Remitly, the Seattle international money transfer company, is teaming up with Visa to give people sending money abroad a new option.
The companies today unveiled a plan to let people send money to Visa debit cards across borders through the Visa Direct push payment service. Visa Direct powers massive payments platforms such as Square’s credit card readers and Uber payments to drivers.
Out of the gate, users will only be able to send money from the U.S. to debit card holders in other countries. Remitly and Visa hope to add more sender countries to the program later.
“Our highest priority is to create the best possible money transfer experience for immigrant communities and their families around the world. Our customers have unique money transfer needs including a need for more choices in how they send and receive money,” Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “This collaboration with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, helps us meet this need with instant scale, security and reach that will help us continue to improve our service.”
Remitly describes itself as the largest independent mobile remittance company in North America, and it has more than 800 employees worldwide. In December it expanded its reach, and it is now active in 40 nations across the globe.
Remitly’s technology helps eliminate the need for forms, codes, agents, and other fees typically associated with the international money transfer process. The company allows free transfers if the sender can wait three days for the funds to arrive; it charges a $3.99 flat rate for same-day transfers and credit card transfers include an additional 3 percent fee.
Customers send more than $6 billion each year with Remitly — up from $4 billion in 2017, and $1.5 billion the year prior — which also works with a global network of more than 40,000 bank and cash payout partners. It has helped more than 1 million customers to date.
Total funding is $175 million to date, including a $115 million investment round in 2017 that was one of the largest for any Seattle startup in recent years. Remitly’s investors include Naspers’ PayU; World Bank’s International Finance Corporation; Silicon Valley Bank; Stripes Group; DN Capital; QED Investors; Tomorrow Ventures; Trilogy Equity Partners; Bezos Expeditions; Founders’ Co-op; and DFJ.