elsa.care is all-in-one platform where Overseas Filipinos and their loved ones can deal with all-things-money: send, receive, hold and earn in a flexible, social and easy way for senders and receivers.
FEE-FREE CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS APP FOR OVERSEAS WORKERS
Our app allows overseas Filipino workers to transfer money without fixed fees at the best rates – saving an average 7.5% in fees on their hard earned money.
By removing fees, migrant workers are empowered with the opportunity to send what their families need, when they most need it.
We built a network of +25.000 offramp locations nationwide – covering grocery chains, drugstores, hospitals, clinics, financial institutions and cash networks, as well as utility suppliers including load and data providers, electricity and water billers.
RECEIVER WALLET: LAUNCHING THE FIRST TWO-SIDED REMITTANCE SERVICE
But remittances are naturally a two-way dynamic between migrant workers sending and those receiving funds – currently only served through remittance solutions on the send-side.
+50 million people in the Philippines rely on remittances to make ends meet. More often than not, these people have been left behind by the financial system.
The elsa.care Receiver App allows distant families to communicate and manage their family finance finances in a one-stop-shop.
Through our wallet, Elsa revolutionizes the off-ramping experience for those whose lifeline depends on cross-border inflows. Allowing recipients to receive and track remittances, hold it in a local currency token – or USDC to hedge inflation – generate a yield on their balance, redeem through our nationwide network, and even earn rewards from our partners.
A NEXT-GEN APP FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION OF THE UNDERBANKED
We aim to onboard non crypto-savvy users to benefit from Stellar by building non-custodial wallets for the underbanked Filipinos. This project will be the first step towards building an ecosystem of decentralized financial services that empowers 50% of the Philippine adult population to save, spend and even access fair credit and loans.
This wallet serves as the cornerstone of our vision: helping make payments more fair, and the financial system more accessible for +60m Filipinos!
6 months have passed since our submission to #SCF10 – throughout these months, we have been heads down executing on our go-to-market strategy and product and partnership development roadmap, while listening to our customer’s feedback every step of the way.
This has resulted in a smoother product experience, better payment operations, and a more consolidated offering for our users. We’re now excited to be resubmitting to #SCF11 having:
Our efforts over the last six months have paid off – and our metrics have grown accordingly:
Monthly Payment Volume:
➡️ $10.9k (May 2022)
↗️ $300k (October 2022)
Monthly On-Chain Transactions:
➡️ 409 (May 2022)
↗️ 2,200 (October 2022)
Total Sign Ups:
➡️ 2,583 (May 2022)
↗️ 10,000 (October 2022)
➡️ 79% (May 2022)
↗️ 90% (October 2022)
Goal 1 - Launch the Elsa Wallet:
We aim to launch the first remittance wallet for receivers in the Philippines – servicing +50 million Filipinos – utilizing the stablecoin infrastructure laid out on Stellar rails.
For this, we are building the infrastructure to deliver non-custodial wallets for every user to receive and earn from their remittance inflows. The Elsa Wallet will set the turf for building an ecosystem of financial services (spending, saving and borrowing) for those currently left behind by the financial system.
Key results (June 2023):
Goal 2 - Scale our remittance operations:
Our app launched on Stellar rails just under 6 months ago, and ever since we have grown our remittance operations +80% month-on-month to where we sit today – with +$300k in monthly volume.
The next six months will serve to consolidate our growth in remittance operations in Europe, while preparing to scale our solution to new Filipino corridors (USD, CAD, GBP, …).
Key results (June 2023):
Scale our remittance operations:
Launch the Elsa Wallet:
Take to market our recipient wallet:
Remittances serve as a lifeline for 40% of the adult population in the Philippines –
Remittance flows are cross-border payments generated by migrant workers when sending home part of their earnings in the form of either cash or goods to support their families.
There are currently +10M. Filipinos living and working overseas, sending in total +$36bn. throughout 2021 to take care of their loved ones back home. On average, each Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) sends $3,000 per year, which amounts to nearly 15% of their earnings.
These inflows represent a lifeline for +40 million people living in the Philippines, and a large chunk of the country's economy – approximately 10% of the country’s GDP. Cross-border payments to the Philippines have consistently increased throughout the last 25 years, and are expected to continue this trend throughout the next decade.
While sending has become more efficient, the reception of these funds remains archaic:
The competitive landscape is broken between sender-solutions and receiver-locations.
The remittance field lacks players serving the end-to-end relationship between senders and receivers, and this leads to higher fees, delays in time-to-money and broken information.
Retail Banks & Money Transfer Operators (MTOs):
Physical locations allowing for cross-border money transfers between migrant workers and their loved ones.
(–) High fixed commissions
(–) Slow time-to-money
Fintechs & Digital MTOs:
Platforms allowing migrant workers to send cross-border money transfers to their loved ones.
(+) Low fixed commissions
(–) High FX fees
Pawnshops & Cash Networks:
Physical locations allowing cash pick-ups from cross-border money transfers.
(–) Insecure delivery method
(–) Working hours only
Fintechs & Neobanks:
Digital platforms, typically e-wallets, allowing remittance reception, holding balance on account and spending capabilities (cards and QRs)
(+) Smooth cash-in operations
(–) Tedious account creation and KYC
Traditional commercial banks allowing remittance reception and all other banking capabilities.
(–) Slow time-to-money
(–) Tedious account creation and KYC
(–) High account fees
Local service providers allowing migrant workers to purchase their services directly, mainly through online platforms (sometimes with oversea agencies).
(–) High off-ramping fees
Shift in consumer expectations and tech advancements lay the base for disruption:
For years now, traditional finance providers have adopted business models laying the burden on the weakest link: migrant workers and remittance receptors. However, this paradigm can now be challenged due to several industry characteristics that have evolved over recent times:
The remittance industry is now ripe for disruption, and new business models removing the burden of transaction costs from the end user will emerge in the current market context.
Transforming a one-sided industry into an ecosystem where all participants benefit:
Our revenue model is based of a marketplace-like dynamic to monetise from merchant sales. We count on numerous partnerships with local merchants and service providers in the Philippines through whom we generate fees on a per-transaction basis.
This is beneficial for senders as we provide transparency on the use of the funds, and for receivers who generate cash back upon reception of services – and allows us to remove the hefty fees (5-10%) from cross-border transactions, while offering highest exchange rates in the market.
Exchange rate spread: 2%
Merchant fees: 3-10%
Yield fees: 1-2%
Card / QR IC++: 0.5%
Loans / Credit: 5-10% p.a.
Leveraging network effects to grow organically, while forging our supply-side offering:
Our growth strategy lies on the hypothesis that our product and business model dynamics are 10x better – and hence, we are able to acquire (5x cheaper) and retain customers (90% month-on-month) better than competitors, leading to a sustainable payback period.
We lay our core strength on a two-sided network effect where the more remittance senders we activate, the more recipients that download our wallet to receive and earn, and the more receiving users we have who benefit from this dynamic, the more they will invite other remittance senders to send through our platform – increasing their cash back earnings. This will result in more paying merchants that will want to offer their services through our marketplace to a larger customer base.
As such, we focus on developing marketing tactics that increase awareness on our value proposition, with the ultimate goal of driving a high percentage of organic growth. It is in this spirit, and based on four pillars that set us apart, that we intend to drive this growth:
Building an offering by partnering with i) cutting-edge Stellar based infrastructure providers, and ii) a wide array of highly-adopted local service providers:
Post-SCF Stellar Partnerships:
Local Service Providers:
* The amounts shown are budget requests and not (yet) granted to the projects. During the Community Vote phase, voters can indicate whether the project deserves the amount it's asking for (budget request). The total pool of XLM available for SCF#11 is 8M XLM. SDF will allocate the XLM equivalent of the specified USD budget of the submissions with the most votes in descending order of rank until the earlier of (i) the XLM Pool is fully distributed (ii) there is not sufficient XLM remaining in the XLM pool to fully fund the next ranked submission or (iii) there are no remaining eligible submissions. The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 5, 2022 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on July 5th as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
**The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)