Note: This story was first published in Technobiography on October 2004

I heard that Smart Padala brought in 150 Million pesos in remittances in July. And that was just from Hong Kong. I gathered this info from a journalist in the OFWs beat.

I wonder how accurate this info is. Smart Padala has bitten off a large part of the remittances market. And then here comes G-Cash trying to get a piece of the remittance bacon.

I haven’t seen any moves from Western Union to defend their share of the remittance industry. I wonder if they’re tech savvy enough to adopt new technologies to boost their competitiveness.

I also wonder how Smart Padala and G-Cash International Remittance will affect the informal door-to-door remittance services.

I have a friend runs a remittance business in a small Asian country with around 2,000 OFWs. Her only competition is Western Union. Her service fees are half the fees charged by Western Union.

She’s relieved that Smart Padala didn’t launch in her country of operation. She sees Smart Padala as a threat to her business.

But I wonder if Smart Padala could be seen instead as her partner. Smart Padala (or G-Cash for that matter) could be an alternative delivery method that could complement her existing door-to-door delivery through messenger.

I wonder…

– Edwin

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