Terra connects mobile remittances to digital wallets
Terra, a mobile-first international network, for low-value remittances, launched Terra Connect, its application programming interface suite, to enable mobile wallet providers offer affordable, accessible international remittance products and maximize global reach.
The size of the African remittance wallet is valued at USD 65 billion, with more than 30 million migrants initiating 300 plus million remittances annually. The share of the mobile as a carrier of international remittance traffic is, however, less than 2%. Currently, mobile wallet providers offering overseas money transfer services have either developed their own proprietary services or forged bilateral agreements with service providers. These models are complex, inefficient and non-scalable and mired by lengthy contractual negotiation and prolonged time to revenue.
Currently, the time to on-board a single partner ranges between 12 and 24 weeks due to systems specific proprietary standards. A number of technical and commercial conditions need to be satisfied for exchanging transactions including format for exchange of messages, underlying business rules, applicable operational procedures as well as ensuring compliance with each country’s regulatory standards, clearing and reporting models. Bilateral contracts are, hence, restricted to select partners along high-volume corridors.
Terra provides the rails to carry cross-border peer to peer traffic by interconnecting discrete mobile wallet systems. The Connect API suite offers remittance service providers a single access point to plug into the Terra network to send and receive monies to and from any mobile wallet account. In comparison with current bilateral models, Terra Connect takes away the complexity of integrating with multiple partners by offering a standardized, reusable technical framework to service providers to interface with new counterparties. Participants benefit in terms of improved time to revenue and lowered developmental costs due to uniform network-wide processes and capabilities to connect to any partner. End users benefit as they can exchange money as quickly, easily and cheaply as sending a text message.
Ambar Sur, Founder and CEO, Terra, said, “The mobile wave for international remittance growth is just beginning. An increasing number of mobile wallet providers are now ready to open networks and make low-value international payments an integral part of their businesses. Connect simplifies cross-border payments by providing a standardized, off the shelf operating environment for all mobile wallet service providers wishing to offer affordable, secure and reliable transnational payment products faster to their consumers.”
Connect provides a set of application programming interfaces for core money transactional functions related to money send and receive including -- Remit, Forex Quote, Beneficiary Validation, Transaction look-up, Credit Transfer as well as added value service blocks for Customer Screening and Reporting. These are provided over standard HTTPS interfaces - XML, JSON and SOAP. Partners can easily embed international remittance capability into existent services portfolio and gain instant access to a global partner network. Partners can become “Terra ready” and reliably launch services within four weeks. A licensed and regulated inter-operator exchange, Terra empowers partners to focus on local relationships, user adoption, and product optimization.