Flux Eases Intl Remittances through Cryptos but Users Can’t Cash Out Yet
Global remittances into the country are processed daily either by Nigerian immigrants sending money back home to loved ones or foreign clients making payments to merchants/gig workers.
Unlike traditional international money transfer operators (IMTOs) which are more expensive and take longer processing times, crypto-based remittance platforms are now the go-to for many Nigerians due to lower charges and faster completion rates.
Developed by Nigerian fintech startup, Blueloop, the Flux app seeks to ease global remittances for Nigerians to receive money at affordable rates through cryptocurrency. That’s not all, the app also facilitates local money transfers.
Founded in 2020 by Ben Eluan and Osezele Orukpe, Blueloop is one of the Nigerian startups to be accepted into the Y Combinator Winter 2021. This will see the startup access $125,000 funding from the US-based accelerator and continue to build out its product.
What’s So Special about Flux?
Flux blends a sleek user-friendly interface with diverse functionalities spanning crypto remittances and online banking. To explore the app, Flux users can easily sign up with their email and preferred password.
After logging in and successfully verifying your unique Bank Verification Number (BVN), users can receive international payments via the Flux crypto wallet feature.
Remittances can be received through Flux ID, crypto wallet address or QR code using six (6) different cryptos including Bitcoin, USDT and Ethereum. Users can also buy, sell and deposit into their crypto wallet.
Flux charges $0.5 per transaction regardless of the amount. Although SendCash and Coins App offer zero-rated remittances, the $0.5 Flux fee is still ridiculously cheaper than the $28 on every $1,000 transaction levied by the likes of WorldRemit.
For people who simply want to send and receive money within Nigeria, Flux provides a Naira wallet to undertake transfers. More still, users can request money directly or create a gifting link to receive funds. Transfers between Flux users are free but a N50 flat fee is charged otherwise.
Interestingly, Flux lets users create a virtual dollar card just like Flutterwave‘s Barter to facilitate global online payments.
On the Flip Side..
A major downside to the Flux app is the fact that for all the speed and affordability of global remittances through its crypto platform, users cannot withdraw funds in Naira as of now.
Money sent via crypto is credited to users’ wallet but technically “stuck” as recipients are not able to cash out. However, this is a fallout of the CBN clampdown on crypto dealings in Nigeria and Blueloop says it is now working on a peer-to-peer (P2P) feature to help users bypass restrictions.
Prior to the CBN order, users could easily withdraw funds remitted from overseas in Naira. A Flux user, Akinyemi David commented on the app in his Google Play Store review on January 2: “Crypto coins payments can be made seamlessly and effortlessly with this app.”
Apart from the withdrawal constraint, the exchange rate for the Flux virtual dollar card is quite high compared to that of other platforms such as Barter and Wallets Africa. The rate was as high as N528 to $1 as at the time of this writing.
Nonetheless, backed by new funding from Y Combinator and with seed funding reportedly in the works, Blueloop is better positioned to enhance its Flux app features and improve user experience.
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