How Pomelo utilises Thunes’ infrastructure for Digital Wallet Payouts

Overview

Pomelo, a pioneering US-based remittance company and credit card issuer, has completely upended how people send money internationally. Instead of using banks or traditional transfer services, which add additional fees and lag time, Pomelo underwrites its US-based customers, giving them a credit line to cover their remittance transfers to The Philippines. This credit line is issued on the Pomelo card that supports up to three family members or friends. 

But, while cards are used in The Philippines, digital wallets like GCash are a highly popular payment method. Pomelo and Thunes partnered to enable payouts to GCash wallets and improve the utility of its payment solution.

 

The Problem

Pomelo’s CEO and Founder, Eric Velasquez Frenkiel, established Pomelo after experiencing frustrations transferring money to his family in the Philippines. Remittances were expensive, slow and unreliable. According to the World Bank, traditional money transfer companies typically charge fees averaging 6%. Eric foresaw an opportunity to lower costs and speed international money transfers, so Pomelo was born.

While this is a highly innovative means of money movement, not all purchases in the Philippines are made through bank cards. Many Filipinos remain underbanked, lacking access to traditional banking services. Payments have digitised, and 88% of Filipinos have used digital wallets in 2023, according to GlobalData. Furthermore, GCash is the most popular digital wallet in the country, with 89% of users using that method.

To make its card even more accessible, Pomelo engaged Thunes to integrate payouts into GCash, boosting the platform’s usability and utility.

The Solution

Thunes and Pomelo worked together on the integration plan, defining commercial and compliance setup. 

Then, Thunes worked with Pomelo to review and establish the API and technical setup for GCash. Thunes uses a Money Transfer API to send funds globally to mobile wallets. This API is organised according to REST principles, and provides: Process and Transaction Details, Account Management Services and Discovery Services.

The Impact

By working with Thunes to enable money movement from the Pomelo App into a GCash account, Pomelo enhanced its product functionality. It diversified payout methods and enhanced customer engagement and utilisation.

Eric says: “Pomelo has its credit line, and it’s all about increasing utility for our customers. Thunes’ emerging markets expertise is integral to helping us launch our digital wallet integration quickly to move money into the local payment methods of choice.”
 

While Pomelo’s current focus is on the Philippines, its mission is to foster financial inclusion in other emerging markets worldwide. Its partnership with Thunes will help it fulfil that ambition.

0
of Filipinos utilize digital wallets
0
use the GCash wallet.

“The process of engaging with Thunes was very straightforward. I took a look at the API documentation, which was very thorough and knew the integration would work right away.”

 

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel

CEO and Founder

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