A new survey by Dash India and Remit Dash reveals that a significant portion of Indians are unsatisfied with the fees and lead times of remittances, but many Indians still have not tried to use cryptocurrencies despite having heard of the technology.
The Indian remittance market totals $70 billion USD a year with the average transaction rate above 5.5%, which is around $4 billion USD alone. Four specific survey questions illustrated just how expensive remittances are and how long they take to process, which has caused many Indians to be dissatisfied with currently available services.
Supreet of Dash India told Dash Force News how their overall goal was to gain insights into the Indian remittance market to better aid future cryptocurrency integration.
“The India Remittances Survey 2018 shines light on some of the pressing challenges being faced by users. Remittances to India is a large market with many complexities and legacy issues. This survey attempts unpack macro level information, break it down into smaller segments and identify an early adopter set interested in learning more about crypto-remittances.”
The survey reached out to 186 individuals over the phone and in-person, 124 of which agreed to participate, and 108 users who have received remittances in the last 12 months and qualified to take the survey. The report did mention the existence of a potential bias since a significant portion of respondents were urban and educated as opposed to the median Indian user from a smaller village or town.
Pathways and barriers to actual remittance usage
Of the entire survey group, 88.9% of respondents have heard of cryptocurrencies, but of that subsection, only 18.8% have actually setup a wallet to send or receive a transaction. While 77.1% said they have not set up a wallet and 4.2% preferred not to disclose. However, 80.6% of all respondents would like to attend a remittance workshop in New Delhi. This combined with the fact that “India has the largest diaspora in the world”, according to the report, makes India ripe for cryptocurrency integration into remittance services.
“There are 15.6 Million Indians living in other countries and another estimated 10 Million Persons of Indian Origin who have
become naturalized citizens in other countries.”
To further aid adoption, three connected Indian states combine to make up 50.7% of remittance end-destinations in all of India; Kerala, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Additionally, the many variable difficulties that remitters have to deal with also provide an opportunity for a better solution; remitters must depend on treaties between countries that can dictate exchange rates and allowable quantities of money, financial institution bottlenecks that limit speeds and raise costs, and an overall lack of transparency.
However, Indian remittance use of cryptocurrencies stands to be stunted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that has “declared that it wasn’t going to support cryptocurrency to fiat currency (INR) conversions”. Nevertheless, RBI has not banned cryptocurrency transactions, which will enable Indians to move between cryptocurrencies and allow them to make purchases that are strictly in cryptocurrencies. There have also been media reports that the Indian government will be creating their own cryptocurrency, which would better enable the normalization of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Dash working hard towards solving remittance problems
Cryptocurrencies have long been thought of as a solution to the pervasive problems that reside in the remittance ecosystem, but Dash is actually taking steps to become that solution. Dash India, also known as RemitDash, has emerged to focus on encouraging and developing the Dash remittance industry throughout India. Then the Dash Core Group’s Business Development Team has made it clear during their last business call that they will be focusing on developing the US-Mexico remittance corridor to increase adoption and usage.
The extremely low transaction fees and extremely fast transaction times of Dash makes it an ideal solution to the traditionally expensive and slow remittance industry. However, a bottleneck to adoption, as the Dash India report mentioned, is the ability to exchange between cryptocurrency and fiat, which tends to vary between countries. As a potential solution, Dash is not only focusing on more exchange integrations, but also heavily focusing on direct business acceptance, which will eliminate the need to change back into fiat currency. Dash is already making significant progress since it is currently accepted by over 3,900 merchants globally.