Thunes and Pomelo to ‘transform’ global remittance payments

Businessman with virtual global currency symbols in hand. Money transfers and currency exchanges between countries of the world.
Editorial credit: A9 STUDIO /

Thunes has partnered with Pomelo, a remittance company and credit card issuer, to launch an international money transfer solution from the US to the Philippines.

The collaboration aims to transform the way remittances are handled via Thunes’ digital wallet integration, leveraging the way that Pomelo disrupts traditional remittance methods to achieve the overarching goal of reducing costs and connecting families.

Founded in 2021, Pomelo underwrites each of its customers to provide a credit line to fund their remittance transfers while building their credit history in the US, instead of the traditional method of transferring money through money transfer operators or banks.

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel, Founder and CEO of Pomelo, said: “Sending remittances used to be costly, slow and unreliable. At Pomelo, we’re changing how international money transfer works by helping customers build a credit history in the US while supporting their loved ones across borders. 

“Thunes’ emerging markets expertise will be integral to helping us launch our digital wallet integration quickly to move money into the local payment methods of choice, initially in the Philippines/US corridor and beyond, as we expand our reach of services.”

Pomelo achieves this by granting the families of its users ongoing access to a line of credit for costs, with the primary user responsible for monthly bill payments. Cardholders can immediately transfer their Pomelo credit line to the recipient’s GCash digital wallet through Thunes’ extensive network.

This partnership aligns with recent data trends. According to GlobalData’s 2023 research, 88% of Filipinos have utilised digital wallets in the past year, with 89% opting for the GCash brand.

Aside from sending funds directly to digital wallets like GCash, Pomelo cardholders can also support up to three family members or friends worldwide. According to the World Bank, traditional money transfer companies usually charge fees averaging 6%, whereas Pomelo’s model doesn’t impose any transfer fees on the customer.

Known as one of the world’s largest cross-border payment flows, this solution serves the US/Philippines remittance corridor. The pair have stated that future plans include expanding this service to other popular US/international markets, such as Mexico and India.

Expansion has been a priority for the company this year. Thunes joined forces with Visa in March to enable new endpoints in key markets across Asia and Africa, which the cross border payments company described as “untapped markets”.

Floris de Kort, CEO of Thunes, commented: “Pomelo has the potential to transform remittance payments worldwide. This partnership aligns perfectly with Thunes’ ambition to make cross-border payments faster, more transparent and more affordable, by connecting to over 3 billion digital wallets and 4 billion bank accounts. 

“By providing payouts to the GCash digital wallet, we’re getting funds to family members instantly, how and when they need it most.”