Ms. Komal Rathi, COO transfast.com
Remittance via digital channels is fast catching steam across the African continent as customers seek better and stress-free methods of making payments and send money. Despite the current inflow of a number of such mediums, many especially those in remote communities still have challenges moving money to different locations without having to stand in long queues.
In an exclusive interview with Africa Leadership’s Eruke Ojuederie, COO transfast.com Ms. Komal Rathi, brings to bear how her company has bridged the gap in the quest towards securing the future of African remittances for Digital customers. Excerpt:
Experts have said that the major problem encountered in achieving success in the financial process is that of the regulations. How in your opinion has policies from the regulatory bodies affected the needed progress in digital finance?
Regulation is a fact of life in our industry and is an important part of our business that we embrace. We have a strong team that helps us to be up to speed on the latest regulations. In fact, 10 percent of our employees globally are working in the area of regulation and compliance.
In Africa, the regulatory landscape has recently seen many changes, and we work closely with regulators there to make sure we are always on top of what is required. One thing that would help the progress of digital finance is to have a centralized portal that lays out regulatory policies and requirements in a clear and easily navigable manner.
One other issue faced by operators is that of trust. Customers do not seem to trust operators in charge of remittances, as they see charges which they cannot explain on daily basis. What is your company doing to bridge the trust gap?
Transfast takes the trust that customers place in us seriously. One way we gain that trust is by keeping our fee structure clear and simple. We believe in being transparent with our customers, so there are no hidden fees and customers know what they will be charged.
For example, with Transfast’s direct bank deposit service to Nigeria, customers pay a flat fee of $4.99 for up to $10,000, and the money arrives in the bank account within 24 hours after it is processed by us. Our rates are competitive and locked-in, so the quoted rate is what you will get.
It is still a huge task for Africans in diaspora to send money home despite the successes recorded in that regard. What approaches does your company intend to employ in order to get it right?
Sending money home shouldn’t be a chore. We believe sending money home should be the most rewarding part of our customer’s day. To make the process as easy as possible, our mobile apps for iOS and Android and our website, https://transfast.com, allow customers to send money without standing in lines or waiting for agent locations to open.
With the swipe of a finger, you can send money to your loved ones at your convenience, 24x7x365. And, our customer service is available around the clock, whenever you’re sending money, 24x7x365.
We constantly collect feedback from our customers to gain insights into their preferences and pain points when it comes to money transfer and improve our service based on customer feedback. For example, when customers mentioned that they want speedy transfers we launched our FASTRACK product for instant to 24-hour transfers.
What can be done to make the African financial sector more attractive through digital currency and finance technology solutions?
Going back to your first question, making the regulatory landscape easier to navigate would help make the African financial sector more attractive. The other factor that would improve the financial sector’s attractiveness is to set up solutions to connect digitally to unbanked customers in rural areas.
What edge does your company have over the conventional mediums like Western Union and Money gram as regards remittances?
The edge we have is that we always offer great value to our customers via a combination of high exchange rates and low fees, plus excellent customer service.
Are there lessons we can learn from already existing strategies?
Partnering with the diaspora community in the U.S. and Canada is a key strategy for us, and our grassroots community efforts and corporate social responsibility efforts find us supporting our customers wherever they may be – in Africa or working in the U.S. or Canada. Africans are hugely community minded and we’ll continue to partner with community groups through our Transfast Promise initiative.