Remittances – sending cash overseas – has always been bitcoin‘s killer app. Now the guys at Robocoin have made it more killer. Their new product, called Romit, is basically a way to send cash through a Robocoin ATM to another ATM or merchant account at fees far lower than other remittance providers.
Robocoin runs 20 ATMs around the world including systems in Hong Kong, Romania, Italy, and the United States (including Vegas). To send money you simply slide it into your local ATM and enter the recipient’s phone number. The recipient can then pick it up at a nearby ATM or merchant.
“Romit enables unprecedented low-cost global money transfers by leveraging Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology, while also removing bitcoin from the customer experience,” said CEO Jordan Kelley.
“Romit lets Robocoin’s operators scale their businesses – not by buying more kiosks, but by onboarding partner stores with the Cashier app. For example, our partners in Romania and Italy, a $1.1bn remittance corridor, have their sights set on market penetration and are looking to scale from three kiosks each to hundreds of Romit-enabled human and machine locations before the end of 2015,” he said.
There are currently a few bitcoin-only remittance plays including Rebit in the Philippines. By partnering with these and creating their own channels Robocoin may just be able to beat Western Union at their own game.
Don’t expect to be sending your cash to Aunt Matilda in wildest Tuscany just yet, though. The system is still growing and they were working with local merchants to exist as ad hoc ATMs. The plan is to offer 4% fees vs. 25% and more at other providers. They will also support micro-remittances, namely those under $200, thereby allowing the unbanked to send cash home.