TransferWise enables international money transfers to six Asian mobile wallets

Money transfer company TransferWise has enabled international money transfers to six mobile wallets in Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh, according to media reports. This launch is part of the company’s broader effort to expand its network to serve consumers in Asia.

TransferWise will initially allow payments to three e-wallets in Indonesia — GoPay, run by GoJek; OVO, backed by GoJek’s arch-rival Singapore’s Grab; and DANA, backed by Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group company. In the Philippines, TransferWise users can make payments to wallets run by GCash, which is also backed by Ant Financial, and PayMaya, which is backed by Tencent, and in Bangladesh to BKash, the country’s largest mobile financial services provider.

The six collectively have 150 million users, according to TransferWise.

With this launch, TransferWise’s 6 million users in 45 countries will be able to send money to users of these six wallets with just the name and mobile number of the recipient. According to the company, the share of people without bank accounts in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh ranges between 52-68 per cent, and typically receive money from abroad using services with cash pick-ups.

TransferWise said the “large numbers of migrants from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh living in other parts of Asia and on other continents” will find this service especially useful for sending money home, as they will be able to receive funds in their mobile wallets at TransferWise’s global average cross-border fee of 0.74 per cent per transaction, which is said to be “up to 5 times cheaper than cash pick-up services”.

“We are now one step closer to our mission: Money without borders – instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free,” said Kristo Käärmann, Co-Founder and CEO of TransferWise. “The rise of mobile wallets is another example of an ongoing revolution in finance, where nonbanks are providing as good if not better service and user experience compared to banks. Asia is at the forefront of this revolution that will see billions benefiting from increased competition and innovation.”

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