Remittances to the Philippines will be soaring from now until the Christmas season is over.
Sending remittance back home is a Filipino behaviour. It spikes distinctly around May-June due to the need for school tuition fees and then sometime around the “ber months” cause it is just the time of the year.
Remittance services curve up and even bitcoin remittances are getting their share in this market as the Philippines is the second largest remittance market in Asia.
In the Philippines, Rebit.ph is utilized by Filipino expats in Canada, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia to provide instantaneous, effective and secure payments for utility and credit card bills.
Remittances from Rebit are sent two ways. One way is through banks. The good thing about banks is that they are free of charge but transactions may be delayed if the chosen bank is closed on weekends.
Another way of transfer is through pick up centres like Cebuana Lhuillier. Pick up centres have transaction fees. For Cebuana a fee of Php240 is charged for a Php 10,000 transfer but your recipient can get the money almost instantly.
In theory, the bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, in itself when used in remittances cost 0 to little fees.
To read more about how bitcoins make money transfers cheaper: How Bitcoin is Changing the Remittance Market.
Rebit’s only competitor in Bitcoin service in the Philippines is Coins.ph. Coins.ph is enjoying a huge success through partnerships with local banks and other financial institutions.
The main difference between the two is that Rebit’s transaction is closer to current online over- the- counter money transfer experience. While Coins.ph allows its users, load funds into and draw from their mobile load wallet.
The two competing businesses are part of the top 300 most visited websites in the Philippines showing the Filipinos interest in the digital currency.
Rebit CEO John Bailon believes that the Philippines is indeed a big market. Consumers need a paradigm shift in how they view bills payment and that can happen by educating them about what Bitcoin is and what benefits they can get.
For Rebit.ph their biggest remittances are from Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong where hundreds of thousand Filipino workers are.
While Rebit.ph and Coins.ph are enjoying success in the Philippines, Australia is painting a different picture.
In Australia, a similar bills-payment platform called Living Room of Satoshi allows anyone in Australia to pay almost anything from shopping and entertainment, Internet fees, utility bills payment to banking, tax and insurance fees with bitcoin using their service.
However, as of press time, Bitcoin Magazine reported that Australian banks abruptly ended all financial support for all of Australia’s 17 bitcoin companies.
The chairperson of Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, Ron Tucker claimed that the banks did not even give any notice to all 17 bitcoin businesses,13 of them are now permanently closed.
Many bitcoin start-ups are closing in the country because of lack of other alternatives. They are setting up in other bitcoin friendly countries like the UK.
Further, Tucker believes that the this is unfortunate as this Australian Bitcoin Industry is part of a bigger financial revolution around the world.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Senator Matthew Canavan are now looking into the situation and is requesting for an investigation, citing the banks actions as unlawful.
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari is also concerned that this move is chocking small businesses. He is asking for an explanation and justification from the banks. Dastyari is also a member of the Senate Economics References Committee.
Could Australia be following China, Taiwan, Thailand and India, which consider Bitcoin suspicious, and ultimately ban it from the country?
Special thanks to Jason Benjamin for the main image.