The platform has big plans and will be venturing into new businesses and products this year, such as personal loans and investments
By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic source BigPay
BIGPAY has set its eyes on expanding to other countries within South-East Asia by the end of 2021, as it perpetuates its mission to democratise financial services across the region.
The financial technology platform, which started off in 2018, quickly became one of Malaysia’s largest digital financial platforms by gross transaction value, while boasting more than 1.3 million users.
Its CEO and co-founder Salim Dhanani said the platform started off in Malaysia with one product, and grew to multiple business lines, thus making the decision to enter the Singaporean market in September 2020 an even more viable one.
“Our expansion to Singapore was planned and a logical move because of the close ties between both countries.
“We wanted to prove that we can replicate the success we achieved in Malaysia on a regional level,” he said to The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in an interview recently.
The platform recently launched its cash top-up in more than 2,400 7-Eleven stores across Malaysia, giving it a huge advantage considering there are more 7-Eleven stores than bank branches these days.
Salim said the aim is to remove physical and monetary barriers that prevent people from managing and using finances.
“Ensuring that everyone has access to digital banking services is central to our mission, and allowing cash to be seamlessly transferred to a BigPay account is a big step in that direction,” he added.
Since the expansion, the platform has recorded incredible growth and has continued to strengthen its presence in more countries.
Salim said BigPay’s expansion plans have been strongly reinforced by the fact that there has been a regional demand for the types of services offered and ones in the pipeline.
“One of our main value propositions was, and still is, that we’re giving people real exchange rates. This provides incredible value in a world where people can travel freely, but not only in that world.
“With the pandemic, digital payments have boomed, with more and more people turning to inter-national websites for shopping and services,” he said.
Salim said any payment in a different currency made with BigPay would save its users money. He said it is also safe and secure to use.
“We’ve been expanding our product to include international transfers and bill payments. Both products capture slightly different segments and behaviours as we’ve seen great growth with both,” he said.
Salim said the company had also taken swift action when scammers began contacting people pretending to be from the platform asking for personal details and banking information.
It had put out a statement inform- ing the public that BigPay nor its employees have any involvement with the fraudulent practices, and will not make such solicitations.
Salim said when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, scammers also adapted and many criminals turned to digital scams and theft.
He said phishing scam has been on the rise, not just in Malaysia, but globally as well.
“Unfortunately, scammers are drawn to the most popular platforms and we’ve been the victim of our success in that sense. However, and this is the most important part, scammers can only succeed if people give away their personal information.
“We have launched a number of campaigns to keep reminding customers not to share any personal information, no matter how convincing the person asking may be,” Salim said.
He added that the team has been continuously implementing features dedicated to protecting its customers as modus operandi and tactics change.
“When it comes to our users’ data, our security protocols are state-of-the-art against external and internal threats.
“Our risk-mitigation algorithms have brought down fraud to almost zero in terms of money transiting through our platform and we can preempt many of the tactics scammers use to protect our customers,” he said.
Salim said the platform has big plans and will be venturing into new businesses and products this year.
He said the platform is also expected to venture into new business lines and products, such as personal loans and investments, along with entering new markets.
BigPay is also looking at insurance and personal loans in Malaysia, and plans to replicate this across the region.
“Our goal is to offer customers underserved by traditional financial institutions high-value products in a more efficient and transparent way.
“Ultimately, we want to move people up the value chain, whether in getting access to a responsible personal loan, saving or investing for their future,” Salim added.