MANILA, Philippines – Filipino entrepreneurs from the financial-technology sector came together on March 20 to discuss remittances and how both sides of the marketplace – traditional wire-transfer services and new tech startups – can better handle them.
Every year, millions of dollars are lost to remittance fees and an untold number of man hours are lost commuting and standing in line to send and receive them. If a Philippine startup could improve upon each transaction even just a little bit, the total volume of remittances sent and received each day would become an incredible boost to our economy.
Reducing the fees even slightly on each transaction could recoup and pump hundreds of millions of back into the economy. Making the sending and receiving of remittances more efficient – by bringing it online – would allow Filipinos to spend the hours that would otherwise be lost in traffic or standing in line doing more economically productive tasks.
Thus, #RemitSmarter is one that every Filipino should heed.
What’s clear from this discussion is that fin-tech entrepreneurs have the ambition to solve one of the biggest problems of overseas Filipinos: remittances.
The solutions that they create will in turn put pressure on traditional wire-transfer services to improve their current model. They will have to reduce their fees, increase transparency of those costs, and dramatically fix their customer service.
Amid the competition between the old and the new, the customer – the overseas Filipinos will ultimately win. On a basic level, they will have more choices than ever before. From these, they will be free to pick the remittance services with the features they care about the most, whether it be speed, convenience, or cost-effectiveness.
Exercising this consumer choice is what it truly means to #RemitSmarter.
Now whether overseas Filipinos continue to stick to traditional services or adopt en masse some of the newer remittance solutions, only time will tell. – Rappler.com
Rappler Business columnist Ezra Ferraz is also the chief content officer at ZipMatch, a tech company backed by Ideaspace Foundation, Hatchd Digital, IMJ Investment Partners, and 500 Startups. He brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge. Connect with him on Twitter: @EzraFerraz