Philippines-based startup Coins.ph has recently launched Teller, a peer-to-peer bitcoin mobile app for users in Southeast Asia.
This new service essentially turns anyone with a smartphone into an ATM, allowing users to transfer money to others without the need to deal with a bank.
Through the app, users are able to identify a nearby "teller", which refers to people or small retail establishments like convenience stores. This teller then collects cash from the user and transmits the equivalent amount in bitcoins into their mobile wallet for a small fee. The maximum amount per deposit is capped at US$50 (approximately PHP$2281).
Following this top-up, users can conduct services like paying bills, topping up of mobile phones or performing remittance. Remittances can be cashed out through bank deposits, cardless ATM withdrawals, door-to-door delivery by logistics firms 2GO and LBC, or cash pick-up at partner pawnshops and remittance centers.
To ensure safety and security, Coins.ph will initially roll out Teller with existing money exchangers and small retail establishments who are already familiar with handling such transactions. Teller partners go through a rigorous screening process; a two-way rating system lets both customer and teller rate each other for each exchange.
This service will eventually be extended to any retail store where Coins.ph does the screening and training of tellers.
Coins.ph mobile app is currently available for download on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
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