Philippines-based bitcoin remittance service Rebit.ph is reportedly experiencing significant growth since launching in July. Since October, it has reportedly seen a growth of 150% per month in transactions processed, up from 80% during the months following launch.
Services like Rebit’s are best known for significantly slashing the fees found with traditional money transfer services such as Western Union. According to its fee calculator, they would charge 1% on a 20,000 peso global transfer, compared with Western Union’s 6.3%.
An added advantage is that a transfer with Western Union can take about an hour. With Bitcoin, the transaction is nearly instantaneous, save for some additional time for conversion to/from fiat plus an average of 10 minutes if confirmations are desired.
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Luis Buenaventura II is head of product at Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), the parent company of Rebit. He explains:
“A really good analogy to better understand this is how the internet emerged as a far more superior way to communicate and transmit information compared to any traditional method available in the ‘90s. As soon as people understood that email, internet messaging, and VOIP was faster, easier, and vastly cheaper than snail mail or long distance telephone calls, adoption of the technology exponentially grew and made the old methods obsolete.”
Other factors have helped accelerate the pace of growth. Holiday shopping season in the Philippines starts as early as September, and Filipinos spend lavishly for the occasion. In addition, the company has brought on enterprise clients paying their employees directly in bitcoin.