Worldkoins banks on leftover change to fuel growth
By Goh Thean Eu November 10, 2016
- Userbase growing at 20% month-on-month
- Hopes to penetrate beyond Malaysia in next 12 months
APPYKOINS Sdn Bhd, a startup focused on helping travellers to make better use of their leftover currency, has been experiencing strong growth momentum over the past few months.
Based on the momentum it is experiencing and the plans it has in the pipeline, it will not be surprising to see the growth momentum continue in the foreseeable future.
"We have been growing steadily and our user base has been expanding by 20% month-on-month. Things are very positive," said Appykoins country manager Lydia Chia when contacted by Digital News Asia in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Today, Appykoins has developed an app, dubbed Worldkoins, which allows travellers to convert leftover change to eGift cards and vouchers they can use and shop online.
Based on WorldKoins' page on Google Play, the app now has between 1,000-5,000 downloads.
With the app, which is also downloadable on Apple's App Store, users can locate nearby foreign currency collectors (dubbed Dropkoins collectors) and drop the leftover currency with these collectors. Once the transaction is validated, users will be able to get Worldkoins credits.
These credits can then be exchanged for eGift cards or vouchers and can even be used as donations to selected charity organisations.
How it benefits both travellers and collectors
Worldkoins help travellers to make better use of leftover foreign currencies. Travellers with leftover foreign currencies will either spend the money on a random item that they don't need, or keep it somewhere and eventually forget where the money was kept. Travellers generally cannot exchange these amall amounts into their local currency as the money changer won't accept it.
For collectors, it allows them to earn some additional income when they collect this leftover currency. While the amount may not be huge, it is believed that a collector can make about 5%-10% in commission. For example, if a traveller (from the US) has RM16 in loose change, the collector would gain 80 sen to RM1.60 upon a successful transaction. (RM1 = US$0.24)
Chia (pic left) said that the app can help billions of international travellers to solve this common problem by allowing them to make effective use of leftover travel money.
"We believe that Worldkoins is a simple, yet effective solution that is scalable enough for worldwide reach," said Chia.
Appykoins' revenue also comes from taking a commission for each transaction.
Momentum and plans ahead
Chia disclosed that Worldkoins is currently used in over 60 countries, and the number is still growing.
While the user base is still in the range of thousands, the company believes that the number will grow significantly once the awareness of the solution improves and the points of collection increase.
Today, most of the collectors are individual collectors. However, Chia's plan is to see more businesses (retail shops, duty free shops, etc) becoming collectors.
"So far, we have tied-up with some retailers, food and beverage outlets as well as service outlets in airports. We hope to continue to increase this as our business progresses," said Chia.
"We hope to establish more partnerships over the next 12 months, including some outside Malaysia."
Currently, the company - co-founded by Ali Zekeria - is still entirely self funded and talks are ongoing with potential investors.