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Dubai-based cross-border money transfer app Denarii Cash sees surge in usage, expands service to new markets

Denarii Cash is expanding its network to Pakistan, India, , , and Bangladesh.

Denarii Cash's team. Courtesy Denarii Cash via MENAbytes. Denarii Cash's team. Courtesy Denarii Cash via MENAbytes.

Denarii Cash, a Dubai-based money transfer app for Filipino expatriates in the United Arab Emirates, has recorded a surge in new signups and transactions as people must stay indoors due to COVID-19, the startup said in a statement to MENAbytes on Monday.

The startup claimed that it saw a 500% month-over-month increase in total transactions via money transfers and bill payments in the Philippines. Denarii Cash also said that the users, on average, transferred double the normal amount, as their families in the Philippines are also placed under enhanced community quarantine.

Founded in 2018 by Jon Santillan, Denarii Cash, in addition to its money transfer service, also allows users to pay bills for themselves or their families in the Philippines. The app enables individuals to transfer money to bank accounts or set up cash pick-ups in the Philippines. The users add money to their Denarii Cash account using online bank transfers, credit card charges, or bu utilizing MBME Kiosks in the UAE.

Denarii Cash is now expanding its network to five new countries, including Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Expatriates from these countries will be able to use Denarii Cash to transfer money using its app starting next week. Denarii Cash already has some users on its waitlist for the new markets. The startup also said that it is working to further expand its footprint to more locations in the next few months.

To support its growth and expansion, Denarii Cash has expanded its operations and opened a new office in Abu Dhabi as part of the Hub71 community.

Jon Santillan, founder and CEO of Denarii Cash, said, “We are fueling unprecedented growth in the number of Filipino expats realizing the value of the app and using our online services, of which we are proud. Denarii Cash is known to have the highest conversion rate and lowest transaction fees in the market. Due to the pandemic, we have launched zero fees for frontliners, reduced cost per acquisition fees by 85%, offered one hour of zero fees and cashback to any user to support the community during this time.”

Denarii Cash’s waitlist for the platform has grown to 1.1 million, it added in the statement. Santillan, speaking to MENAbytes, said that the company is in the process of activating new users. “Our priority right now would be the Filipino users, and next would be those in the new corridors we’re opening up to.”

TransferWise, the London-headquartered fintech firm that’s known for its digital cross-border money transfer service around the world, recently expanded to the Middle East and North Africa with its UAE launch, but Santillan is not worried about the development.

“We look to respect what TransferWise has accomplished in our industry. It’s great to have more competition that will cater to the needs of the market. At the same time, we believe that we have a unique offering that the market will find attractive. Being in the region for a couple of years, our advantage would be our deep understanding of the users rather than just the remittance business itself. I’m sure our users can attest that from the onboarding until their recipients get the money, Denarii Cash is always available to assist them.” Santillan said to MENAbytes.

“Our customer service team promptly addresses their concerns. We also have more than 10,000 partners in the Philippines where the recipients can get the money from, since 70% of the population is unbanked. Aside from money transfer, Denarii Cash also has other services to empower expats to do more, such as bills payment and sending mobile load to their loved ones. In any case, it’s a big market and there’s plenty of room for both companies to succeed. At the end of the day, users will have more options, and it’s up for them to decide which one would give them the most value,” the founder and CEO of Denarii Cash added.

This article first appeared in MENAbytes.