Pomelo Launches Family Credit Cards to Combine Credit and International Money Transfer

  • Pomelo is launching a family credit card account that gives accountholders up to four cards to give to friends and family overseas.
  • Because the payments run on credit rails, users save on international money transfer fees.
  • Pomelo is launching money transfer capabilities between the U.S. and the Philippines.

Pomelo is the newest fintech in the digital banking scene. The company is launching today with $70 million in Seed funding to change the fundamentals of international money transfer.

Leading the round are Keith Rabois at Founders Fund as well as Kevin Hartz, Co-Founder of Xoom and General Partner at A* Capital. Afore Capital, Xfund, Josh Buckley, the Chainsmokers, and the Weeknd also participated.

Frenkiel, who regularly sends money to family overseas, came up with the idea for Pomelo while he was visiting family in the Philippines and thought, “Why can’t I just give a card to my family instead of having to send money through Western Union?” At that point, Frenkiel came up with a way to use credit card payment rails to disburse funds and eliminate transfer fees.

Pomelo is a family account that gives the primary accountholder up to four physical and virtual credit cards to give to loved ones overseas. Users can set limits via the app, pause any of the payment cards, and view how each member is spending their funds. Unlike many shared accounts, Pomelo is not prepaid. The primary accountholder pays for the charges on each card at the end of the month and builds their own credit as they pay off each balance.

Each account comes with a Mastercard credit card issued by Coastal Community Bank. And because the payments run via credit rails, the fees are paid by merchants via interchange and daily foreign exchange rates. This eliminates transfer fees, which can add up to 6%.

“Pomelo is on a mission to change how international money transfer fundamentally works,” said Pomelo Founder and CEO Eric Velasquez Frenkiel. “Our goal is to help our customers establish their financial future here in the United States by building positive credit history with their existing remittance obligations, and to financially include their loved ones in emerging economies with access to modern financial instruments. For many of our customers, Pomelo is their first credit card here in the U.S. and the very first card for their loved ones overseas.”

After beta testing the service for several months, Pomelo is launching money transfer capabilities between the U.S. and the Philippines.

Photo by Ron Lach