The Indian e-commerce market is worth more than $150 billion but when Indian shoppers order products online from Flipkart and Snapdeal — the local Amazon equivalents — they pay by handing money to messengers on motor bikes.
That is because in the Asia-Pacific region — which today has an e-commerce market worth more than half a billion dollars — 77% of payments are made in cash; only about 3% of people have credit cards and 20% use bank transfers.
“In Asia the cash economy is not keeping up with the Internet economy,” says Shailesh Naik, CEO of Singapore start-up MatchMove, a winner in the 2014 Innotribe Start-up Challenge in Boston, a competition organized by SWIFT.
With MatchMove, “anyone with a mobile phone can get a virtual card straight away — you don’t have to have a credit history or bank account — we give you an authorized working prepaid card from MasterCard or Amex or Visa in your mobile wallet guaranteed — all you need is a mobile phone, email and a mobile number,” says Naik.
It is part of the company’s strategy to help a massive portion of the population that has largely been ignored by banks to spend, send and lend digitally. (MatchMove is present in seven Asian countries with plans to expand to three more in Asia and to the Middle East and Latin America by early 2016.)
Thanks to deals with Yes Bank and major online enterprises to distribute the virtual cards, MatchMove says it is on track in 2015 to provide e-wallet and payment services to more than 60 million mobile users in India alone. Users can top up their pre-paid MasterCard-driven wallet from more than 170,000 physical locations/kiosks around the country. (MatchMove has issuing rights with American Express, Visa and UnionCard in other markets.) Once the money is inside the mobile wallet, users in India can spend at any MasterCard merchant, either online or in-store. MatchMove’s m-wallet also supports inbound remittance from overseas (India is the world’s largest destination of remittances from overseas citizens).
Banks Have A Choice
MatchMove analyzes customer data and uses the information to tailor loyalty offers that are integrated into the MatchMove platform. It soon plans to allow users to micro-lend to their social circles or borrow from approved lenders.
“New solutions for banks or enterprises are deployed in eight weeks, which is substantially faster than the 12 to 18 months typically taken by banks and telcos to deploy their own solutions,” says Naik.
In a deal announced September 30th Yes bank will utilize MatchMove’s platform to deliver e-wallet features to its existing and new retail banking customers. It is also partnering with MatchMove to jointly deliver white-label and API solutions to Yes Bank enterprise customers.
Banks have a choice: they can either stand by and let Google Wallet, Apple Pay, PayPal and Samsung Pay grab customers looking to find a virtual way of paying or they can claim them as their own, says Naik. The playing field is more level in Asia because the American Internet giants don’t have the same foothold. Global telcos, which have created their own mobile wallets, have also found it difficult to launch pan-Asian services.
Fintech Companies Don’t Have To Be The Banks’ Foes
MatchMove illustrates that fintech companies don’t have to be the banks’ foes. By teaming with start-ups banks can turn threats from new types of competitors or technologies into opportunities.
The 2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge Finale will take place on 14th October during Sibos in Singapore. This year over 370 companies applied, with 60 selected to enter the program. During four regional showcases, in London, Cape Town, Singapore and New York, the start-ups presented their business ideas to an audience of more than 800 industry experts, VCs, representatives from leading financial institutions and bank decision-makers. Twenty finalists — 12 early-stage and eight growth-stage companies — were invited to advance to Sibos.
As in previous years, the 12 early-stage finalists will pitch their business ideas to Sibos delegates, who will select this year’s winner. A prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the winning early-stage finalist.
The remaining eight growth-stage finalists will host individual exhibition booths on the Innotribe stand at Sibos and have the opportunity to give product demos to Sibos delegates throughout the week. They will be joined by some Startup Challenge alumni, including MatchMove.