Rate3 x BrahmaOS: the Future of Offline Cross-Border Payments

Global outbound tourism is huge — it stands at 1.5 trillion dollars annually. However, outbound tourists often face several issues in payment: they have to manually change currencies or pay through their existing debit/credit cards at the offline merchant’s point-of-sales system. This traditional offline payment method outlines the same problems we face in online cross-border payments: the acquiring and issuing banks, and payment networks impose an additional transaction fee and exchange rate mark-up to facilitate your offline payment.

These additional fees add up to quite an amount:

1. Fees paid to your bank

  • typically 3% markup on the exchange rate
  • sometimes an additional 1–3% foreign transaction fee (even if it’s in your home currency)
  • out of network ATM fees (often €4.05 or more abroad)
  • in rare cases also a fixed fee per point-of-sale (POS) transaction abroad
  • interest and other fees for credit card cash advances

2. Exchange rate offered by the card network

  • What’s the rate offered by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express and how does it compare to the interbank rate? It’s often at a 3–5% mark up.

3. Fees paid to the merchant/ATM owner

  • Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) — when you’re presented with the choice of paying in the local or your home currency. If you don’t choose the local currency, you’re paying an even worse exchange rate (often by 5–10%).
  • ATM fees, often in the $1.62 to $8.10 range per transaction.
  • In some countries, it’s common for merchants to pass on the costs of processing the payment to you. That will usually range from free for domestic debit transactions to ~3% for international credit transactions.

In the global world we live in today, such additional fees for cross-border offline and online payments should have been redundant long ago.

Introducing… Rate3 x BrahmaOS: the Future of Offline Cross-Border Payments

This upcoming partnership allows Rate3 users to pay for offline purchases through the Rate3 mobile wallet, with absolutely zero transaction fees and exchange rate mark up. This is similar to how Rate3 helps to facilitate online payments here. An analogous example is that of WeChat Pay and Line Pay being used by Chinese and Thailand tourists, when they shop in other countries.

Imagine this scenario: Tommy is a tourist from Indonesia, who is travelling in Vietnam. For his purchases in Vietnam, he can either pay with Vietnamese dong, his debit/credit card or through Rate3. With his Rate3 mobile wallet at supported merchants, Rate3 will use the Stellar network to convert his Indonesian rupiah in his bank account to Vietnamese dong at the merchant’s POS. Transactions are fast, seamless and there is no additional mark-up on the exchange rate between IDR and VND.

Merchants that partner with us will be accepting Rate3 offline payments and benefit from an increased volume of offline tourists. Likewise, for tourists, they benefit from an easier mode of payment (through their mobile phone) and much cheaper exchange rate fees.

What is BrahmaOS?

Brahma OS is an operating system that hosts decentralized networks by enabling the deconstruction of existing services and the use of a wide range of decentralized services and components to ensure that users can safely and easily access services on the blockchain and application.

You can read more about BrahmaOS here.

Join us in the future of offline cross-border payments today.

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