A Hong Kong based borderless money transfer firm, Smart Transfer, officially launched its P2P mobile payment platform last week, allowing senders to transfer funds using just a recipients’ phone number, email address, or social media account.
The Company claim the service is unique and could even be a world first. “There is a modern global push towards a digital and cashless society, and we want to fully leverage all digital avenues, such as social media and e-mail addresses, to revolutionise local and cross-border payments,” says Francis Lu, the co-founder and CEO of Smart Transfer, who are based out of Hong Kong.
“Smart Transfer makes smart use of technology to cut through the clutter”, Lu says, claiming the platform is the ideal way to circumvent service fees which often claim up to 8% of the entire transaction amount.
Users do not need to worry about Swift codes, bank codes, or account details; instead they are directed to platforms modern consumers are more familiar with – the likes of Facebook, Telegram, or email, where they can effectively trade currencies free of charge, the firm says.
Smart Transfer are part of a vanguard of fintech firms that believe in a future where payments become increasingly digital and mobile based, and use Peer-to-peer matching technology to circumvent the hefty service fees traditionally charged by banks and money transfer firms such as Western Union.
Security-wise, Smart Transfer says that transfers are automatically encrypted and protected by a one-time only PIN number.
Not only is it cheaper, the company also say that the Smart Transfer system is significantly faster than its ponderous rivals, with transfers that would normally take 3-5 days being completed in seconds flat. This is down to Smart Transfer’s proprietary cross matching engine, although the service does integrate with international banks such as Hang Seng Bank, Standard Chartered and Bank of China, where customer’s funds are held to provide an extra layer of security.
By using peer-to-peer, Smart Transfer customers may also benefit from better exchange rates when sending money overseas, with savings passed directly to the consumers exchanging their respective currencies.
Smart Transfer comes with its own multi-currency wallet which caters for Hong Kong, Singapore, Canadian, Australian and US dollars, Indian Rupees, and British Pounds.
And for the social media savvy, there is also a chatbot available to execute a user’s instructions, which is compatible with Facebook Messenger and messaging app Telegra
m. The bot even speaks 4 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian.
Smart Transfer say they have plans to expand into more than 212 countries and as many as 30 currencies, by the end of 2017.
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There are a plethora of these kinds of companies bursting onto the money transfer scene, aided by modern disruptive technology, but this is the first we have heard of a platform where you can swap currencies across social media – without fees!
It will be exciting to see if Smart Transfer can deliver on its ambitious goals for expansion – and for how long the firms’ services, their USP if you like, remain unique.
Verdict: This project has spun out of 2020 Smart Ventures, an incubator based in Hong Kong, and sounds like one to watch. The social media angle is a potential game changer.
Before you dive in, however, check The Money Cloud to see who is offering the best international transfer rates and lowest rates in the market right now – even if they are not providing it via Facebook!