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Category: Soap Box

Soap Box: Cut out the middleman and send money including gold, through your app for free

Sending money abroad can be a fraught business. It’s also a big business. Since the end of foreign exchange controls in the UK in 1979 there’s b...

1 July 2020

Gary Mead

Sending money abroad can be a fraught business.

It’s also a big business.

Since the end of foreign exchange controls in the UK in 1979 there’s been no official method of recording international monetary transactions – the volume, destinations and use of remittances – from the UK. But a good source suggests that almost £24 billion flowed from the UK in 2018.

Middlemen make a good killing out of sending money overseas. The same source says that the average cost of sending £120 abroad last year was about £8.50. The average cost has come down since 2009. It should come down further – one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to reduce the cost of remittance transactions to 3% by 2030. But it’s still a cost. The two biggest recipients by far of remittances from the UK are India and Nigeria, which in 2018 each received almost £3 billion.

When sending money overseas probably the biggest concern is – has the cash safely arrived at the right place? After that, the biggest concern is the cost of making the transfer – and that can be a minefield.

You could choose to use a bank, although the high amount they typically charge is a deterrent. Banks don’t really want this kind of business because they are not geared up for it, so it is expensive for them to operate. You might choose an informal hawala broker but although widely used, this system is largely illegal, opaque, and insecure.

You could use a specialist company, one that’s been set up specifically for the purpose of making money transfers between different locations. These Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) such as Western Union or MoneyGram charge for their services. With MTOs you can be swamped for choice. Many companies are available, all offering very similar services, usually charge a fee and operate fluctuating exchange rates, depending on the currency involved and how much money you want to transfer.

Comparing all the different exchange rates (which obviously fluctuate) and the fees can be frustratingly time-consuming.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments – whereby two parties interact to transfer money without an intermediary – is only just beginning to make its breakthrough in the latest stage of the digitalised world.

And now Glint is about to launch its own P2P service. Cut out the costs of the middleman. Have the peace of mind that comes from the certainty that your money transfer will not go astray. Have the freedom of being anywhere in Europe and making a transfer to anywhere else in Europe, instantly. Not only that – have the security that comes from being able to transfer digitised, real gold. This mobile payment service is now also a mobile money transfer service. With Glint you can transfer gold on the move anywhere within the EU and the UK, to other Glint accounts, via the mobile app. You can make payments in gold (or Euros, or pounds) to your friends and colleagues with Glint.

So, very soon you won’t need to pay the middleman or trawl for the best transfer rates, you’ll just open your app and Glint it!

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