Pomelo and Thunes partner to drive innovation in Cross-Border Finance with a new credit-based digital wallet solution

SINGAPORE, May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Thunes, a global money movement innovator, has joined forces with Pomelo, a pioneering credit-powered remittance company and credit card issuer, to introduce a groundbreaking international money transfer solution from the United States to the Philippines. This strategic partnership transforms the way remittances are handled via Thunes’ digital wallet integration, reducing costs and connecting families in new ways.

Pomelo disrupts traditional remittance methods: instead of transferring money through money transfer operators or banks, Pomelo underwrites each of its customers to provide a credit line to fund their remittance transfers while simultaneously building their credit history in the United States. This innovation makes Pomelo the first financial technology solution to enable a more proactive take on cross border money transfer in the global remittance market. Pomelo does this by providing user’s families continued access to a line of credit to spend, while the primary user pays the bill on a monthly cadence.

Card holders can immediately transfer their Pomelo credit line into the recipient’s GCash digital wallet via Thunes’ extensive network. According to GlobalData’s 2023 research, 88% of Filipinos have used digital wallets in the last year, with 89% using the GCash brand.

In addition to sending directly to digital wallets like Gcash, the Pomelo cardholder can support up to three family members or friends anywhere in the world. This innovative business model provides both payees and recipients access to highly competitive exchange rates and reduces money transfer costs. According to the World Bank, traditional money transfer companies typically charge fees averaging 6%, whereas Pomelo’s model incurs no transfer fees to the customer.

This solution serves the US/Philippines remittance corridor, one of the world’s largest cross-border payment flows. Future plans include expanding this service to other popular US/international markets, such as Mexico and India.

Thunes has deep capabilities in emerging markets, connecting with over 550 of the world’s most popular payment methods, including bank accounts, digital wallets and apps, and is highly experienced at partnering with fintechs on cross-border payment integrations.

Floris de Kort, CEO of Thunes, said: “Pomelo has the potential to transform remittance payments worldwide. This partnership aligns perfectly with Thunes’ ambition to make cross-border payments faster, more transparent and more affordable, by connecting to over 3 billion digital wallets and 4 billion bank accounts. By providing payouts to the GCash digital wallet, we’re getting funds to family members instantly, how and when they need it most.”

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel, Founder and CEO of Pomelo, added: “Sending remittances used to be costly, slow and unreliable. At Pomelo, we’re changing how international money transfer works by helping customers build a credit history in the US while supporting their loved ones across borders. Thunes’ emerging markets expertise will be integral to helping us launch our digital wallet integration quickly to move money into the local payment methods of choice, initially in the Philippines/US corridor and beyond, as we expand our reach of services.”

Pomelo first launched in August 2022, and in April 2024 secured $35 million in a Series A round led by Dubai Venture firm Vy Capital, along with Founders Fund and A* Capital. The company also announced a $75 million expansion of its warehouse facility.

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