Coinify’s Asian Expansion
Following deals with the Hong Kong based financial brokerage Hello-Markets and Digix offering gold backed digital assets in Singapore, the latest partnership with Payssion will add yet another PSP to the list of bitcoin enabled services in the Southeast Asia region.
“This new partnership means another building block in Coinify’s growing presence in the Southeast Asia. There are plenty of opportunities for bitcoin to develop and grow in the area and it seems to grow month by month” stated Morten Bebe, Sales Manager at Coinify.
Meet Payssion – the new Coinify PSP
Payssion is an online payment service provider acting as a one-stop global payment solution, allowing merchants to accept payments worldwide, whilst enabling customers with a choice to pay using their preferred local payment method. The company is based in Hong Kong and apart from being a strong player in the SouthEast Asia region, they also cover Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa.
All of Payssion’s payment services merchants will be able to accept an array of blockchain currencies in addition to 200+ local payment methods. By entering into a partnership with Coinify, Payssion will be able to provide their 500+ merchants the ability to accept 16 blockchain payment methods via Coinify.
“Bitcoin is a revolution for the global payments space, making the payments easier and less costly. Bitcoin and blockchain currencies supplement our global payments method services well, as they can be very helpful for our clients to cover more countries and reach more people” shared his view Dong Liu, CEO and founder of Passion.
Bitcoin in the SE Asian market
When asked about the changes crypto currencies can bring to the Asian economy, Dong Liu expressed:
“Crypto currencies make us rethink the concept of money and our current financial system. We can see more companies and startups using of bitcoin or blockchain to change this for better. Although many people are still not familiar with bitcoin, chances are that it is going to change many things as it grows.”
Generally, the bitcoin adoption on the Asian market has so far been a bit slower compared to the US and Europe. One of the main factors limiting bitcoin adoption in SouthEast Asia is the lack of integration in the market. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, is a group of 10 regional member countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The ASEAN Economic Community plans to launch a single market for goods, services, capital and labour across the block by the end of this year (source).
Bitcoin can substitute for missing Currency union
A currency union, similar to EU’s SEPA space, is not under way yet as each one of the ASEAN members has a different kind of financial district and financial regulations. Currency unions in general, aim for efficiency gains for businesses and public administrations, such as: common standards, faster settlement and simplified processing that shall improve cash flow, reduce costs and facilitate access to new markets. In a region, where the member states have to deal with multiple currencies whilst trading with each other, bitcoin has the potential to become the preferred local payment method.
Businesses gain benefits from accepting Bitcoin
Bitcoin adoption also entails fewer risks for the business sector. The transactions made using bitcoin cannot be reversed thanks to its underlying technology – the blockchain. This protects businesses from potential losses due to fraud. Even in the areas with high crime rates, bitcoin stands out as the sensible choice. Plus – all Coinify clients have one less thing to worry about – volatility. As Dong Liu commented regarding the benefits of the partnership:
“Coinify takes the worry of price fluctuations from us and our clients, so that we can focus on bringing better payment experience to our clients and they can accept bitcoin payments just like any other local payment method.”
Remittance and the unbanked
Money remittance represents one of the major sources of bitcoin growth in the region, mainly due to the low transaction costs, compared to credit or debit cards. ASEAN group makes up for over $50 billion remittances, which accounts for over 10% of world’s international remittance market. Southeast Asia region comprises of over 600 million people and a large portion of its population lacks access to crucial banking services. The amount of banked varies from only 4% in Cambodia, 21% in Vietnam and 27% in Lao and Philippines, to a higher 66% in Malaysia and 98% in Singapore (source). Furthermore, the vast smartphone penetration among the unbanked though makes bitcoin adoption even more appealing. As Dong concluded:
“Many people have a mobile phone but half of them are unbanked. Mobile + crypto may be helpful for these unbanked to get access to financial services in an easy way.”