Spain-headquartered multinational banking group BBVA pledged to shake up the mobile remittance market with the launch of a new money transfer app.
Available for iOS and Android devices, Tuyyo aims to tap a market worth $73 billion per year in terms of remittances from the US to Latin America and the Caribbean.
BBVA is pitching benefits including lower transfer costs (because transfer agents aren’t involved) and faster completion. First time users pay only the foreign exchange costs, with subsequent transfers then also including a flat fee of $5.49. Users will also be able to include a message with transfer notifications: a feature which will be expanded to voice and video messages over time.
Derek White, global head of customer and client solutions at BBVA, said the transfer service taps the “strong sense of duty” people feel in terms of assisting their families.
BBVA stated international remittance services are often a critical way for people to help family members cover core expenses including healthcare, education and debt payments.
Funds are typically available within a few minutes of being sent, and can be picked up at ATMs, cash collection sites and bank accounts (though users in Mexico must initially verify their identity by visiting a branch of the bank). The bank noted it can access a strong network of partner banks and paying agents via its BBVA Transfer Services division.
BBVA said the range of collection options helps address key criticisms of money transfer services including lack of convenience, and delays between sending and receiving funds.
While the bank is piloting Tuyyo in the US, where workers typically remit as much as $1,900 per family each year, it hinted at broader ambitions by noting the value of the global remittance market is tipped to be worth more than $600 billion in 2017.
In early October the bank revealed mobile is becoming an increasingly popular option among its customer base, with more than 15 million signed up to its mobile service globally.