BitPay and Bithumb partner on remittance payments


Nigel Frith
Nigel Frith
Former Global General Manager
Nigel was the Global General Manager at FXcompared. Nigel has a background in marketing for businesses and consumers as well working in a variety of online financial services roles. Read more
  • Millions of overseas workers sending money back home in search of alternatives to remittances through traditional banks and payments firms
  • BitPay and Bithumb partner to offer cross-border payments using blockchain technology
  • Cryptocurrency promises faster transactions with lower fees

Billions of dollars in remittances cross borders each year, from migrant workers sending money back home, parents supporting students studying abroad, international businesses, retail transactions and more. Increasingly savvy consumers are always on the lookout for payments that are faster, cheaper and more convenient.

A recently announced partnership between cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb and bitcoin payment processor BitPay hopes to give consumers another option when it comes to sending remittances.

According to company estimates, BitPay expects to handle about $4bn in bitcoin transfers this year.

Cryptocurrency offers several advantages to remittance firms, including completing a large number of transactions simultaneously, improving the security of transfers and processing transfers more quickly.

The benefits of bitcoin are making themselves evident to workers and others who make frequent international money transfers, as well. Cryptocurrency transfers are generally cheaper, with lower fees for both sender and receiver. They're also more convenient, settling payments in local currency digitally and almost instantly, so recipients no longer have to travel long distances to pick up cash at a physical payments outlet.

"We're trying to make it so that people can get money cheaper and quicker from suppliers internationally," said BitPay's COO Sonny Singh of the Bithumb partnership. "So right now, someone in South Korea can pay a million-dollar invoice in the United States using Bithumb to buy bitcoin and pay the invoice, and BitPay will process that invoice and settle in US dollars the next business day."

The Bithumb-BitPay partnership is focused for now on payments between South Korea and western nations.

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