By using the bitcoin block chain, the Romit remittance solution circumvents Forex foreign exchange fees, wire transfer fees, and banking requirements.
The service could extend Robocoin’s role in the emerging global remittance market.
The Robocoin website explains how to send money using Romit in three steps: 1) Enter the recipient’s phone number. 2) Select the destination country. 3) Insert cash into an ATM, or hand the cash to the cashier. Romit then sends a confirmation text message to the recipient with the amount sent and the pickup location. The cash-to-bitcoin-to-cash settlement occurs immediately. Customers do not have to create bitcoin wallets to send money.
The Robocoin bitcoin wallet name has changed to Romit.
The website presents a cost comparison between Romit, Western Union and Moneygram for sending money from the U.S. to the Philippines. The chart compares costs for sending $20, $50, $75, $100, $150 and $200. The most dramatic savings are for transfers up to $200, the company claims.
To send $20, Romit charges $0.80 (4 percent), compared to Western Union, $5.66 (28.31 percent) and MoneyGram, $10.90 (54.59 percent). The Western Union and Moneygram fees include Forex conversion costs.
Businesses with web-enabled kiosks or cashiers can create a Romit cashier account. There is a form on the website for applying for a Romit cashier app.
The money transfer service began on April 22 at 20 kiosks in the U.S., Hong Kong, Romania and Italy.
The company plans to expand the money transfer service to convenience store chains, pawn shops. It is targeting the Philippines, India, Mexico and other remittance-heavy markets.
Robocoin provided the first bitcoin ATM in the world and installed it at the end of October 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, according to coinatmradar.com, which tracks bitcoin ATM installations.
Robocoin currently has 34 ATMs installed worldwide, according to coinatmradar.com.