A remittance is a transfer of money from a foreign worker to someone in their native country. Remittances represent the largest source of capital inflow for many developing countries. They tend to be the most expensive way to send money internationally.
“International remittance has always been one of Bitcoin’s most promising applications,” said CoinText founder Vin Armani. “Until now, there hasn’t been a user experience simple to use even for someone’s grandmother who lives in a village in the ‘old country’.”
Both migrant workers and recipients typically do not have bank accounts. Therefore they are forced to use expensive money transfer services. Traditional remittance services take custody of funds and release them through network partners at physical locations around the world. Each party collects a fee during the process.
CoinText users can already send any amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) directly to mobile phone numbers in 42 countries or to BCH addresses for around $.01 USD. However, people receiving remittances in developing countries have few ways to convert cryptocurrency into local cash.
Anypay and CoinText’s non-custodial solution enables any shopkeeper, anywhere in the world, running AnyPay’s point-of-sale application to offer a cryptocurrency-to-cash remittance service. The recipient need not have a Bitcoin Cash wallet or interact with a cryptocurrency network in any way.
“Anypay connects friends and family no matter the distance,” said Anypay founder Steven Zeiler. “Instantly receive money from anywhere for free. It’s easy. Search ‘Anypay’ today.”
How It Works
The remittance recipient goes to a shopkeeper and requests a specific amount of cash. An invoice is generated by Anypay’s cash register app with a 5-digit shortcode. A CoinText user anywhere in the world can pay the invoice by simply texting the shortcode. The shopkeeper instantly receives the transfer to their address which may be tied to a bank account. The shopkeeper collects a fee and hands the cash to the recipient. Anypay provides vendors with clear accounting of remittance payments.
This new feature is demonstrated in the video below, captured by Bitcoin Cash evangelist @kaeptnkook.
Mohammed (@mutsaph1957) lives in Accra, Ghana. His brother Lamin lives in Heidelberg, Germany. Mohammed requests cash from a local vendor and tells the shortcode to his brother on a call. The shortcode is used to initiate payment over SMS via CoinText, the vendor receives the funds, and then hands cash to Mohammed. The entire process takes less than two minutes.
“What just happened here is Mohammed bought cash in Ghana and he did it by having his friend in Germany send cryptocurrency to the store,” remarked Anypay cofounder Derrick Freeman.