Xoom, a PayPal service and global digital money transfer provider, recently announced it has launched a new feature for remittance beneficiaries in 29 countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia, including the Philippines.
For the first time, users outside of the US can use Xoom to send a ‘request’ to their loved ones in the US for money transfer, bill payment, or a mobile reload. Xoom’s new ‘request’ feature offers Filipino beneficiaries a single digital tool to control the frequency and form in which they receive funds that are often used for necessities like food, utilities or healthcare expenses.
“This new service is now available just in time for the busy Christmas season, which traditionally sees the highest number of remittances made by overseas Filipinos to their families . Sending a request is free; it takes just a few easy steps and beneficiaries can make requests 24/7 on the web from any mobile phone, tablet or computer,” Xoom said in a statement.
According to a 2016 report by the Central Bank of the Philippines, personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers have reached $7.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, which is higher by 4.3% as compared to the same period in 2015.
The steady demand for overseas workers remained a key driver to the growth of remittance inflows. It is estimated that over 2.4 million overseas workers are deployed all over the world who send cash remittances to their families. The United States of America is the leading sources of cash remittances for 2016, totaling to $6,596,432 from the period of January to September.
Remittances are often the first experience of a financial service for beneficiaries, and can serve as a gateway to financial inclusion. These transactions could be better served by online platforms that enable direct remote payments for cash remittances.
“We want to facilitate the cross-border exchange of money for both senders and beneficiaries all over the world,” said John Kunze, vice president at Xoom.
“Traditionally, the remittances industry has been served by systems that are inefficient and leave the onus primarily on senders. With the new ‘request’ feature, control is in the hands of remittance beneficiaries who now have a central digital service to manage this line of financial support that is so critical to their daily lives,” Kunze said.
Aside from requesting money, Filipino Xoom users can also request for reloads for Globe, Smart, and Sun prepaid mobile phones and bills payment for PLDT and Smart postpaid mobile phones.
Beneficiaries can keep track of their requests, and senders no longer need to worry about writing down or getting lengthy account information from beneficiaries in order to send money or pay bills. This information is directly entered by recipients beneficiaries and saved on their accounts for future requests.
“The request flow is easy to use. Beneficiaries simply sign up on Xoom.com; select their ‘request’ type; enter their personal information and the person they are requesting from. Xoom then relays the request to the sender who can instantly fulfill it via their phone, tablet or desktop. Both parties receive confirmation once the transaction has been complete. As an additional ‘request’ feature, Xoom plans to add direct bank deposit and door to door delivery options. Requests can be fulfilled on a web browser or through the Xoom app on Android and iOS,” the company said.
According to the World Bank, global remittances represent an estimated $600 billion opportunity, and Xoom and PayPal are committed to reimagining financial services, making it easier, more secure and less expensive for people to spend, save, manage and move money. The new ‘request’ feature is a step forward to make a major difference in people’s lives by offering beneficiaries a digital service that helps them better manage their finances.
Xoom’s said its cash pick up network is the most extensive in the Philippines and partners include trusted names like Cebuana Lhuillier, M. Lhuiller, BDO, Metrobank and all major banks, LBC and Globe G-Cash. “Senders can safely and securely send money to their loved ones, and beneficiaries can go to any of partner branch for cash pickup at their convenience,” Xoom said.