will be awarded to the most innovative companies.
This year, there will be two Florins to be won in both “jury votes” and “community votes.” The award categories are Best Fraud Prevention Innovation and Best Remittance Breakthrough Transfers, which will recognize innovation technology that will transform how money transfers are made cross-borders in an efficient and effective manner.
Also, Fintech News readers will get 20% discount when signing up for Global Payment Summit 2016 with code “FNSGPS20”