Stablecoin issuer and fintech firm Circle announced a strategic partnership with Philippines-based digital asset provider Coins.ph to improve the existing remittance landscape of the region.

The partnership seeks to promote the use of USDC-denominated remittances as a safe, affordable, and nearly instantaneous method for international money transfers among Coins.ph’s 18 million Filipino user base.

Circle x Coins.ph

In 2022, remittance flows to the Philippines amounted to an astonishing $36.1 billion, as reported by the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines). Circle said that this underscores the continued significance of remittances to the Philippine economy.

However, traditional remittance methods often come with steep fees and lengthy processing times.

According to the World Bank, the average cost of sending a $200 remittance to the Asia region in 2022 was 5.7%. The situation is even more challenging for the unbanked population in the Philippines, which constituted 44% of the adult population in 2021, as per the country’s central bank.

In a bid to address these issues, Coins.ph and Circle’s partnership seeks to drive real-time settlements and minimal transaction costs in the Philippines, which happens to be the fourth largest recipient of remittances globally. The initiative will start with the launch of educational campaigns and community engagement initiatives aimed at assisting Filipinos abroad in adopting USDC for remittances.

Commenting on the development, Raagulan Pathy, Vice President for Asia Pacific for Circle, said,

“By making cross-border transactions near real-time and dramatically reducing transaction costs, we support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of reducing to less than 3 percent the transaction cost of migrant remittances by 2023. Together, we’re making critical steps toward increasing economic opportunity and prosperity in the Philippines.”

Remittances to the Philippines

Popular Bitcoin payment company and wallet provider Strike announced the expansion of its “Send Globally” feature to the Philippines in January this year, a move that enabled locals to receive lightning-based remittances directly to their bank accounts.

The feature is supported in the southeast island nation by Pouch.ph, a Bitcoin company supporting peso payments over Bitcoin’s lightning network.

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