Nigerian Start-up Uses Tokens to Take on Remittance Giants
The global remittance business is absolutely massive. In fact, according to some statistics from the World Bank, there was over $600 billion that was sent abroad in 2016 with a large proportion of these being to developing countries.
In the international remittance business, the ecosystem is comprised of a few large businesses such as MoneyGram and Western Union.
However, if ever you have had to send money with one of these services you will know how long it can take and how costly it tends to be. For example, it is not uncommon to see 10% fees on some remittances.
This is particularly a problem for those users that are not particularly well off and cannot afford some of the large fees that come with the traditional remittance businesses.
Yet, with the power of blockchain, one start up is looking to shake things up...
SureRemit is a company that is incorporated in Mauritius and based in Nigeria. They are planning to offer a credible alternative to the status quo.
The company has offered their very own crypto token that will allow people to send money back home in record time using the power of blockchain technology.
They are raising funds for the business through the sale of their tokens. They are currently open for pre-sale before the ICO that will begin raising funds in January 2018.
Unlike most of the other ICOs who have raised funds in 2017, SureRemit will be completing their ICO on the Stellar platform.
SureRemit is also not the first company that has decided to opt for the Stellar blockchain over Ethereum. For example, citing slow scaling, Kik has decided that their Kin token will be moved to the Stellar chain.
Unique Token Structure
What is most interesting about the SureRemit tokens is that they will not be available for exchange into Fiat currency. They will be used only for the purposes of bill payments at specific vendors who accept it.
One would think that this may restrict the range of merchants that SureRemit's tokens can be exchanged at. Yet, they are making partnerships with some of the largest businesses in Nigeria such as Jumia.
Jumia is a massive online retailer in Nigeria. The range of goods that they stock is really extensive and ranges from clothing to electronics.
One of the most appealing aspects of SureRemit (and their USP) is the fact that the fees for sending the tokens will be covered by the merchants and not the customer.
Once the customer has paid the merchant with the token, the merchant can cash out for Fiat currency less the transaction fee.
This is positive for the customer as they can pay their pills for cheaper than they ordinarily would. It is also of benefit for the merchants as the customers are only likely to use merchants that accept it.
Moreover, large retailers such as Jumia have wide profit margins and are more able to pay these fees than the customers.
One of the other big advantages of the SureRemit token over some of the current cryptocurrencies is that the tokens are not attractive to hackers.
Due to the fact that the tokens are not redeemable unless you are an accredited merchant, if a hacker was able to steal some tokens, they would not be able to cash out their bounty.
Hence, SureRemit's ecosystem is likely to be safe, reliable and affordable. It is a prime example of how blockchain technology can be implemented to improve the lives of the World's low income earners.
Featured Image via Fotolia
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.