Recently we wrote about Tuyyo, a new money transfer app from BBVA bank focused on the world’s most lucrative money transfer corridor – the US to Mexico. This week we learned that the months-old app is already dropping its standard transfer fee.
The Tuyyo app – short for “tu y yo”; Spanish for “you and I:”; has been designed with the millennial generation in mind, with the emphasis on promoting social ties. Senders can upload selfies or leave notes for recipients, and soon will have the opportunity to record voice or video messages to accompany their payments. Even the website address; tuyyo.love, is designed to be inspire thoughts of family and friendship. BBVA has conducted research about the remittance industry which illustrates that most cross border remittances are related to personal matters; housing and health, education, debt repayment or starting a small business.
Senders can remit up to $500 dollars per transaction, and BBVA boasts a wide network of participating banks and money transfer agencies; with 11,000 Bancomer ATM’s available for collecting cash, and card-less cash withdrawals also available, as well as straight-to-bank-account transactions. Transfers are processed almost instantaneously, taking a matter of minutes, with the service available 24/7, and updates available about the status of all transfers via mobile push notifications.
This week BBVA announced that Tuyyo would be scrapping flat transfer fees, meaning senders only have to pay a small FX fee per transaction. BBVA stress that this is a limited time offer only, and is subject to senders successfully registering with the mobile app, which includes submitting a valid email address. BBVA also mentions that it expects to make a financial gain from the spread between the wholesale rate at which the bank purchases the foreign currency, and the retail exchange rate it quotes to customers.
BBVA has been active in the international money transfer market for over 20 years; a market which is expected to reach nearly $629 billion in 2018. Tuyyo’s standard transaction fee cost $5.49 per transaction before it was scrapped.
Tuyyo Global Head Ignacio de Loyola Gil, commented: “In moving to no transfer fees, Tuyyo is really demonstrating its core principles of wanting to make supporting friends and family across borders as simple and cost effective as possible. In the months since we have launched we have seen strong take up of our service, and we believe this will enable even more people to benefit.”
BBVA says that it plans to roll out the Tuyyo service to other Latin American countries soon, but for now it is exclusively focused on US to Mexico international money transfers, a huge market that is worth some $27 billion per annum. The wider US to South America remittance market is estimated to be worth as much as $73 billion.
The Spanish bank made headlines last year when it was responsible for the first ever real-time cross-border money transfer to use Ripple’s blockchain, or distributed ledger technology money transfer protocol, completing a transfer between Spain and Mexico.
The Money Cloud View
When we think of disruptive international money transfer services we often think of the Asian market, where fintech hubs in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are rapidly changing the way customers view the overseas remittance market, through services such as bitcoin based Bitspark. TransferWise has also recently moved into the Asian market, opening offices in Singapore, and Sydney, Australia.
London remains an influential money transfer hub, and mobile based micro-payments are highly developed in China, too, with solutions often built into popular apps like WeChat, or micro-finance platforms such as those provided by Ant Financial.
The news about Tuyyo shows that the US and South American markets have plenty to offer as well, and with mobile finance solutions exploding in Africa, too, where they are used to reach a vast “unbanked” population, who own mobiles but have never opened a bank account, the future of money transfer, certainly where smaller transactions are concerned, looks increasingly mobile.