The UnionBank of the Philippines, one of the Philippines’ major banks, partnered with a cryptocurrency remittance platform and Ripple partner, Coins.ph, to introduce a cash-out network to enable make it easier for citizens to send money abroad.
UnionBank and Coins.ph to Provide Financial Access to the Unbanked
According to a report by Taiwan News on Tuesday (June 23, 2020), the UnionBank launched 11,000 remittance counters scattered around the Philippines. The introduction of more remittance counters arose from the difficulty faced by citizens who found it difficult to send money to loved ones living in remote areas.
The counters are also situated in rural areas where the citizens do not access to banking services. With the new cash-out network, customers can send funds using either the bank’s app or through remittance counters.
Also, the project was made possible by collaborating with existing partners of UnionBank, such as Ripple partner and Filipino-based crypto remittance platform Coins.ph, which uses the XRP token as a payment option, which enables locals to send and receive money swiftly. Other local remittance outlets involved with UnionBank’s cash-out network include DragonPay, Palawan Express, Cebuana Lhuillier, PeraHub, and LBC.
Furthermore, the bank got a green light from the Philippines’ central bank to conduct a live test remittance on its banking app. Also, after the network launched, the was an exponential increase in transactions with the bank recording a “20 percent increase in daily digital account opening.”
Speaking on the latest development, President and CEO of UnionBank, Edwin Bautista, said:
“With the onset of this pandemic, it has become crucial that our products and services quickly adapt to the challenges presented in this new digital normal. This cash-out service is just one way for UnionBank to demonstrate its commitment to financial inclusion as we continue venturing forth in tech-ing up the Philippines.”
Crypto Pushing Remittance Evolution in Emerging Markets
Coins.ph, the Go-Jek-backed crypto remittance platform, is one of the biggest crypto remittance platform in Southeast Asia, competing with mainstream platforms such as MoneyGram and Western Union. The crypto remittance company is a member of the Open Payments Coalition that recently launched PayID, a unified payment ID that simplifies the process of sending and receiving money globally.
Ripple’s remittance solution, RipleNet, continues to remain the popular choice among various financial institutions and organizations for remittance payments. The blockchain startup has inked deals with Thailand bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), London-based remittance platform, and Azimo. Other institutions using RippleNet include UAE commercial bank, RAKBank, and firms Hanpass, WireBarley, and Sentbe.