The Star Online: Fintech raises funds to expand regionally

Opportunities in serving small businesses under-served by banks

EASYPAY Transfers has successfully raised US$500,000 (RM2mil) seed funding to help local small and micro businesses with cross-border trade payments. Investments came from a group of private investors based in Malaysia.

The funding will be used to open more corridors, primarily to countries that Malaysian businesses trade with such as Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Vietnam and Hong Kong. EasyPay Transfers will also use the funds to expand its team to accommodate its growth and maintain its service level quality.

The Malaysia-based fintech simplifies the way businesses remit money to their trade counterparts by allowing businesses to transfer money securely, with faster processing times, and cheaper rates.

It focuses on businesses that are under-served by banks – micro traders, sole proprietors, and other small enterprises – who would otherwise not enjoy preferential rates as those offered to large businesses.

“SMEs are generally overlooked by banks because their transaction volumes are small, or they don’t have a proper credit history. Most of them still need to queue at the bank counters, and pay higher exchange rates for international transfers,” said Felix Yew, general manager of EasyPay Transfers.

The company came about when its founders, who have experiences in the financial services, technology and procurement industries, noted the inconvenience of making international business payments at the banks. Payments to China, particularly, was an expensive affair. Additionally, documentary compliance was a challenge and clarity on the status of payment transactions was lacking.

“We thought of how we could make cross-border remittances more accessible and affordable for smaller businesses. So we looked at how we can leverage on technology to bridge this gap,” said Jared Ang, co-founder of EasyPay Transfers.

The company started by offering its service to China.

It noted that with total imports from China accumulating to RM164bil in 2017, there was an opportunity to serve an equal demand from local businesses looking to perform payments to their Chinese counterparts.

It charges a standard transfer fee of RM15 regardless of transaction size and claims to have exchange rates that are 50% lower than what banks offer.

“We love the convenience and service levels the EasyPay team provides. The icing on the cake is the thousands of ringgit that we save in transferring money for our business operations,” said Eric Choo, Finance Director of Thai Odyssey Sdn Bhd, a traditional Thai massage chain that recently expanded their operations to China.

“By focusing on making cross-border payments more efficient for businesses, we believe we will be able to help thousands of small businesses grow,” adds Ang.

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