Digerati50: MoneyMatch’s Naysan Munusamy has a deep belief in the power of digitalisation

  • Pandemic has reinforced the value of MoneyMatch’s service to SMEs
  • With Azran-Ozman Rani as angel & mentor, getting solid mentor is crucial

Naysan: We're proudly one of the largest non-bank providers of cross border payments solutions to businesses serving thousands of small businesses in every single state in Malaysia and Brunei.

Digital News Asia (DNA) continues its series that profiles 50 influencers who are helping shape Malaysia’s Digital Economy, from Digerati50 2020-2021 (Vol 4), a special biennial print publication released in June 2020. The digital copy can be downloaded from the sidebar link.

The following in an expanded version of the article which first appeared in the print edition.

Naysan Munusamy’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur is almost akin to climbing the rungs of a ladder – steady pursuit for progress to achieve even greater heights. Almost, but not quite. Entrepreneurship is hardly a natural choice or linear path to tread. But the sum of Naysan’s experience and series of choices has well-prepared him for the part.

Although recognised mainly for his founding role at the digital payment and remittance platform MoneyMatch, his first taste of entrepreneurship came when he joined the equity crowdfunding platform PitchIN as founding chief operating officer. “The whole process of starting a business model from scratch to regulatory approval to real live application was a brilliant school for me,” he says.

“That's in terms of my entrepreneurial experience that's relevant to starting up MoneyMatch but also together with my cofounder Adrian Yap, we both pack two decades worth of corporate banking, treasury management and investment banking experience which is very relevant to our business today.”

For Naysan, MoneyMatch came about as a result of deep belief in technology and the power of digitalisation. Though it was founded in 2014, it was only in mid-2017 after its participation in Bank Negara Malaysia’s Fintech Sandbox that MoneyMatch started operating actively in the market. As of mid June 2020, MoneyMatch had executed over US$240 million (RM1 billion) in cross-border trade payments and individual remittances.

The gap it was intent on solving was the expensive fee and long processing duration of cross border payments and remittances. By introducing the first ever e-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) through the sandbox, the digital onboarding process for retail customers could be fully done online without the need of physical branches. “Because only by the removal of physical infrastructure expenses can you truly disrupt the core economics behind a financial service fee,” said Naysan.

Soon after it went live in the third quarter of 2017, MoneyMatch experienced quick growth trajectory amongst both retail and business users. Six months in, however, it came to light that retail revenues were unable to match the acquisition costs. At the same time, a more prominent market gap faced by micro and small businesses in making payments overseas was brought to surface.

“The big boys like global corporates would get awesome treatment and FX rates from the banks because their ticket sizes were large however the small guys like an e-commerce dropshipper was not only getting poor service but also hefty fees and expensive rates,” shared Naysan.

Seizing this opportunity, MoneyMatch honed in on SMEs to get the best foreign exchange pricings on their cross border payments. Fast forward to today, SMEs are the primary backbone of MoneyMatch’s growth powering over 70% of total transaction volumes.

With a network ability of over 80 countries and counting, Naysan says: “We're proudly one of the largest non-bank providers of cross border payments solutions to businesses serving thousands of small businesses in every single state in Malaysia and even Brunei now.”

To weather the difficult Covid-19 period, Naysan believes MoneyMatch is in a “healthy position” from its 2019 Series A funding of US$1.8 million (RM7.5 million). Its earlier two rounds were RM2 million in 2017 from Cradle Seed Ventures and RM4.5 million from its pre-Series A round.

“Though we initially suffered a significant drop in business a few months ago as the pandemic was breaking out, we have since recovered back to healthier levels which will allow us to continue our rapid growth plans,” he shares.

In fact, the pandemic has fortified MoneyMatch’s value proposition. “We've had the opportunity to assist more traditional SMEs now get access to the cheapest and fastest cross border payments solutions available as they become much more open minded to digital solutions such as ours.”

Reflecting on his journey thus far Naysan acknowledged his angel investor Azran Osman-Rani who has remained a mentor and company chairman for MoneyMatch. His advice to budding entrepreneurs: “I would say that it's also important not to confuse yourself with too much advice and guidance but rather focus on finding a really solid mentor who can genuinely add value.”

Digerati50 2020/2021 is proudly sponsored by Maxis - Powering Malaysia's 5G era.


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