Published August 15, 2017
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Date: August 15, 2017
Categories: Financial Technology, Markets Exchanges, technology
Keywords: SingX, Fintech
Singapore financial technology start-up SingX has successfully raised US$4.5 million (S$6.3 million) in its second round of funding as it expands its online remittance services to two new markets, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The company, founded by former American Express banker Atul Garg, has enjoyed brisk business since it launched its first product, cross-border fund transfer from Singapore to India, in January this year. Based on its current monthly run rate, after six months of operations, SingX’s online remittance platform would have achieved an annualised run rate of $100 million.
Investors in the second round of funding or pre-series A include senior bankers and high net worth individuals from Singapore and Hong Kong. They join Atul Garg, veteran bankers Kula Kulendaran, Vineet Nagrani and Rajan Raju as shareholders. Former DBS head of enterprise banking, Mr Edwin Khoo, also serves as advisor on the board.
SingX’s online platform is cheaper, faster and more convenient as it charges consumers a fraction of what they typically pay for overseas money transfers. It does this by cutting out cable charges and bank commissions and offering transparent and live forex exchange rates. It is also more convenient as it eliminates the need to fill out complex forms and for personal visits to a branch. The only fee payable is a small handling fee which is made know to the customer upfront.
Compared to bank transfers, users of SingX save up to 90% in remittance charges when transferring funds to India, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, SingX Singapore targets individuals and SMEs. The transfer mechanism is both easy and secure. SingX is secure as it has implemented two-factor authentication and secure data transmission methods. As a regulated payment services provider, it has also ensured the customer’s money is kept in a segregated client account.
Mr Garg, SingX’s Principal Founder and CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased with the speed at which consumers are signing up for our online remittance platform. The take-up rate has been great so far and we have seen many repeat customers.
“Consumers like the transparency of the platform as it enables them to keep track of live FX rates and empowers them to make a transfer when they feel the FX rate is right for them. They also enjoy the ease of transferring money anytime from the convenience of their own mobile phones. This demonstrates the power of technology to make financial services both easier and cheaper for people.
“SingX’s mission is to continue to make finance simpler and cheaper for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. The latest funding from our investors will help us scale up our business faster, expand to new geographies and to develop a number of other products to meet the global cross-border payment needs of Singaporeans and their companies.”
Mr Garg said that SingX has introduced remittances to two new markets, from Singapore to Malaysia and from Singapore to Hong Kong, as these markets have a considerable amount of cross border payments taking place because of their long ties with Singapore.
Currently, there are 350,000 Malaysians in Singapore who transfer money back home to pay mortgages, bills, family and other expenses. Many Malaysians presently use a very cumbersome and unsafe process of remitting money from Singapore to Malaysia. They first stand in line at a money changer to convert their Singapore dollars to Malaysian ringgit, and then physically carry this money into Malaysia and queue up a second time at a Malaysian bank to deposit money. Mr Garg said that with SingX’s technology solution, these people no longer need to queue up twice or carry cash across the border as they can complete the entire transaction from the convenience
of their mobile phones.
SingX’s remittance service to Hong Kong will also appeal to the many Singapore residents who invest in stocks, property and trade with Hong Kong and China.
Besides consumers, SingX’s platform allows SMEs with business ties in India and Hong Kong to make cross border payments. Figures from Singstat show that imports from Hong Kong into Singapore stand at around US$3 billion annually. Malaysia was also Singapore’s second largest trading artner in 2016. Singapore imports goods and services worth $50 billion per annum from Malaysia, with SMEs’ imports accounting for $12.5 billion. SingX plans to roll out new services to a number of new countries around the globe soon.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker