SureRemit Weekly Update: September 21st, 2018

Via the SureRemit Blog:

Exchange Listing LATOKEN

We gladly announce that we will be listing with the mid-size exchange LATOKEN! The following trading pairs will be available: RMT/BTC, RMT/ETH, RMT/USDT and RMT/LA. Listing with LATOKEN is another great step forward and will provide very good exposure for RMT (over 70k+ registered traders, 130k+ people via Social Media channels). As we are their first Stellar based token listing, they require some more time to arrange their backend and processes. When finalized, we will officially announce the listing to both our communities on all our channels. The aim is to commence trading in October, awaiting the final date from LATOKEN. In the meantime, we’re discussing with market makers to use their services. Listing with LATOKEN is another milestone reached and the first (next to SDEX) of more upcoming exchange listings.

LATOKEN is a rapidly growing crypto exchange focusing on liquidity for new tokens and the current daily volume is ~$35mn. LATOKEN is currently ranked as top 50 exchange on Coin Market Cap.

Please find more information here: bit.ly/2O2hywC

Referral Program

The referral program is now live! Download the latest update for the SureRemit app and start referring! You and the referred will each receive USD 5-in RMT tokens when the referred spends the first USD 100- on in-app purchases. There’s no time limit or cap on the number of referrals! Happy referring!

Bounty Program

The set up for the bounty is finished. However, we are taking some time to speak with external parties in order to maximize the reach, hence the slight delay. Please bear with us.

Amazon Vouchers

Babafemi is now devoting most of his time to implement the Amazon vouchers purchases again, Europe will be the first to go live. Can’t state a deadline yet as that depends on Amazon too, we’re estimating max. 2 weeks.

SureRemit App Testimonials

We’re asking for your cooperation in providing some testimonials for the SureRemit app. We’ll use them for promotional purposes. Hopefully, you are willing to help out? You can enter your testimonials using this form: fill feedback form here.

Adding Merchant Layer to SureRemit App

In addition to voucher sending, we’re thinking about adding direct RMT payments to merchants in-app. Merchants can choose if they want to receive RMT and users can pay directly with RMT in-app. This provides an alternative for high volatile currencies in certain countries, provided that the liquidity for RMT is sufficient. We want to crowdsource this idea with you and appreciate your feedback!

StellarTerm Will Shut Down on 1st of October.

From then on, you will need to make use of alternatives for managing your private tokens. Credible alternatives to StellarTerm are StellarPort, Interstellar and of course StellarX, although it’s still unknown as to when they will go live for the public.

StellarTerm is an interface for the SDEX (Stellar Decentralized Exchange) and does not store your tokens. Your tokens are stored in your Stellar wallet address (begins with a ‘G’).

Download the SureRemit App on the App stores:

Join our community to receive all the updates!

SureRemit weekly update: September 14th, 2018

Via the SureRemit blog:

Exchange Listing

We are concluding negotiations as we have reached an agreement with a mid-sized exchange. The name of the exchange will be revealed as we announce the listing next week as on all our channels. The following trading pairs will be available: RMT/BTC, RMT/ETH, RMT/USDT. We are currently setting up the trading and liquidity process and will announce trading shortly.

Bounty Program

The bounty program is almost finalized and will be simple and straightforward: Download the app, Join the SureRemit Telegram Circle and receive the bounty RMT in-App. Our existing community members can of course also participate. The Bounty Program is launched in the next coming days.

App Updates

The team is still working on the updates as mentioned in last week’s update; security and referral features. We will push these updates latest coming Sunday.

Nigerian Day Houston TX, USA

One of our community members, Alex aka SwitchtoCrypto, will be representing SureRemit at the Nigerian Day event in Houston on the 30th of September. It’s a great opportunity to introduce SureRemit to the local Nigerian community in Houston, as they can certainly use our services. We have rented a booth and are also sponsoring the event through advertisements. Flyers, banners, shirts, caps, pens etc. are designed for marketing materials. Although the official Ambassador Program is not fully developed yet, this is a good try out. Once the Ambassador program is all set up (role description, information pack, marketing materials etc.), we will present this to the community to get more Ambassadors on board. We can’t provide a definite timeline yet as we want to have the referral and bounty program running first.

Amazon Vouchers

The team is working on integrating Amazon Europe (USA will follow), currently working on float management. We will provide more info in next week’s update.

Team Chat

To answer some questions, Sam will jump on the chat this afternoon, around 14.00 CEST. Please join!

The latest price development has of course not gone unnoticed, we will do all we can to support a positive price development in current market conditions. We hope for your understanding and patience. Thanks again for all your support!

Download the SureRemit App on the App stores:

Join our community to receive all the updates!

Exchange Listing

We are concluding negotiations as we have reached an agreement with a mid-sized exchange. The name of the exchange will be revealed as we announce the listing next week as on all our channels. The following trading pairs will be available: RMT/BTC, RMT/ETH, RMT/USDT. We are currently setting up the trading and liquidity process and will announce trading shortly.

Bounty Program

The bounty program is almost finalized and will be simple and straightforward: Download the app, Join the SureRemit Telegram Circle and receive the bounty RMT in-App. Our existing community members can of course also participate. The Bounty Program is launched in the next coming days.

App Updates

The team is still working on the updates as mentioned in last week’s update; security and referral features. We will push these updates latest coming Sunday.

Nigerian Day Houston TX, USA

One of our community members, Alex aka SwitchtoCrypto, will be representing SureRemit at the Nigerian Day event in Houston on the 30th of September. It’s a great opportunity to introduce SureRemit to the local Nigerian community in Houston, as they can certainly use our services. We have rented a booth and are also sponsoring the event through advertisements. Flyers, banners, shirts, caps, pens etc. are designed for marketing materials. Although the official Ambassador Program is not fully developed yet, this is a good try out. Once the Ambassador program is all set up (role description, information pack, marketing materials etc.), we will present this to the community to get more Ambassadors on board. We can’t provide a definite timeline yet as we want to have the referral and bounty program running first.

Amazon Vouchers

The team is working on integrating Amazon Europe (USA will follow), currently working on float management. We will provide more info in next week’s update.

Team Chat

To answer some questions, Sam will jump on the chat this afternoon, around 14.00 CEST. Please join!

The latest price development has of course not gone unnoticed, we will do all we can to support a positive price development in current market conditions. We hope for your understanding and patience. Thanks again for all your support!

Download the SureRemit App on the App stores:

Join our community to receive all the updates!

Meet SureGroup’s New Managing Director Omolara Awoyemi

Lara-Image-small

We’re happy to announce Omolara Awoyemi as the new Managing Director of SureGroup. In the last 4 years, we’ve grown from experimenting to building Africa’s premier digital gift voucher company, growing beyond Nigeria to Kenya and setting up tentacles in Europe and other continents. As we grow, it has become imperative that we put in world-class structure and competencies that can scale across new target markets.

This is where Omolara comes in. Before Rocket Internet’s Sabunta.com and Kasuwa.com merged into Jumia in 2012, Omolara was a vital part of Sabunta, working on Business Intelligence, while Adeoye, Babafemi and I worked in similar roles across different departments on the Kasuwa team. Since then, she’s spent the last 6 years building and leading in various capacities across Jumia. She played a critical role in helping to build Jumia from startup to scale, and upon her exit, she’d led JumiaPay as the Country Manager for a year.

Under Omolara’s leadership at JumiaPay, she was able to integrate with all leading banks in Nigeria for customers to securely pay for goods and services using SMS technology. She achieved 400% growth in user base from first month of launch till July 2018, taking JumiaPay to account for about 30% of Jumia’s entire transactions in Nigeria. She also built a lending platform for merchants to securely obtain loans to boost their business on Jumia. We’re excited about leveraging her deep expertise in e-commerce, financial services and payment to expand SureGifts (digital gifting and rewards), SureCredit (voucher lending for regular income-earners) and SureRemit (low-cost cross-border value transfers).

My objective is to relentlessly grow our brand to be the biggest non-cash value transfer platform in Nigeria and Africa at large. Our platform will aggregate local and international merchants and give them exposure to the daily individual and business customers who send gifts and value to their friends, family and loved ones globally in a simple, safe, fast and convenient manner. This innovation will improve personal connections for individuals, drive employee performance for corporate organizations and consumer engagement for merchants. I believe we are still scratching the surface of the endless opportunities that lay ahead. — Omolara

Via SureGroup

SureRemit Update: App Updates, Referral Program Launch, Liquidity Exchange, & Communication Changes

The team posted the following updates to the SureRemit Telegram Circle today:

Busha

Busha, a Nigerian-based exchange, is currently working to prepare the exchange for a smooth and successful launch. Meanwhile we are working together closely with the Busha team to develop the software for our backend. The aim is to launch Busha before the end of the year.

App Updates

Next week we will push app updates containing:

  • Referrals – The referral program is being finalized and your referral code will be available in app in next week’s update. Referring to new users will grant you and the referred a complimentary RMT balance to be used in app. The amount of RMT will be calculated this week.
  • Security features – Various security measures will be implemented, including credit card security features.

Tokenlock

We will lock the issuing account before the end of September. This guarantees that the token supply is limited to one billion. We’re also implementing some security measures.

Bounty program

In addition to the referral possibility in app, we’re aiming to start the bounty program next week. The aim of the bounty is to significantly grow the community, this will also assist with future exchange listings. Details are being finalized now.

Communication

Weekly updates – as of the 14th of September 2018 we’ll start releasing weekly updates. They will be posted on the relevant Community/Social Media platforms.

Chat with the Team – In addition to the weekly updates, one of the team members (with each their areas of expertise) will come online in the SureRemit Circle Telegram group for a 15 min. (or so) chat. We’ll create a calendar (time and team member) for this in advance and post it.

Highlights from the 2nd SureRemit AMA on August 30, 2018

This is an edited and condensed version of the AMA. You can find the full exchange on Reddit.

Q: Does the team have any concrete plans/objectives to establish starting in 2019, or is it still too early to say?

A: Europe is looking very active. Lots of interest coming out of there, so we’re likely going to establish a sales/research office there in Q1. That’s the only new thing that’s on the pipeline for early next year.

Q: Is there a roadmap for milestones/goals and or achievements?

A: Hi, you can find the roadmap/timeline in our whitepaper on page 15: https://token.sureremit.co/SureRemit-WhitePaper-v.1.21.pdf

Q: Cant wait for Amazon to be back online the app!

A: Amazon was really popular. We’re working on it 🙂

Q: Great SureRemit app, team! Works great except there’s no way to know that the cc/dbt card function is available until last step in the checkout process. For a new user, could you…when first getting the app….show the three or four easy steps that a voucher is purchased and sent? In other wirds, explain how the app works: cc/dbt/crypto. As this has been brought up in this thread before, when will this instructions be applied to the app?

A: Thank you. Good point regarding better on-boarding. This has been noted. We might need to layer more security into the app for CC payments (like better KYC and restrictions, unfortunately). This will inform the on-boarding steps.

Q: Great! Since cc payments can already be used, the addition of beefier KYC and restrictions that you mentioned shouldn’t affect the easier on-boarding, am I right? Or are the two connected somehow?

A: Yes, they’re somewhat connected. For example, if we need you to have an ID on file before you use the CC feature, the on-boarding will need to direct you to do that on the profile page first.

Q:  Love this project, and the fact that blockchain/crypto was used as a means to effectively serve a market you discovered with the SureGifts business, instead of just for the hype. This is the first app I’ve interacted with where you can use crypto and not even know it. Anyways, you knew this question was coming- can you describe the ‘coin lifecycle’ / backend mechanics?

A: Thank you very much. Please see this image for our thinking around the ideal RMT lifecycle (Click for Hi-Res):

aEipcOn

Q: My questions: 1-What is your comission rate? 2-What do you think about the donation tab? 3-Every downloaded app creates an account both for xlm and rmt which costs 3 xlm according to my knowledge gathered from stellar expert (correct me if I am wrong). Imagine we have thosands of downloads. How is this fee going to be handled? 4-I wish there would be an option to but rmt with credit card and send it to somebody through the app as a gift. 5-Do you have a plan to run a validator on the xlm network?

A: Commissions vary by merchant. For the fees, we’ll likely eliminate individual addresses in the future and use Memos. We negotiate on a merchant-to-merchant basis. We’re working on RMT to RMT transfers in-app for the next release. No current plans to run a validator.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the actual process of courting and adding new merchants? I have literally no idea how you approach clients; how much they are told about SureRemit and/or RMT, and what their ultimate involvement with RMT the currency is. I think the context would be interesting for a lot of us, and hopefully provide a better framework for community members to come up with ideas of potential businesses to include.

A: I agree that, ultimately, this is what gives the app the most value. The more merchants, the more useful. We approach merchant acquisition in different ways. For markets where we’re physically present, we establish relationships with these merchants directly, at the most senior level. Deploy voucher redemption/POS systems to their stores if physical, or integrate into their online stores, negotiate settlement terms (in fiat), then autonomously generate and sell those vouchers to the public. For other markets, we have to rely on other people who have done that, and have third-party APIs we can plug into. Some major merchants (like Amazon Europe) have these APIs directly, others work with third-parties. Most maintain a wallet system, so we maintain balances that are depleted as vouchers are generated. It’s really different for each merchant and country.

At the end of the day, it’s all a function of the Business Development engine we have going on in a specific country to establish these relationships (e.g. a relationship with Booking.com for hotels in Europe if they have a voucher system), or where relationships are not required, how deep our pockets are to maintain wallet balances. For all, we hardly talk crypto, as the conversation is likely to break down then. We manage the risk and fears and FUD on our side, till we’re big enough.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important aspect on which you will focus in the near term? App improvements, marketing, merchants network expansion, exchanges, etc. I guess that all this points are being addressed but what do you consider to be priority 1 ?

Right now it’s very hard for users to understand that they can pay using the CC. No mention of CC payment till the last step in the purchase flow. Any plans to change that?

SureGifts will continue to exist or do you plan to migrate everything to SureRemit? SureGifts will use RMT, in case you plan to keep the brand?

Do you consider growing the team? As it looks today, the team seems kind of small considering the tone of work that must be done.

A: In order of priority, it’s app improvements (especially security), merchant expansion and exchanges. You’re right, all are very near term, regardless.

Re: the CC, while we’re excited about the feature, it still carries a lot of risk. We’re trying to watch and manage those for now before we give it more prominence.

Marrying SureGifts and RMT will require the transaction flow in the image above to be in place first as well. The separate brands will remain, and any integration will be in the background.

Yes, we do have a hiring plan for the next 3 years. The team is constantly growing, but a lot of the requirements in the near future are “international” regional Business Development Executives etc, and domain experts like Compliance, portfolio/treasury managers, even traders; growth and stability-focused hires.

Q:  We all know if we don’t market the app, there is very slow progress in building user base. We can’t really see SureRemit anywhere outside of medium, twitter at the moment, meaning they are not exposed outside those two platforms. What media are you planning to market SureRemit on? TV advertisement, Internet – crypto or non crypto websites? How heavy are you going to invest in marketing campaigns?

Volume is currently very low, what is your plan to achieve volume and liquidity of RMT token?

There are more and more remittance apps that are being released on the market and have bigger exposure than SureRemit at the moment, how are you going to compete with those?

Is system fully automated?

Do you have a plan to update roadmap?

A: This is a valid concern, and it is not lost on the team. We’ve made significant progress on the platform, and the natural next step is marketing. However, now that we’re live and seeing transactions, a few things need to take slight precedence over large-scale marketing. Liquidity is the obvious first. We need to be able to settle merchants in local currency. Unless our model for recycling the RMT is air-tight, we’ll run into sustainability issues at scale. I’m sure there will be other questions about this where I can go into more details. Secondly, we’re already learning a whole lot in the live environment, especially about fraud.

Fraud plagues the money/value transfer industry, and we might have sacrificed some security (on the company’s side) on the altar of simplicity, specifically with the card acceptance feature. In the coming days, we’ll be deploying features that might make it a little less straightforward to pay with cards, encouraging users to acquire and hold the RMT for their transactions. It will be costly (marketing and recovery) to discover nefarious customer behavior in a large-scale live environment. Finally, some things like third-party relationships and terms tend to change post-launch. For example, it became more difficult to offer Amazon US vouchers after a few transactions went through. We rely on a few third-party relationships that we’ll like to stress-test to avoid customer service issues in the future.

Nonetheless, when we do become aggressive with consumer-focused marketing, the approach will be very local, starting with regions where we have a high concentration of redemption points/merchants (Nigeria, Kenya, Middle-East etc.). The approach will vary for each market. Social media really works for Nigeria, for example, so that’ll be an immediate channel. Offline advertisement also provides a lot of credibility. Standard digital marketing and high-level PR strategies will also be deployed across-board. Already, we’re subtly placing our message in local media. Like (25:20-29:40) in this Voice of America radio programme. https://www.voanews.com/a/4524679.html. We’ll get there, but if we’re going to be around for a long time (especially if we’re going to ride through this bear market), we have to really pace ourselves.

Liquidity is not only important for RMT holders; without it, the entire SureRemit model will break down. Our community might expect a few quick solutions that’s popular with (good or bad) crypto projects, but a lot of those solutions don’t satisfy the requirements of both the token-holders and the company, while aligning our incentives. High volume exchanges are expensive. It’s a really unfortunate cloud in the crypto space, and the dynamics and politics under the hood are not as utopian as one would expect of the industry. Costs range from $100,000 to $2m, and at that cost, we need to make sure the immediate benefits are real.

To get a bit more detailed, for our use-case, we need to have a real, integration-level relationship. The RMT transaction flow requires communication with an exchange that will provide the RMT supply needed by card-paying customers in the app (this is what the initial token-holders really want). We also need to be able to conveniently push the RMT received from non-card-paying customers back to the exchange (this is what the company needs). We also need to trust that the volumes on both sides are real, otherwise volatility risk will be amplified, which is bad for the model too. We’re working tightly with an upcoming exchange called Busha, and the image below demonstrates the RMT transaction flow we’re working with. We’ll still continue our (very intense) efforts to list on existing high-volume exchanges, but we need such listing to go side by side with something like Busha.

Re-competition. We’ll try to stay on our own lane, because we believe that, as non-cash/money value transmitters, we’re running a slightly different race than most remittance services for now. Personally, I think remittance senders will always need money transfer operators (MTOs), but SureRemit will make them need MTOs less. While the competition’s message is “send money faster/cheaper/easier”, our message is more closely related to: “don’t send money if you don’t have to”.

Most of the system is automated. As we’re learning in the live environment, however, that might not entirely be a good thing.

Yes, the dog ate a few parts of the original roadmap (e.g, Latin America plans), but we’re still mostly right on track.

 

SureRemit Launches Global Remittance Service

The team just pushed the long-awaited announcement to their blog:

SureRemit is a non-cash remittance service provider utilizing the blockchain and the RMT token to facilitate global remittances. With SureRemit you can purchase vouchers, pay bills, send airtime, and donate to charity with ease — from your phone. We made remitting simple, safe & secure, very low cost (0% to 2%), and lightning fast! Choose from our (continuously growing) 690+ merchant network and send vouchers to your family, friends, and loved ones all over the world or just spoil yourself with an Amazon voucher (Amazon Europe will be added in the coming weeks, USA follows)! To make it even easier, you can purchase all of the vouchers using a credit card in-App. No cryptocurrency expertise is required! Are you a RMT token holder? Great! You can use your RMT tokens to purchase the vouchers. That’s remitting with SureRemit. No. More. Hassle.

Did you know that there are about 250 million immigrants in the world sending over $600bn to support their friends and families back home every year? The remittance market is a significant source of funding for many individuals and families across the world. Recipients of remittances, particularly in emerging markets, rely on this income for basic needs like food, clothing, medicine, utility bill payments, among other needs. In some countries remittances make up a significant portion of their GDP.

We’re constantly expanding our merchant network and not only on the African continent. SureRemit is a global platform and we will enter markets worldwide to provide low cost remittance services to the undeserved. Our mission is to help individuals and families in every corner of the globe.

Built on Stellar, we created the RMT token to facilitate easy cross border remittances. It literally takes seconds to send a remittance as Stellar’s network is extremely fast and charges very low transaction fees. Using SureRemit, recipients don’t have to travel and wait in long lines to receive an expensive wire transfer. All they need is a mobile phone or email address. SureRemit is great for senders too. Not only is it far cheaper, ensuring that your loved ones get more value in their pockets, but by sending a non-cash remittance you know that the value you sent will be utilized as intended.

Read the whole thing then go download the app for your Apple or Android phone and give it a try!

 

 

SureRemit Slogan Contest: You Could Win $100 USD in RMT

Does SureRemit even need an official slogan? Maybe not but it’s still a fun creative exercise. The good news, for you creative types, is that you can submit as many ideas as you like.  And you’ll have until midnight of August 31st to get all of your ideas in. The winner, selected by the SureRemit team, will be awarded the equivalent of $100 USD in RMT (the value being determined at the time of award).

Good luck!

Countdown to Monday: Get Ready for SureRemit Launch Day!

The launch of SureRemit on Monday (July 30th) is a day that many in the community have spent months anxiously awaiting. The promise that brought us here, an application that puts more money in the hands of the people who need it most instead of taking advantage of them and an all too rare deployed (the key word) application that leverages cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, is 48 hours from being realized.

All credit goes to the SureRemit co-founders, their team, the world class venture groups backing them (500 Startups#HasheddAlchemy, and GreenHouse Capital), and the Stellar Foundation. This group avoided crypto-hype at all costs, they buckled down, they solved amazingly challenging problems, and they built a real global remittance platform instead of an endless cycle of “partnership” announcements. This is rare and transformative stuff and, as a community member, tremendously exciting to watch.

Screenshot from 2018-07-12 01-31-37

If you’re new here, and you likely are, you’re probably wondering how you can get involved. The official SureRemit Telegram circle will be where most of the community assembles on launch day. It should be an exciting place. If you’re a cryptocurrency enthusiast you may want to purchase the RMT tokens that will power SureRemit remittances. Of course, reading the whitepaper is a great way to get up to speed but if that is too dry for you browsing the media page  and skimming the FAQ will be very informative as well. There are so many ways that you can get involved in the SureRemit community – and that list will be growing after launch. We’re going to change the world and have fun doing it. Join us!

VoxTalks: The Stubbornly High Cost of Remittances


 
This short podcast provides an excellent overview of the challenges posed by the continuing problem of tragically expensive remittances – a cost so high that many refer to it as a “tax on the poor”.

Cross-border remittances are far from costless. On average, the charge for sending $200 – the benchmark used by authorities to evaluate cost – is $14. That is, the combination of fees (including charges from both the sender and recipient intermediaries) and the exchange rate margin typically eats up fully 7% of the amount sent. It is less expensive to send larger amounts, with the global average cost of sending $500 at just under 5% (World Bank 2017b). Even so, the aggregate cost of sending remittances in 2017 was about $30 billion, roughly equivalent to the total non-military foreign aid budget of the US!

The experts interviewed refer to the use of technology to reduce the impact of regulatory barriers to cost reduction and this is exactly the void that SureRemit will seek to fill when it launches on July 30th.

Growing the SureRemit Network: Share Your Ideas

The SureRemit global network is already well established thanks to the success of SureGifts but SureRemit will create, and require, additional expansion opportunities worldwide. We have created this form so that you can contribute your idea, tell the team about your favorite merchants, and have a voice in the company’s growth.

The ideas that you submit via the Merchant Suggestion Form are captured in a Google spreadsheet that will be shared with the team. Feel free to suggest as many merchants as you like. Your input will be a valuable resources as SureRemit expands across the globe.