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February 3, 2015

Filipinos abroad can now use bitcoins to pay bills back home

Service allows overseas workers to pay utility, cable and telephone bills.
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(Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

A Philippines-based company called Rebit, which allows overseas Filipino workers to transfer money back home using bitcoins, is now giving users the ability to pay their families' bills through the service. 

The company says its new service, which is connected to utility, cable and telephone bills, will help overseas workers ensure that the money they send home is used responsibly. 

Family members abroad are a big source of income for many in the Philippines. According to the World Bank, personal remittances accounted for 9.8 per cent of the country's GDP in 2013. 

Rebit and other services that use bitcoin say they are a cheaper alternative to traditional money transfer companies, such as Western Union, which charge transaction fees. Development experts say fees collected by the global remittance industry pose an major economic obstacle for developing countries. 

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