A digital money platform is challenging rivals by offering instant transfers from a greater number of cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and commodities – all with the ambition of reducing the seemingly endless costs and fees customers face.
According to Uphold, it is free to open an account on its platform and transfer funds from bank accounts – and there are also low costs and no limits attached to sending or receiving money (if it is the same currency) to other Uphold members, whether they are down the street or on the other side of the world. This format is especially useful when it comes to remittances, where many foreign workers face astronomical charges while sending money back to their loved ones thousands of miles away, the company adds.
In an aim to be transparent, Uphold has outlined very clearly what its pricing model is. Small fees are applied when an account is funded using a debit card or a credit card, if a member converts funds to a different currency, or if they want to move funds off its platform altogether.
An array of features
Uphold’s range of fiat currencies is extensive, delivering international appeal. Its platform can support conversions with 23 fiat currencies. It also supports eight cryptocurrencies and four commodities, meaning you can leap from New Zealand dollars, to Litecoin, to gold with “exceptional ease.” When compared with other platforms, the company says it helps users to trade across more than 1,000 trading pairs more seamlessly – giving them the freedom to remain in control of their money.
This “inclusive and global” approach seems to have paid dividends for the company, as it now has “nearly one million members from over 174 countries.” According to Uphold’s website, the brand is now powering more than $4 billion in digital money transactions – a sign of the progress and growth that the brand has experienced since it was launched back in 2013.
In order to shield its users from massive fluctuations in a cryptocurrency’s value, the platform also offers volatility protection. This means they can automatically receive funds in their preferred fiat wallet without having to worry about making about making swift conversions, and prevent the value from changing as the currency is being converted.
Last but not least, Uphold has also started branching out into debit cards – even offering so-called “prepaid virtual cards.” These can be used anywhere where Mastercard is accepted – enabling the unbanked to make purchases on websites, on their phone, and in apps.
Transparency and security
Uphold has placed an emphasis on enabling users to see how the service is handling their money. As well as providing details about the encryption and auditing measures it undertakes, they publish a transparency page detailing its current transaction volume in real-time, the number of transactions it is handling, its obligations, and the number of assets in reserve. These are divided into three tiers: currencies available for bank transfers; currencies available for holding, exchanging or sending to anyone in the world, and the cryptocurrencies which can be sent or received.
As well as wooing individuals, Uphold has been working to attract businesses big and small who are looking for a safe and easy way to receive instant, secure international payments. Just like it has been trying to reduce fees for those sending remittances across borders, the platform is offering ways for companies to transfer funds to international suppliers and members of staff without delays and prohibitive fees. This could also benefit a business’ prospective customers, who are presented with greater payment options at a lower additional cost.
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