B2B cross-border payments network, Thunes, has teamed up with remittance company and credit card issuer, Pomelo.

Specifically, the strategic partnership introduces an international money transfer solution from the US to the Philippines. The aim is to transform the way remittances are handled via Thunes’ digital wallet integration. This in turn reduces costs and connects families in new ways.

Pomelo disrupts traditional remittance methods. Instead of transferring money through money transfer operators or banks, it underwrites each of its customers to provide a credit line to fund their remittance transfers. Simultaneously, it builds their credit history in the US.

According to Pomelo, this innovation makes it the first fintech solution to enable a more proactive take on cross border money transfer in the global remittance market.

Pomelo does this by providing user’s families continued access to a line of credit to spend. Meantime, the primary user pays the bill on a monthly cadence.

88% of Filipinos have used digital wallets in the last year

Cardholders can immediately transfer their Pomelo credit line into the recipient’s GCash digital wallet via Thunes’ extensive network. According to GlobalData’s 2023 research, 88% of Filipinos have used digital wallets in the last year. Some 89% used the GCash brand.

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In addition to sending directly to digital wallets like Gcash, the Pomelo cardholder can support up to three family members or friends anywhere in the world.

This innovative business model provides both payees and recipients access to highly competitive exchange rates. At the same time, it reduces money transfer costs.

Pomelo zero fees vs traditional money transfer fees 6%

According to the World Bank, traditional money transfer companies typically charge fees averaging 6%. By contrast, Pomelo’s model incurs no transfer fees to the customer.

The solution serves the US/Philippines remittance corridor, one of the world’s largest cross-border payment flows. Future plans include expanding this service to other popular US/international markets, such as Mexico and India.

Thunes connects with over 550 of the world’s most popular payment methods. This includes bank accounts, digital wallets and apps. It is highly experienced at partnering with fintechs on cross-border payment integrations.

Pomelo: the potential to transform remittances worldwide

Floris de Kort, CEO of Thunes, said: “Pomelo has the potential to transform remittance payments worldwide. This partnership aligns perfectly with Thunes’ ambition. That is to make cross-border payments faster, more transparent and more affordable, by connecting to over 3 billion digital wallets and 4 billion bank accounts. By providing payouts to the GCash digital wallet, we’re getting funds to family members instantly. How and when they need it most.”

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel, Founder and CEO of Pomelo, added: “Sending remittances used to be costly, slow and unreliable. At Pomelo, we’re changing how international money transfer works by helping customers build a credit history in the US while supporting their loved ones across borders. Thunes’ emerging markets expertise will be integral to helping us launch our digital wallet integration quickly to move money into the local payment methods of choice. Initially in the Philippines/US border and beyond as we expand our reach of services.

Pomelo first launched in August 2022. In April 2024 it secured $35m in a Series A round led by Dubai Venture firm Vy Capital, along with Founders Fund and A Capital. The company also announced a $75m expansion of its warehouse facility.