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Android Pay now used for international P2P transfers
June 18, 2017, 1:04 pm

AndroidPay users will now be able to use their Google’s mobile wallet for Android devices to transfer money from one country to family and friends in another, using the services provided by WorldRemit, the remittance startup connected to around 120 million mobile money accounts globally.

Android Pay will be used for paying into the app; those receiving the money can specify any mobile bank account to collect the transferred funds. This is a first for Android Pay, which up to now has been used for in-app and contactless payments and to make person-to-person (P2P) transfers to people in the same country, but never international P2P money transfers.

Google has seen some interesting recent milestones since launching Android Pay in 2015, including a recent partnership with PayPal, integrating it with Facebook’s Messenger for group payments, and an expanded payment API to boost ubiquity for Android Pay across many more apps and transactional scenarios.

Android Pay today has around 25 million users across 15 countries, and linking up with WorldRemit, and eventually other remittance companies, could give usage of the wallet a boost, both in terms of user numbers and also transactions.

According to World Bank estimates, remittances were a $442 billion market in 2016. Only a small part of that runs through new apps like WorldRemit’s and gets terminated (that is, the money gets picked up) in mobile wallets: a significant proportion still runs on legacy platforms such as Western Union and MoneyGram, and terminates at physical stores.

However, there are still 2 billion people in the developing world who are ‘unbanked’ — that is, without traditional bank accounts — but about half a billion are already using their mobiles as bank accounts (essentially, paying money into and out of their mobile voice and data accounts). So unsurprisingly, remittance companies have spotted an opportunity to move some of the huge market for remittances to mobile.

A large proportion of WorldRemit’s users are in developing markets, and about 60 percent of its customers are using Android devices, and the company already claims a 74 percent market share of all international remittances going into mobile money accounts, so adding Google’s payment platform was a logical move. For Google, this could be a way to tap more people who are already Android users but have yet to make the move to activate and use Android Pay.


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