With the goal of extending its cross-border payments and remittance industries, Bitcoin-based payment network and financial app Strike is setting up shop in the Philippines.
When it comes to receiving money sent from outside, “the Philippines is one of the greatest remittance markets in the world,” says Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike. According to Statista, Filipinos living in the United States remitted home roughly $12.7 billion in remittances to the Philippines the same year.
When it comes to the technology we develop, this is one of the easiest wins: making foreign payments has always been a major hassle. Although SWIFT and Western Union have made some improvements, the process is still laborious and time-consuming.
For transfers between accounts in Western nations, using a standard cross-border money transfer provider may add several days to the process.
With the Lightning Network, a layer-2 payment protocol built on top of Bitcoin, Strike is able to process millions to billions of transactions per second at a fraction of the cost of traditional payment methods. Mallers also pointed out that the app’s platform enables users to convert U.S. dollars to local fiat currencies like the Philippine peso for less than 1 cent every transaction.
According to Mallers, “none of our users have to touch Bitcoin.” There is no correlation between Bitcoin’s price and the app’s ability to send money across accounts. He went on to say that the company’s ultimate goal was to “hide Bitcoin beneath the hood” so that customers could utilise the cryptocurrency’s payment network.
If a user wishes to transmit $5 to the Philippines, for instance, they may do so by exchanging Bitcoin for the local currency using the Lightning Network “on the range of seconds to minutes as opposed to days or weeks,” as explained by Mallers.
According to Mallers, “very high demand” would prompt Strike to grow beyond the Philippines into Latin America and Africa. The number of our global partners is growing rapidly.
Now, Strike is attracting customers and partners from all over the world, from the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe to “20 additional nations we’ll maybe add in February in Africa,” as Mallers put it.
Payments processor Fiserv, the parent firm of Clover (the sleek white digital register used by many small companies today), joined with Strike earlier this month to broaden the latter’s offerings.
The business said it would use the $80 million it obtained in a Series B financing last year to expand its payment solution offerings for retailers, online marketplaces, and banks. In addition, Strike partnered with Visa in August 2022 to provide a rewards card that works in tandem with its mobile app.
It is clear from the company’s announcements and collaborations that it intends to expand the remittance business by means of its app and other non-traditional channels like Clover.
Ultimately, “the aim is to make cross-border payments and global payments cheaper and quicker,” Mallers added. And it’s easier to get there as well. Significant progress toward financial equality may be made with this.
Mallers said that some Strike users contribute as little as 10 cents to their loved ones. But the costs of using the conventional banking system would make any gains negligible, he said. We’re able to handle transactions as little as 10 cents, and we don’t need you to have a Chase account to send money abroad by wire transfer.
He also noted that the future holds potential for both the expansion of current remittance markets and the development of brand new ones. “You’ll start to see a renaissance of products truly addressing that enormous delta gap,” and more banks and payment processors like Square and CashApp will use this to their advantage.
Mallers predicts that in the next ten years, the opportunities available to the 2–3 billion people who are “generally included in the global international payments system” will grow to encompass the entire 8 billion people on the planet thanks to remittance networks and applications like Lightning and Strike.
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