Sri Lankan founded Kashmi launches digital banking platform for East Asia
Approximately 12 months ago a small team of Sri Lankan technology entrepreneurs ventured into the Singaporean market and changed the way millennials transact. Today Kashmi is the largest person-to-person mobile payment system in Singapore catering to approximately 15,000 account holders and processing around 1.5 million SGD in transactions per month.
Kashmi’s growth trajectory is due for another boost in the coming months with its aggressive expansion into the fast growing East Asian markets of Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines where Kashmi will be launching the next generation of payment platform – the region’s first completely digital bank.
“Given the large population of unbanked and underbanked users in these countries; particularly amongst our key demographic of 18 to 35 year olds, we felt Kashmi had huge potential in the region,” elaborated Mufaddal Lukmanjee, CTO Kashmi. “We are currently working with leading regional banks to launch the first digital only banking platform in these countries. The Kashmi Neo Banking App will provide unparalleled features to our account holders – users can simply download the mobile application and create a bank account within 3 minutes”
The rise of Neo Banking platforms are a growing trend across the world with services such as Moven, Simple, GoBank, Bluebird, Mobile Money and Timo appealing strongly to the millennial user-base. The platform embraces all the positives of a traditional bank such as security and regulation by the financial authorities, creating checking and savings accounts, term deposits, loans and third party payments with none of its typical weaknesses such as long queues (immediate 24 hour mobile / online assistance), tedious vetting processes (typical processing in under one hour of submission of application), customer experience (banking services offered a coffee bar style ‘hangouts’) and security (above banking grade security such as eye vein recognition technology).
“The guiding precepts of the Kashmi Neo Banking platform are transparency, openness, fairness, affordability and ease of use,” added Mufaddal Lukmanjee. “The social aspect of our platform encourages peer to peer review, whilst the digital nature of the product allows us to pass along all our savings directly to the user in terms of far lower fees and higher deposit rates. Our most interesting feature is the PFM or Personal Finance Manager that offers online banking, bill payment, account management, budgeting and investment tracking. The PFM allows users to get up to the minute dashboard style graphical information on their account as well as advises on areas such as budgeting and investments.”
Kashmi was recently acclaimed by Fintech News as one of “Singapore’s Hottest Fintech Startups” and is on course to releasing its New Banking Application in early 2017.
“We are not looking at antagonizing traditional banks by competing directly with their current business lines. Quite contrary to this we are actually working closely to forge strong relationships with strategic banking partners to structure a mutually beneficial partnership where Kashmi is strictly regulated under their banking license and supported by their existing banking infrastructure whilst at the same time appealing to a user-base that is typically averse to working with traditional banks for every level of their banking activities,” said Rakhil Fernando, CEO Kashmi.
“Our dream was always to become the dominant digital banking provider across the South East Asian region. It’s undoubtedly a big dream – but then again just a few short months ago Kashmi was just an idea between four friends in Colombo and today we are the biggest peer to peer payment provider in Singapore – anything is possible!”
Ever since the mobile application was officially launched in the Singaporean market at the beginning of the year it has piqued the interest of a number of organizations and has been nominated for numerous awards including the SMART Awards 2016 for Asia’s Most Innovative P2P Initiative and has also been selected as one of Asia’s Top 10 Startups at the Startup World Cup.
“Beating over 500 other startups around the world and winning the Singaporean Government funded Fintech Startupbootcamp in 2015 really opened a lot of doors for us. From working with the regulators at the Monetary Authority to the biggest Banks such as DBS and UOB. The past year has been nothing short of a whirlwind and we are still coming to grips with how fast users are adopting to using the peer to peer payment platform – from people paying rent, to splitting dinner bills or cab fares, sports clubs using it to accept fees, freelancers and small merchants using it to accept payments, and families sharing household expenses through Kashmi.”
“Probably the most humbling experience was being invited to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by Barack Obama for the world’s leading startups where we had the opportunity to interact with everybody from Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Patrick Collison investors like Chamath Palapitiya, VC’s like Andresen Horowitz, and Secretary of State John Kerry,” he said. “I also had the opportunity to meet with fellow Sri Lankan entrepeneur Iqram Magdon-Ismail who founded the similar popular US based P2P payment application Venmo which was later bought by Paypal for USD 800 million in 2013.”
[emojot type = “inline” id=”56a82591e22c01f34569697f_579d6846f779058d6d78f309″]