Fintech Start-up, moolahgo, unveiled South East Asia’s First Financial Services e-Marketplace
SINGAPORE, 23 January, 2018 – moolahgo today announced the launch of their services in what is believed to be the first financial service e-Marketplace in South East Asia whereby users themselves become suppliers and buyers of financial services, with moolahgo playing the role of the intermediary to facilitate transaction executions.
Financial Technology (Fintech) start-ups are already disrupting the age-old financial system, but the Founders at moolahgo intend to disrupt it even further. Although numerous Fintech start-ups have sprung up in recent years, one thing remains pretty much unchanged – Consumers still do not have control and power over their financial transaction needs. With its platform, moolahgo hopes to change this status quo.
moolahgo intends to use the funds to bring to market other payment services that it has been developing, including digital mobile payments. It will also deploy portions of the funds to open up new markets in the region.
“For far too long, consumers have been at the mercy of financial institutions and even new Fintech companies when buying financial services. They have no control over their transaction needs and no pricing power. Yes, some consumers may be able to demand better pricing due to their privileged status with the bank, but for the majority of men on the street, they basically have to take what is offered to them. moolahgo will be changing this status-quo by putting the authority back into the hands of the consumers and businesses. Our innovative marketplace platform allows us to achieve this.” said John Hakim, Founder and CEO of moolahgo.
moolahgo is licensed and regulated by the Monetary of Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Their website, www.moolahgo.com,soft-launched in Singapore on 23rd January 2018 after more than a year of planning, research and development. The initial launch includes two financial products which are Currency-exchange and Cross-border Payments. A Third product, eMulti-currency Payments will soon follow.
“With our Currency-exchange service, we have redefined the traditional brick-and-mortar money-changing industry in two significant ways. Firstly, we have made money-changing convenient. Our members perform the transaction online and the currencies are delivered via a number of options to them (i.e. bank deposit or cash pick-up). Secondly, we allow our members to exchange any currency at the rate they prefer or at competitive market rates as long as there’s demand in our marketplace. Gone are the days when someone in Singapore needs to hunt down the best rate on the island and queue up to get their currencies.” said Mr Hakim.
For its Cross-border Payments service, similarly moolahgo allows its members to use their own exchange rates or market rates. Initially, it offers payments from Singapore to Indonesia but intends to offer payments to many other Asian countries within the next 12 months.
Mr Hakim added “If you look at our cross-border payments service, our rates and fees are as competitive as the other players but what sets us apart is our unique platform which gives users control and rewards our members for every transaction that they perform”.
Regarding its eMulti-currency Payments service, Mr Hakim declined to divulge much except to comment with a smile that it is going to be a game-changer for e-commerce payments when it’s launched in the second quarter of this year.
“Based on market surveys that we’ve done, the people whom we’ve asked are basically extremely excited about the upcoming launch of this product and they can’t wait to sign up!” said Mr Hakim.
The people behind this startup not only possess strong banking experience but also experiences in technology, marketing and consulting. Such diversity of skills allows the team members to complement each other and to draw on fresh perspectives from beyond the world of banking.
Its CEO & Founder, Mr John Hakim, has more than 15 years of banking experience and another 5 years of consulting experience with Accenture for clients which included large financial services firms. Mr Hakim was recently a COO for a lending product for Credit Suisse in APAC and had also held positions in JP Morgan Chase.
In addition, moolahgo is backed by a number of experienced industry veterans as its Advisors. Mr. Ong Kian Min, a former Singapore Member of Parliament and Independent Director of a number of SGX-listed firms is one of its early believers. “I was instantly bought into this project when John first spoke to me. I perform a lot of cross-border FX transactions for personal and business purposes and I can relate directly with exchange rates issues faced by many individuals and businesses. I believe moolahgo has a solution that would help to change this” said Mr Ong.
Another moolahgo Advisor is Mr Cheo Chai Hong who is a retired top manager of UOB Bank. “The initial 3 products that moolahgo plans to roll out hits the heart of most people. I am especially intrigued by its multi-currency payment product which would become a game-changer for cross-currency ecommerce transactions in the near future” said Mr Cheo.
Following the soft-launch, moolahgo has plans to enter new markets in APAC and is already in advanced talks with local partners to expand into the Philippines and Thailand.
Beyond 2018, moolahgo aims to roll out other financial services and is already incubating interesting ideas related to insurance and investments to be offered in its marketplace in the near future. “We are extremely thrilled about our prospects given that this is a high growth region where demand for revolutionary financial services will increase exponentially. In addition, we’re building something that we believe no one has done yet in South East Asia. Eventually, we aspire to become the Caifuhao or Licaitong of SEA” said Mr Hakim. Caifuhao and Licaitong are financial services marketplaces owned by Ant Financial of Alibaba and Tencent respectively.
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