Uber For Banking? Coins.ph Turns People Into ATMs

TechInAsia: Philippine Bitcoin startup Coins.ph has come up with a way for you to move money without having to deal with a bank. A new service on its Bitcoin wallet called “Teller” turns anyone with a smartphone into an ATM, where you can deposit your money. Think Uber for banking.

Here’s how it works: say you need to make a deposit to send money to a relative. To do this, you would open your Coins.ph wallet and find a teller near you using your GPS. Tellers can be people or small retail establishments like convenience stores. Upon meeting, the teller collects your cash and transmits the equivalent amount in bitcoins into your mobile wallet, while charging a small fee in the process.

The maximum amount per deposit is US$50 (over PHP 2,000).

With your wallet topped up, you may remit bitcoins to your relative, through your relative’s Coins.ph wallet if he has one, or his preferred mode of cashing out. Remittances can be cashed out through bank deposits, cardless ATM withdrawals, door-to-door delivery by logistics firms 2GO and LBC, or cash pick-up at partner pawnshops and remittance centers.

Tellers dictate their own fees or the amounts they are willing to accept for deposits. The maximum amount each teller can accept will depend on his track record, says Coins.ph CEO Ron Hose.

This method of moving money is new so it begs the question of how safe the whole process is, especially since you’re handing your cash to a stranger.

Hose says Coins.ph is rolling out Teller first with existing money exchangers and retail establishments that are familiar with handling such transactions. These entities screen tellers, run identity checks on them, and train them. Soon, the technology will be extended to any retail store where Coins.ph does the screening and training. This is similar to how Uber manages its network of drivers.

Also similar to Uber, a two-way rating system lets both customer and teller rate each other following a transaction. Read the full article

Read more on the topic:

E27: Philippine’s Coins.ph Launches Human ATM Network Teller