Money & Banking

Now, getting forex is just a click away

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 13, 2018

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Online portal ExTravelMoney compares quotes and even delivers forex at your doorstep

Ajin Baby, Ashwin Narasimha, and Nisanth Issac studied together at college where they had floated a tech start-up.

Before going on a trip to Amsterdam, Baby needed a travel card, and found himself at the door of George Zacharia, who had quit banking service to run his own forex store.

When Baby recounted to the latter how getting forex was a cumbersome and long-drawn process, the latter could not agree more.

The entrepreneurial spark convinced them that there was a good market for a product that addressed the issue of cheap and easily accessible forex.

Then followed an exchange of ideas involving all, giving birth to an online forex start-up, ExTravelMoney (www.extravelmoney.com) in Kochi.

It aggregates forex services by various banks and money changers on its online platform, compares quotes, and also books the service.

Brick-and-mortar

“We have information on more than 4,500 forex stores, their locations, exchange rates and quotes for performing forex services.

“One may select the forex service type on our portal, enter the amount needed and give one’s location to generate a list of stores, exchange rates and final quotes for service.”

This is otherwise difficult to be done online, says Zacharia. Most forex vendors do not have an online presence as forex is still a brick-and-mortar business.

It is also not easy a proposition to find out online on one’s own the exchange rates of a bank or a money-changer.

Hidden charges

One has to search for them, call them up or visit them directly to learn about exchange rates, and compute the final amount for the service based on that information.

There could still be a few hidden charges which could drive up the final figure.

“Our solution is a very elegant alternative. Just state your requirements on our portal to get the best deals lined up,” says Zacharia.

ExTravelMoney is fast becoming the single-stop point for travellers, students, and business people travelling abroad.

“We cover all domains, ranging from sending money abroad for film shooting, to medical treatment, maintenance of close relative, and college tuition fee.”

Free delivery

Orders above a certain volume automatically become eligible for free-home delivery. Even if it is low volume, one can avail home delivery by paying a small fee for the service.

The days immediately following demonetisation saw a sharp spike in queries from people who were looking for ways to buy foreign exchange, Zacharia notes.

“This increased our traffic organically, and a lot of people discovered us online without our having to spend specifically for marketing.”

Demonetisation has also benefited the portal with hawala losing its grip in the market, bringing more transactions under the legal route.

Published on March 07, 2017

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