Update: As of October 31, 2017 Abra Tellers are no longer available outside of the Philippines. Thanks to everyone who participated in this trial program and gave us valuable feedback.
Two months ago we launched our global Teller program. We’ve since received hundreds of applications from all over the world and interviewed nearly as many people to find the most qualified candidates to become early Abra Tellers.
We are excited to announce that as of today, Abra customers can now use Abra Tellers to make cash deposits and withdrawals in over 170 cities in over 50 countries around the world, including over 1500 Tellers in the Philippines. This makes international payments and remittances via bitcoin easier and more accessible for unbanked Abra customers in these cities. Cash transactions are also one of the fastest ways to load your Abra wallet, shortening the amount of time needed from cash in to cash out.
So what is an Abra Teller?
An Abra Teller is a “human ATM” who makes themselves available to process Abra deposits and withdrawals via cash. Anyone who wants to send or receive money with Abra needs a way to get money on and off their phone, and Tellers facilitate this on a global basis for cash-based transactions. To make cash deposits or withdrawals, an Abra customer will use the app to find an Abra Teller nearby, then contact the Teller to arrange a time and place to meet. The Teller may advertise their business location and hours in their profile so that no communication is needed in advance.
When a customer meets their Abra Teller, the Teller will scan the customer’s QR code to initiate the transaction. After confirming the details of the transaction, the customer will then hand the Teller physical cash to receive a digital cash deposit, or send the Teller digital cash to receive a physical cash withdrawal, minus the Teller’s fee which varies by location.
Who uses Abra Tellers?
Abra Tellers provide their local communities of unbanked and cash-based customers with much-needed access to digital payments, e-commerce, and remittance services. For example in the Philippines, where we have over 1500 Abra Tellers, Abra supports cash-based e-commerce payments with several online merchants. Abra customers can additionally use the Abra wallet to pay any of the over 100,000 online and brick and mortar merchants who accept payments via bitcoin.
Since launching direct bitcoin support in early March, we’re also seeing an increasing number of people who are using Abra Tellers to buy bitcoin with cash. Abra Tellers can be one of the fastest and most convenient ways to buy bitcoin, since customers don’t have to fill out any long bank forms or wait for a bank transfer to clear. Depending on local Abra Teller availability, it could take less than an hour to find a Teller, arrange a time and place to meet, and complete the transaction.
How to fund your Abra wallet using an Abra Teller
To see if there’s an Abra Teller near you, follow these three easy steps:
- Open your Abra app
- Press the “Add money” button on the home screen
- Select “Use cash” and search for your city
If there are Tellers in your area, you can select the one you want to do business with based on their location or fees, then contact them through the contact method provided in the app.
After you’ve arranged a time and place to meet, have your Abra QR code ready so they can quickly process your transaction. When you arrive at the Teller’s business location, they will scan your Abra QR code and send a deposit notification to your app confirming the deposit and the amount of cash that you need to hand to the Teller. After confirming that they have received the cash, the Teller will then send you the digital cash deposit, which will arrive on your phone within a few seconds. It’s that easy!
With funds in your Abra wallet, you can then send money to any other Abra user or bitcoin address. The process works the same in reverse if you want to withdraw money from your Abra wallet via cash as well.
Want to be an Abra Teller?
Do you want to make some extra cash while helping your local community access vital financial services including digital payments and remittances? Are you a cash bitcoin trader already or otherwise have access to a consistent supply of bitcoin? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then you could be a great fit to be an Abra Teller!
To learn more about becoming an Abra Teller, visit our Tellers page.
What’s next for Abra Tellers
Every day we are adding new Abra Tellers in cities where there’s a clear need: large unbanked populations sending money through expensive remittance corridors, vibrant bitcoin communities, and lots of cash-based transactions. We are always on the lookout for places that meet these criteria, so if you think your city fits the bill, let us know and we’ll see what we can do to bring Abra Tellers to your area.
Would you use Abra Tellers to fund your wallet with cash? What cities do you think we should prioritize next? Let us know in the comments below!