MoneyMatch is no stranger to the fintech industry; in 2015 when Naysan Munusamy and Adrian Yap joined hands to delve into fintech. Then came Fazil Fuad, former Assistant Vice President of Rocket Internet Singapore, and they formed the core team of MoneyMatch.
MoneyMatch is approved by Bank Negara Malaysia under the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox in June 2017 and was the first locally to launch a fully electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) customer onboarding process through their mobile app.
In the beginning, MoneyMatch operated as a peer-to-peer currency exchange platform, whereby the platform allows users to transfer and exchange foreign currencies online with other individuals without needing any middle man.
Moving Away From P2P
However, they have pivoted their business model and shifted away from P2P since then—now they just provide a fully digital way to send funds abroad.
When questioned why they have pivoted from the P2P model, CEO Adrian Yap mentioned, “We still have plans to operate the P2P model but as we mature and have more experience in the industry, we realised that there is a lot of work and coordination to be done in order to operationalise our P2P vision.”
Rather than depending on other individuals to transfer and exchange currencies, the platform now operates with a more direct model, utilising payout partners and banking partners to help fulfill transactions.
Furthermore, the MoneyMatch team has begun to also take a look into blockchain technology to make transactions more transparent and efficient.
As the team practices an experimental culture at MoneyMatch and are always trying and testing new things out on a daily basis, one of the things that they experimented early on was blockchain technology, particularly on Ripple blockchain.
Just last year, the startup announced that they have successfully conducted their first ever live cross-border transaction out of Malaysia on Ripple’s blockchain.
They were able to successfully process the transaction within several hours via the blockchain network compared to the traditional SWIFT network used by banks which normally takes a minimum of two days or sometimes even longer.
“After looking through the various options and permutations, we found that Ripple offered something that we could potentially use to increase our value proposition to our customers,” explained Adrian.
Hence they decided to adopt and incorporate the technology to enable people to send money overseas at a much cheaper and faster rate.
Since their official launch in 2017, the platform transacted RM100,000 in June 2017 and has now just passed a total of RM350 million in transactions in December 2018. On any given day, they transact over RM1 million in transfers.
“I would say we are growing at quite a rapid pace and we are trying to cross the RM1 billion mark as soon as possible,” Adrian added.
The platform monetises by charging a small free for transactions and a small spread on the exchange rate. Currently, based on the website, for personal accounts, any native currency transfer (sending RM to Malaysia; sending SGD to Singapore) costs RM8 per transaction while non-native currency transfers (sending USD to Malaysia; sending USD to Singapore) costs RM88 per transaction.
Adrian mentioned that they allow market forces to determine the pricing but are always looking at ways to reduce the fees up to the point of it costing nothing in the future.
Their user base has also grown since our last coverage of MoneyMatch in September 2017 when they only had 50–60 individual users and 30 corporate customers, now they’ve grown to about 8,000 individual users and about 300 business users.
“We are focused on perfecting what we are doing at this current moment and giving our customers the best possible experience when moving money for personal or business use,” said Adrian.
In 2018, MoneyMatch came in third place in the ASEAN SME Category at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018, bagging a cool SGD50,000 from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as prize money.
MoneyMatch was the only Malaysian representative in the 40 shortlisted finalists and the other two winners in the category included fintech startups from Indonesia and Thailand.
Furthermore they were also recognised as Fintech Startup of the Year Award 2018 by Fintech News Asia and Startup Disruptor of the Year Award 2018 by Wild Digital 2018.
All of these achievements and milestones didn’t come easy as there were plenty of challenges along the few years since MoneyMatch started.
“I would however, place customer trust as one of the biggest challenges to date that we have faced,” explained Adrian. “It’s not easy to get people to part with thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of ringgit and expect it to show up in another country’s bank account in a couple of hours or days.”
He is however, forever grateful and wants to thank his existing customers for putting their trust and faith in choosing MoneyMatch time and time again over existing banks.
“Our motto or ethos has always been ‘Rethinking Finance’ and therefore the ultimate goal of MoneyMatch would be to do finance differently, starting with cross border transfers,” he said.
In the near future for MoneyMatch, Adrian won’t rule out launching new services or even being a full-fledged digital bank.
Feature Image Credit: MoneyMatch