Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Ron Hose and Runar Petursson founded Coins.ph in early 2014 with a mission to accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia through mobile and blockchain technology. Its new service, Teller, works by matching customers who want to access financial services with nearby tellers who can facilitate cash deposits through the app.
Upon meeting, the teller collects the cash and transmits the equivalent amount to the customer’s wallet while earning a small fee in the process. Using the Coins.ph wallet, customers can then pay bills, top up their phones, remit money and access other services provided by third-party covered financial institutions.
“It costs too much to put up branches everywhere, resulting in over two billion adults who are still unbanked,” said CEO Hose. “Teller elegantly solves this problem by building a human branch network that allows financial institutions to reach a demographic they are not currently able to reach with their existing branch infrastructure,” he added.
To ensure customer safety, Coins.ph is rolling out Teller with existing money exchange shops and small retail establishments who are already familiar with handling such transactions. Teller partners go through a rigorous screening process; a two-way rating system lets both customer and teller rate each other for each exchange.
These tellers will then extend Coins.ph’s existing cash-in/cash-out network spanning over 10,000 retail locations, including 24 major banks, retail stores, door-to-door delivery, mobile money, and 450 ATMs for cardless cash withdrawal across the Philippines.
Aside from Teller, Coins.ph has recently announced partnerships with Maicoin, BitFX and Zinger to expand services to overseas workers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada respectively. It has currently established a foothold in three of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia — Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.