US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched a free pilot programme that enables users to send crypto funds to their friends and family in Mexico.
The move marks the firm’s entry into the cross-border money transfer service market dominated by larger players such as Western Union.
Coinbase pilot programme allows receivers in Mexico to convert the tokens into cash at 37,000 physical retail outlets and convenience stores located across Mexico.
They will be also able to invest the funds into any cryptocurrencies that Coinbase supports.
Coinbase said that it will offer the new service free of charge to its customers in Mexico through 31 March 2022.
After March, the firm will charge a nominal fee that it claims to be ‘still 25-50% cheaper’ compared with existing traditional cross border payment solutions.
Coinbase said in a blogpost: “Coinbase’s mission is to increase economic freedom around the world, and this new product is core to enabling that mission. We want to make it fast and easy for users to send crypto to anyone in the world, and allow recipients to participate in the cryptoeconomy.”
“We recognise this is a global issue. And while we’re starting in Mexico, over time we’ll consider other regions where customers face similar challenges.”
Last month, Coinbase signed a partnership to enable its customers use Mastercard credit and debit cards for purchases on the crypto exchange’s upcoming NFT marketplace.
The firm expects to cut down the friction in the NFT buying process with Mastercard partnership.
In November 2021, Coinbase has acquired crypto wallet startup BRD in a bid to drive its adoption of web3 and accelerate its crypto safety and security requirements.