Digital remittance company Remitly announced this month that it is expanding its money transfer services to two key markets. First, the Seattle-based company is bringing its services to France and its $21 billion money transfer market. Remitly has also launched a new service called Remitly for Seafarers, aimed at cruise ship workers with a need to send money to friends and family from the sea. Together, Remitly hopes that this growth in service will build upon their existing $6 billion annualized volume.
Remitly’s introduction to France expands on their existing presence across Africa, Asia, Central Europe and South America. France’s international money transfer market is robust. Over $21 billion is sent each year from France to other countries, and these transfers are mainly utilized by immigrant workers sending money home to countries such as Tunisia, Senegal and Morocco.
Traditional remittance services charge significant transfer fees and offer confusing exchange rates. Remitly hopes that they can capture a large portion of France’s money transfer market by operating differently. As Remitly’s Vice President of Europe Elena Novokreshchenova noted, “Remitly makes the process of sending money internationally faster, easier, more transparent, and less costly. We do this by eliminating the forms, codes, agents, extra time and fees typical of the traditional money transfer process.”
In their second service expansion this month, Remitly is looking to make it easier for those who work at sea to transfer money to their friends and family back home. Remitly for Seafarers is aimed at the 1.6 million seafarers working in international shipping. Traditionally, such workers are only able to utilize money transfers while at port (where they have limited time) or by paying exorbitant fees while aboard ship.
With Remitly for Seafarers, cruise ship employees can use their computer or mobile phone to send money easily and quickly. All they need is their cruise ship ID card, a copy of their passport and a credit or debit card.
Remitly co-founder and CEO Matt Oppenheimer is excited by this new service offering: “Seafarers make tremendous sacrifices for their families, leaving home for long periods of time to support their families and communities. We are thrilled by the success of Remitly for Seafarers and are confident this expansion of service will help more seafarers support their loved ones without the hardship, hassle, and high fees of traditional money transfer services.”
Together, these expansions build upon Remitly’s existing award-winning service based in machine learning, mobile technology and direct integration with cash pickup locations and partner banks. Remitly was founded in 2011 and is backed by investors such as Naspers’ PayU, Silicon Valley Bank, Stripes Group, Threshold Ventures, DN Capital, QED Investors, Trilogy Equity Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Founders’ Co-Op, and TomorrowVentures