Philippines posts record $4.48bn BoP deficit in Jan

The Philippines posted a record balance of payments (BoP) deficit of $4.48bn in January, when it saw its biggest-ever net portfolio outflows due to an emerging market rout, data from the central bank showed yesterday.

But authorities expect the country’s external payments position to improve in coming months as markets grow calmer over the US Federal Reserve’s plans to scale back its massive stimulus programme.

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Under the Wire

A San Diego startup has launched what it says is the first international shopping card — allowing immigrants to send money home without getting socked with high wire-transfer fees.

Quippi, which recently raised $2 million in venture capital, has developed technology that lets users buy shopping cards good in Mexico on its website, quippi.com

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MasterCard and partners ramp up mobile remittances

A new joint venture between MasterCard, eServglobal and BICS aims to grow the market for mobile remittances by linking the credit card giant’s relationships around the world with financial institutions with its new partners’ community of mobile operators.

Called Homesend, the MasterCard-controlled venture has the same name as the hub previously built by eServGlobal and BICS to enable international payments to be transferred via mobile phone.

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Safaricom, Western Union partner to allow free M-Pesa remittances

Safaricom and Western Union have partnered for a promotional deal that allows Western Union users in Europe to send money to Kenyan M-Pesa accounts for free until the end of 2013.

Europe-based users sending money via Western Union should use promotional code SAF2013, in order to not incur any fees on their money transfer.The offer has been launched in a bid to facilitate inter-continental money transfers in the run up to and during the Christmas festive season.

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PhilPost offers e-money service

The Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) said it’s ready to face competition with other money transfer providers in the country, as it grows its remittances networks domestically and abroad.

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Josefina de la Cruz said PhilPost has started offering e-money services in August, which is an electronic remittance system that facilitates fund transfers through an instant payout process. “You can send money in real time.

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