Hong Kong startup Bitspark recently launched the first Hong Kong to Philippines Bitcoin remittance service. Users can leverage Bitcoin to provide rapid money transfer and low transaction fees.
There are approximately 140,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong, many of them foreign domestic workers. With its service, Bitspark seeks to target Hong Kong’s wider foreign domestic worker population, which makes up 3 percent of Hong Kong’s population of 7.2 million. Many of these workers remit money back to families and friends in their home countries, and the low fees associated with bitcoin would undercut traditional money transfer agents.
Bitspark launched this bitcoin remittance service in a Hong Kong shopping mall frequented by Filipinos and other foreign domestic helpers, which they announced on their corporate blog.
We secured a space at the World Wide House, a center frequently visited by senders who seek to remit money overseas. It is literally an epicenter of traditional remittance providers such as Western Union, Money Gram and many others making the competition fierce amongst the masses. However, for the first time, an offer was made available to senders that provided a cheaper option with accurate exchange rates and no hidden fees.
Bitspark notes that many potential remitters were queuing up to learn about the startup’s service, competitive price, and 30 pick-up locations in the Philippines. The company reports being able to remit senders’ money back to home towns ranging from Aurora province, Quezon Province and Lanao del Notre Province in the Philippines.
With low fees and rapid resolution, a bitcoin-based remittance service could be an intriguing solution for expatriate workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines that are spread throughout Asian and Persian Gulf countries, as many earn very low income.