With a digital wallet, cross-border payments are easier than ever.

To send money overseas, or make a wire transfer from one country to another can be a real headache. Long turnaround times, increasingly high fees, and hurdles with foreign exchange rates are all a burden to both the sender and receiver of payments. Needless to say, that doesn’t stop the need for quick cross-border payments.

Global GDP (gross domestic product) is projected to hit roughly $103.2 trillion in 2022 — up from an estimated $77.99 trillion in 2017 — just as international transfers and cross-border payments are becoming a daily part of business. Meanwhile, legacy banks don’t display any sense of urgency over improving the process for cross-border remittances.

Transaction fees can range anywhere from 2% to 10% of the overall transaction amount, with intermediary institutions taking a cut in addition to regulatory exchange fees. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram are notorious for extremely high fees targeting a consumer base from low-economic backgrounds. (Not to mention fraud).

Uphold was built with our members in mind, and we work to create easy, frictionless and low-cost cross-border payments. Here are just a few ways you can use your Uphold wallet to expedite cross-border payments:


Cryptocurrencies, in general, have one big advantage over government-issued money: blockchain technology allows for peer-to-peer transactions, without a centralized authority like a bank or government overseeing things.

This decentralized structure comes with two key benefits. First, transaction fees are lower since there is no middleman taking a percentage. Second, turnaround times tend to be minutes instead of days.

While bitcoin might be the most famous cryptocurrency on the market right now, litecoin actually offers a better solution when it comes to expediting cross-border payments. In fact, litecoin was originally created to provide improved transactional speeds over bitcoin.

Bitcoin transactions tend to take roughly 10 minutes — in some cases more than that. Litecoin transactions, on the other hand, can be completed in an average time of 2 minutes and 19 seconds; and the fee is a mere $0.21 per transaction on average.

One added bonus with litecoin is that, due to its increasing value and mass appeal, more and more online outlets are accepting it as a form of payment.


Dash, short for “digital cash”, uses a two-tiered system involving both miners and master nodes. Miners verify transactions across the network and create new blocks on the blockchain, while master nodes perform PrivateSend or InstantSend so that users can send and receive dash quickly and anonymously.

Approximately 350 dash transactions are made every hour, with an average transaction fee of $0.30. The speed of processing is, of course, lightning quick when compared to sending fiat currency over a service like Western Union.


Ethereum was launched in 2015, among other reasons, to introduce even faster transaction speeds. Now, the second most popular digital currency behind bitcoin transactions for ether occur in a mind-blowing 15 seconds.

Not only that, but ether was the most traded cryptocurrency in the world over the course of 2017. An estimated 230,000 transactions per day happened last year, compared to litecoin’s 50,000.

Fiat Currency

If you’re hesitant about using crypto’s as a way to expedite your cross-border payments, traditional, government-issued currency can, of course, be sent through your digital wallet. Like a regular wallet — in which you most likely keep cash in addition to various debit and credit cards — with Uphold, you can hold various forms of payments and currencies all in one place. So you never are left with only one option for expediting cross-border payments.

How to Send Funds From Your Uphold Digital Wallet

Once you have signed up for an account on Uphold, it’s easy to set up funds in a variety of currencies: litecoin, dash, ethereum, and over 30+ supported traditional and digital currencies. Here’s how:

  • On your main dashboard, you can choose “Add card/currency”. From there, you can select the currency type of your choice.
  • In your new card, you can click “Add Funds” to add funds from a bank account. Simply fill out your banking info and how much of the currency you would like to purchase; then click “Confirm.”
  • Once your wallet is funded, you can select the “Use Funds” tab. Then, click on the “Send to Cryptocurrency or Utility Token.”
  • In this final step, provide the cryptocurrency or utility token ID of the user you are sending to with the specific amount, and confirm!


Tip: When sending between Uphold members, transactions are instant!

Cross-border payments, like international calling, was previously cost prohibitive. In this new era of digital money, payments and transactions across borders happen daily. Uphold members can enjoy quick cross-border payments without the hassle of high foreign exchange fees or the concern that your funds aren’t going exactly where you sent them. What would be the point of a digital wallet if it didn’t make your life easier?

At Uphold, we make buying, holding, converting and sending value between the 30+ digital and traditional currencies we support easy for anyone to understand and anyone to do.

To learn more, please visit our FAQ. As always, your feedback is important to us. Feel free to drop us a line, [email protected]

This does not constitute investment advice. Please consult your financial professional if you have questions about investing in cryptocurrency.