WIPAY Caribbean signed an agreement yesterday with remittance payment giant Ria Financial Services, expanding the WiPay network into over 150 countries across the world, including locations like Walmart and Kroger.
The agreement would allow customer-to-customer and business-to -business money transfer from Ria Financial's network of 435,000 locations in 160-plus countries to WiPay's network throughout the Caribbean.
Ria Financial is the second largest remittance company in the world after Western Union. Ria Financial has a large cash collection and money transfer presence in the region and the agreement adds direct-to-bank deposits in the Caribbean to its network.
"Given the pandemic, Ria has seen a shift in its business from cash collection and transfer to direct-to-bank deposits worldwide. The agreement between the two companies allows Ria Financial to add direct-to-bank deposits to its business in the Caribbean on the WiPay platform," said Aldwyn Wayne, the founder and CEO of WiPay Caribbean, in an interview yesterday.
"One of the biggest opportunities from this transaction is for the development of the e-commerce market in the Caribbean. WiPay currently has over 20,000 SMEs and MSMEs on its platform. Now they would be able to sell their products and get paid by someone at a corner deli in Flatbush, New York, for example," said Wayne.
"This deal would allow someone in New York, London, or Sydney in Australia—almost anywhere in the world—to access the WiPay network. A family member in the United States can go into a Walmart stores and send money straight into any bank account in the Caribbean," he said.
The partnership allows people who live in the Caribbean, but do work for foreign companies—such as software developers, app creators and content creators—to get paid for their work directly into their Caribbean bank accounts.
The agreement also means that someone in a foreign country can make a payment directly to the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago's CourtPay system or to the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, which falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Those are two of the services in this country that are currently part of the WiPay payments network, Wayne said.
The go-live date for the operational start of the relationship between WiPay and Ria Financial is July 1, 2021 as the partners have been engaging in the final stage of testing the integration of their systems for the last two months
Wayne said the partnership promises to make direct payments to and from the Caribbean cheaper and more convenient.
Wayne signed the agreement with John Warner-Gutierrez, Ria Financial's director for the Caribbean region, yesterday at the Hilton Blue Lagoon in Miami, Florida.
WiPay started talking with Ria Financial in August 2020.
Ria Financial was founded in 1987, the company has grown from a single storefront in New York City to become one of the largest money transfer companies worldwide.
In 2007, Ria was acquired by Euronet Worldwide, Inc. a leader in processing secure, electronic financial transactions.
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