Banking the unbanked.
NOW Money is a mobile banking application designed for those who are excluded from the financial system. In the Gulf alone, this represents over 26 million individuals.
Low-income migrant workers generally have one focus: sending money back to their loved ones overseas. The Gulf remits $100bn annually, making it the second largest market after the US. As well as providing a mobile current account to receive payments, pay bills and track their balance, Now Money also operates a remittance marketplace where users can compare the most competitive rates and send money back home directly from the app. Until now, they had been restricted to expensive and time-consuming trips to brick-and-mortar exchange houses that often exploit their naivety on FX rates and charges.
Funding would enable us to do…
Some serious marketing. The NOW Money team has worked hard at getting our product to market on very limited resources. We’ve managed to build a beautiful and intuitive app, sign corporates, get their staff using the platform, and make remittances. But we’ve got to the point where we really need to invest money in this area.
More than 70% population living in the Gulf are currently excluded from the financial system, and 98% of them own a smartphone. Financial inclusion isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s a basic human right. This is a population who is often working 12 hour shifts, seven days a week. Their time is precious, and it’s high time more attention was given to providing them with adequate and relevant services.
Entrepreneurship without social purpose...
Doesn’t result in change for good. Equally, striving for social purpose without a commercial focus only results in a drop in the ocean type of change. The annual remittance market is worth over $500bn. The annual global aid market is around $135bn. To have a successful business, you have to concentrate on where the mainstream are underrepresented and underserved, not forcefit solutions or try to convince people that handouts are a long term solution. It’s not rocket science, but it’s still really hard to get right!