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Global remittance startups rush into Asia counting on deregulation

UK unicorn to launch debit card service in Singapore and Japan

Customers receive money from families working abroad at a remittance center in Makati City, Metro Manila.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Cross-border payment startups are rushing into Asia as deregulation of the sector has enabled online services to operate in the region, in a major threat to existing banks.

Among them, TransferWise, a U.K.-based online remittance company, will launch a debit card in Singapore in the next couple of months and in Japan next year. Founded in 2010, the company is valued at $3.5 billion, making it one of the most valuable unicorns -- private companies worth $1 billion or more -- in Europe.

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