Philippine bitcoin exchange and remittance service Coins.ph has added an 'instant remittance' service to its list of options, allowing recipients to withdraw sent funds directly from a bank ATM.
Using the company's mobile app, customers anywhere in the world can deposit cash via a bitcoin ATM and have a friend or relative collect it instantly from a bank machine. Money can also be sent directly from bitcoin balances in Coins.ph web wallets.
Coins.ph CEO Ron Hose told CoinDesk he believes the service is the first of its kind in the world, and testing it against traditional remittance providers with a $50 remittance resulted in 50% savings on overall costs.
The company is working to extend its ATM pay-out network, Hose added, although that could still take a while to complete.
The new direct-to-ATM service is available 24/7 and is fee-free for Coins.ph wallet users.
How it works
To use the service from a Coins.ph wallet, customers select 'ATM Pickup/eGive Cash' under the 'Where should we send the money?' option when using the wallet's remittance function.
The recipient will then receive a message with a 16-digit reference number via SMS. A four-digit passcode is sent separately to the sender via email, to pass on to the recipient.
Next, they must simply press 'Enter' and 'eGive Cash' on any participating ATM, followed by the reference number, passcode and exact amount of the remittance.
Coins.ph requires a Level 2-validated account to send money via eGive Cash. Under know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) rules this means email and ID verification must be carried out, but address or phone number are not required.
Any amount, from 500 Philippine pesos (PHP ) to 10,000 PHP ($11.20–$223.80 at press time), can be sent per day, or up to 100,000 PHP ($2,235) per month. To put that into perspective, the average monthly salary in the Philippines is around $280.
Coins.ph's own customer research suggests that emergencies, both widespread or personal like family medical crises or large bills, are one of the chief reasons for overseas workers using the service to send money home, Hose said.
Other than bank ATMs, Coins.ph has a network of over 5,000 existing cash pickup locations. Remitters can also send money to any branch of 24 different banks for free or have it delivered door-to-door for a fee. An additional option is the ability to add the funds to a cash card or cellphone account.
Southeast Asian focus
Hose founded Coins.ph in the Philippines with fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneur Runar Petursson in 2013. On a stated mission to increase financial inclusion in the Southeast Asian region, the company has also more recently opened a second operation in Thailand called Coins.co.th.
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