Coins.ph Wallet Brings Bitcoin Remittances to Mobile
On Monday, Coins.ph, the Philippines’ largest Bitcoin exchange, launched the first mobile Bitcoin wallet designed for emerging markets.
Coins.ph’s Bitcoin wallet, which is now available for download on Google Play, allows customers to send cash to family and friends, instantly top up prepaid phones, pay bills, and shop at more than 63,000 online merchants around the world.
Without credit cards and bank accounts, most Filipinos line up at payment centers for these services. Roughly 75 percent of Filipinos remain unbanked, leaving them to transact at overthecounter money remitters, lenders, bill payment centers and other financial services.
“High fees and long lines are the norm for those who can afford it least,” said Coins.ph CEO Ron Hose. “We are here to provide simple solutions starting from the most basic, which is for everyone to have a safe and convenient way to use their money. With our Bitcoin wallet, customers enjoy similar perks to those they would get from having a bank account, minus the barriers for setting one up. Most importantly, keeping a Coins.ph wallet is free.”
Buying Bitcoin OvertheCounter Unlike other Bitcoin wallet providers like Coinbase and Circle, which tie the wallet to a customer’s existing bank account, customers using the Coins.ph mobile wallet can walk into any of 5000+ retail locations and pay or get paid for Bitcoin — an important feature in a country where 75 percent of the population do not have bank accounts, and less than five percent have credit cards.
The Philippines is one of the largest receivers of remittances in the world — international incoming transfers alone amounted to $23 billion in 2013, with an additional estimated $30-60 billion in domestic transfers.
Coins.ph’s wallet allows users to send money anywhere in the Philippines, from anywhere in the world, with a tap of a button. The money is delivered on the next business day and available for pick up at more than 5,000 retail locations across the country, delivered door-todoor, or deposited into 24 major banks.
Turning any Bitcoin ATM into a cash-to-cash remittance center
Another innovative feature of the app is the ability to send cashtocash remittances. This addresses the two most common concerns about Bitcoin remittances: volatility and adoption — the perception that Bitcoin is still too difficult for most people to use.
With a Coins.ph mobile wallet, an overseas Filipino who wants to send money to the Philippines can enter details of the transaction anytime, anywhere. The app will automatically generate a QR code which will be scanned at any Bitcoin ATM machine to deposit the equivalent cash amount.
Finally, Philippine pesos is delivered to the recipient anywhere in the Philippines on the next business day.
Coins.ph is also working on Bitcoin bill payments. This allows any family member anywhere in the world to directly pay for tuition fees and utility bills for their relatives in the Philippines.
Over 90 percent of Filipinos use prepaid mobile phones, making mobile topups one of the most popular products sold in the country. The Coins.ph Bitcoin wallet lets users instantly top up their mobile phones, without the hassle of making a trip to the corner store.
The challenges facing the unbanked are not unique to the Philippines. More than half of Southeast Asia’s 620 million people are unbanked, and over 2.5 billion adults globally. Earlier this year, Coins.ph launched Coins.co.th, the second legal exchange to operate in Thailand, and plans to continue its expansion throughout Asia.
“Traditional banking will never reach these people, because the costs of operating branches, armored trucks, etc. are just too high to economically serve a customer whose savings rate is very low” said Ron Hose. “Digital currencies and mobile phones are cutting these costs down, and are going to change the landscape of financial inclusion globally.”
Download the coins.ph mobile wallet.