Mobile Remittance App Abra to Expand Globaly

Bill Barhydt, CEO of mobile payment application Abra, said today that his company has plans to expand its services to the rest of the world by November of next year, according to a telephone interview with CoinDesk.

Abra has also informed investors that the company’s expansion strategy includes establishing a presence in North and South America, as well as Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In September of 2015, Abra received $14 million in Series A funding from several VC firms, and in March of this year, Abra made in into Plug and Play’s fintech accelerator.

Despite last year’s sizable infusion of capital, Abra is currently operating only in the Philippines, allowing mobile users on any mobile network within the country to convert fiat into digital money via Abra Tellers, which are available nationwide. Filipinos can also cash-out directly from the Abra app into local fiat currency.

As Barhydt puts it, the Philippines is a testing ground for the Abra app before it takes on the global remittance market,“The Philippines is a domestic microcosm of what you should expect to see at a much larger scale. It gives us the ability to test on a small scale with no marketing,” said Barhydt.

Barhydt envisions a global payment system where any two parties can transfer value with only their mobile devices, and without the need for a bank account:

“Once Abra is live everywhere, we have the first p2p payment app that will work across any two phone numbers. There’s no other app on the planet that does that. It’s WhatsApp for payments,”

Abra’s CEO also said that online commerce is where the risks of fraud and chargebacks are highest for merchants, and that is one area where the Abra app will excel. Abra’s smart contracts will use bitcoin’s blockchain to facilitate irreversible consumer-to-merchant e-commerce transactions.


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