Remitly launches cash deposit service on Green Dot network

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Money transfer agent Remitly has launched a cash deposit service for its digital bank account holders on the Green Dot retailer network.

Remitly’s digital bank account holders are now able to deposit cash directly into their accounts by visiting one of the participating retailers on the 90,000-location Green Dot acceptance network, which includes Walmart, 7-Eleven and Walgreens. The service is available to Remitly customers who have opened a Passbook digital bank account, which launched this year.

“When we imagined creating a digital bank account for our target market, we knew that it would be key to enable cash acceptance," said John Scrofano, vice president of Passbook at Remitly. "Since launching Passbook in late January, cash deposit has been the most requested feature. This new deposit service will help to accelerate the digital payment adoption process for immigrants which is particularly relevant now with coronavirus.”

By loading cash into a Passbook account, customers can send digital remittances to friends and family around the globe or make purchases both in-store and online using the attached Visa debit card.

Passbook customers can deposit up to $1,500 per day and a cumulative total of $5,000 per month through the Green Dot network of retail stores (these limits are imposed by Green Dot). The cash deposit load fee is based on the individual retailer.

When the Passbook service launched, in January, Remitly built the onboarding process with its target customers in mind — immigrants who typically send money back home to friends and family. This included customers who may even feel intimidated by visiting a bank branch.

It was important for Remitly to help new customers to sign up using a variety of documentation that could include items such as Mexican Consular IDs, driver’s licenses and passports.

“For many of our customers, they come from countries such as Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines, where most commerce is conducted in cash," Scrofano said. "Living here in the U.S. they begin to realize they need a debit card and a digital payment option."

The Passbook Visa debit card is a contactless card issued by Sunrise Banks N.A.

Remitly’s core business of transferring money is under strong pressure, as the global economy idles in response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the World Bank, total global remittance payment volumes are expected to fall by 20% in 2020, to $597 billion, and then rebound by only 5% in 2021, reaching only $602 billion, which would be at roughly 2016 volume levels.

Earlier in May, Cross River Bank signed Remitly as a client to its new international push-to-card service for remittances. Last July, Remitly raised $220 million in investments and financing in a cross-border payments expansion in response to the strong economy and rising remittances. This came on the heels of an 11-country expansion by Remitly in 2018 in what had been a very heated digital remittance market.

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Remittances Cash Retailers Green Dot