Paysend enters U.S. market for global money transfers

The money transfer business is growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Paysend, a UK-based online money transfer service that allows consumers to send money to 90 countries, recently launched its services in the U.S. market. 

Consumers can send money to their family, friends or employees  internationally from a smartphone or laptop through their app or website.

Paysend’s fee structure is transparent and simplistic because the company charges a flat fee of $2 to send any amount of money. The company said there are 9 million American expatriates, 47 million immigrants and 1 million foreign exchange students that live abroad and international money transfers can be cheaper than going the traditional route of a bank. 

In this interview with FinLedger, Matt Montes – Paysend’s U.S. general manager – discusses the U.S. market, the impact of COVID-19 and where he believes the money transfer industry is headed.

FL: Why did you enter the U.S. market? Is it going as expected? Any surprises? Do you have any growth metrics – either in the U.S. or global? 

MM: The U.S is home to the largest cross-border money transfer market in the world with people transferring more than $148 billion internationally every year. Yet, there’s been a perennial struggle for consumers in the U.S. to find fast, affordable and convenient means of transferring money globally. The traditional in-person methods for transferring funds are inconvenient and outdated for today’s on-the-go consumer, but previously the only digital alternatives tacked on expensive transfer fees. 

Paysend offers U.S. consumers a better, more affordable end-to-end digital transfer platform so that they can send money to their loved ones, anytime, any day, anywhere across the globe for one low fixed cost – just $2. We call it money for the future.

Since 2017, Paysend has enabled over 2.5 million global citizens to connect across more than 90 countries via fast and affordable money transfers. Expanding into the U.S. marks a pivotal step toward fulfilling our mission to change how money is moved around the world. 

In terms of surprises, I’m pleased to say that we haven’t had any yet. Luckily, we have a global team of fintech experts that have likely navigated whatever may come our way. 

We reached the 1.5 million user mark in March of this year and just recently achieved our 2.5 million customer milestone. Our launches in the U.S. and Canada, as well as our growth in African countries, were critical in expanding our international customer base by one million users in less than eight months. 

FL: How has COVID impacted your business operations? 

MM: While COVID has had no real impact on business operations, the digital money transfer market has been impacted significantly. With hundreds of American banks and financial institutions shuttering physical branches or limiting access due to the pandemic, it’s now even more difficult for millions of U.S.-based immigrants, expats and foreign exchange students to send money back home via traditional transfer methods. This made the timing of Paysend’s launch critical, since we make it possible for every individual to have an affordable, safe and easy way to send money internationally. 

FL: What percent of customers use your website versus your app? Why? 

MM: Over 80% of our customers use our mobile app via the app store or Google Play, speaking to the preferences of today’s mobile consumer. We’ve designed the Paysend app to be incredibly straightforward and easy-to-use, which is also carried through to our website. 

FL: What is ahead for international money transfers in 2021? 

MM: The impacts of COVID-19 will be felt long after a vaccine is made widely available. I dare to say that the international money transfer market, like most other sectors, will never be the same. 

Contactless, frictionless and near real-time digital payments will become the expectation. The senders’ and recipients’ user experience will be of the utmost importance, especially on the recipient side, as many countries still require in-person verification to pick up funds when not using a digital platform. This is oftentimes unsafe in different regions at any time, but even more so as the world tries to beat COVID. 

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