Sending money to friends and family in Mexico just got faster, more convenient, and a lot more personal.
A new online app-based service called Tuyyo, launching today and powered by BBVA, will upend the $73 billion annual market for remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean from the United States.
In the initial phase - the USA to Mexico corridor - the app will deliver huge benefits for both senders and receivers in what is by far the world’s biggest remittance market where more than $27bn flows annually. Globally, the remittance market is set to exceed $600bn this year and reach close to $629bn in 2018.
By eliminating the need for money transfer agents to be involved, and by opening up more than 11,000 Bancomer ATM machines in Mexico to those receiving the money, Tuyyo offers almost instantaneous transfers and far more convenient access to the funds, while minimizing the costs involved. Recipients will also be able to get the funds straight from their bank account and still at cash pick up locations.
Tuyyo will also enable senders to include a message with the notification of the remittance, so they can ensure their friend or family member sees the love as well as the money coming in. In later phases, it is planned that this message service will expand to include voice and video messages, ensuring the remittance process can properly reflect the reasons people send money across the border.
Tuyyo enables senders to include a message with the notification of the remittance.
Further evolutions include being able to offer insurance or micro -financing solutions with the sender paying the bill through the app for the benefit of the receiver- for example to buy a new refrigerator where the installments are paid through the app direct to the retailer.
Tuyyo is piloting the service with money transfers from the U.S. to Mexico, where the average amount sent by workers in the U.S. is about $1,900 per family per year. Initially, Tuyyo will be available in the United States and Mexico but will soon be rolling out to the rest of Latin America.
Sending money abroad is often a critical means to help loved ones pay for core expenses back home. BBVA Research has shown housing and health costs are the most common expenditures of remittance funds, followed by education, paying off debts and starting a business.
“People feel a strong sense of duty to help out their families,” said Derek White, Global Head of Customer ands Client Solutions for BBVA. “This is one way to say, ‘We still love you even if we can’t be together right now.’”
With Tuyyo, users can:
Send money 24/7 to Mexico
Pick up funds within minutes of being sent
Retrieve funds in whatever way is convenient: ATM pickup, bank account and cash pickup locations
Minimize the costs involved in receiving money - either those charged by money transfer agents or due to travel costs to collect the funds.
BBVA is not a newcomer to the digital remittances sector. It operates BBVA Transfer Services (BTS), which has facilitated money transfer services to Mexico since 1995 and expanded to other key Latin American markets in 2002. By utilizing BTS’ robust network of partner banks and paying agents, and leveraging its relationship with BBVA Bancomer, Tuyyo can address two common complaints heard from recipients:
Inconvenience in picking up money during regular business hours from paying agents
Delays that occur between the time money is sent and when it’s available for spending
Tuyyo gives recipients free, 24/7 access to 11,000 Bancomer ATMs, with no need for a bank account or ATM card, eliminating the hurdle of traveling long distances or waiting in lines to pick up money. Tuyyo users can expect to access their money within minutes of it being sent.
The first transfer will only include the FX costs, but be free of any fee. After which there will be a flat fee of $5.49 plus the FX rate applied when sending money to Mexico. First time users in Mexico will have to pay a one-off visit to a BBVA Bancomer branch to verify identify, and will be shown how to use the service during that visit after which they simply have to enter a code into any Bancomer ATM to withdraw their funds.
“With traditional remittance providers, the money has to go through a series of different agents before it gets to you,” said Gabriel Palafox, chairman of BTS. “Because Tuyyo runs on the BTS rails, the app allows the sender, through BBVA, to actually just move the money directly to the payment locations - this increases speed and maximises convenience.”