Zimbabwe is soon to gets its own bitcoin remittance platform. Bitmari will soon be offering bitcoin remittance service to Zimbabweans, making it easier and more economical for the diaspora across the world to send money back home.
We have been hearing about bitcoin and its benefits for a long time. While few things, especially in retail and banking sector are taking a long time to catch up, bitcoin is being widely used for remittance. Money transfer using conventional methods is a costly affair. Money transfer service and even bank transfer across geographical borders comes with a cost. The foreign exchange fees, transaction fees etc. Some money transfer services charge close to 14 percent as transaction and forex charges. Whereas with bitcoin, the transaction costs are negligible and there is no forex charges involved. However, bitcoin exchange rates for local currencies may vary a bit, which is still not much.
International wire transfer takes days if not weeks at times. Bitcoin transfer can be executed and completed within a matter of hours. All these factors have made bitcoin a favorite option when it comes to foreign remittance. There are lot of startups which are catering this sector. Some of the established bitcoin exchanges are also including these remittance services these days.
Bitmari is one such startup catering to the Zimbabwean remittance industry. Founded by Sinclair Skinner, an American bitcoin entrepreneur Bitmari is going to be officially launched in the coming weeks. Bitmari allows people outside the country to send money to those in Zimbabwe in the form of bitcoin.
Bitmari will be particularly useful to those migrant Zimbabweans who send money back home on a regular basis. While Bitmari offers its valuable service to Zimbabweans, it is an uphill task for the company to get people to adopt to its services. Many people in the country are still not familiar with bitcoin and it will take time for the startup to educate them and instill confidence in them to use its service over existing conventional money transfer services like Western Union, WorldRemit and Mukuru.
How Bitmari is going to fare is yet to be seen. But from what we feel, even if the service doesn’t catch up as expected, it will definitely create awareness about bitcoin among Zimbabweans and pave way for similar startups in the future to offer services similar to or even better than Bitmari.