When my co-founder, Neeraj Baid, and I first moved to London, we used sophisticated exchange tools to transfer money overseas. More powerful tools than existing offers. After doing some research, we realized that while fintechs such as Wise and PayPal had made great strides in moving the industry forward, their pricing models meant that the more money you send, the higher the cost. This is despite the fact that the actual cost of transfers is fixed.
This means that regular users are essentially penalized for their loyalty to these services. Following this realization, we talked to potential customers for three months, gathering as much information as possible before writing a single line of code. We then created Atlantic Money to disrupt the disruptors.
Our frictionless app cuts out the middleman, connecting our customers directly to an institutional-grade money transfer solution. We charge a flat fee of £3 for transfers at the real exchange rate up to £1 million, saving customers 75% compared to Wise and even more compared to other competitors such as the banks.
You already said you don’t want to become a super app, why?
Early fintech and tech challengers disrupted the status quo, bringing better technology, improved customer experience and better value for money.
But in a battle to attract venture capital dollars and stratospheric valuations, many are losing focus, rapidly expanding into new product areas and rapidly hiring hundreds of employees. Their strategy has been largely undifferentiated as they all want to create the next super app with all kinds of services for their customers, neglecting their most frequent and loyal customers who want service delivered in the best and most cost-effective manner. Indeed, the most loyal customers end up subsidizing efforts to add services that don’t actually benefit them. Our mission is to prevent exactly that and give users the best deal possible.
Do you think there is a place for fintech “super apps”?
Although there are many FinTechs offering a variety of products and services, combining them into one super app is not the answer. Super apps usually argue that having your money in one place makes everything easier, but the truth is that open banking has made it much easier to transfer money to different buckets – and there are very few efficiency gained from having all your money on one platform.
People want single-purpose apps that deliver exactly what they need in a quick and easy way, not a bloated app with hundreds of unnecessary features and products that take a long time to load.
A super app also stifles competition, as we saw in China with WeChat making ties with competitors such as Alibaba and Douyin inaccessible until Beijing intervened. The fintech movement is about competition and choice. We did not disrupt monopoly banks to create monopoly fintechs.
The pursuit of the super app is vague but also futile. The losers are the neglected loyal customers who signed up for a flagship product, not clunky, unrelated product appendages.
What can we expect to see from Atlantic Money in the future?
Our low-cost money transfer service is now available to everyone in the UK, saving them up to 99% on their cross-border payment costs. For the first time, people in the UK can transfer up to £1,000,000 overseas for a flat fee of £3 and at the mid-market interbank rate with no foreign exchange (FX) markup. Low-cost transfers can be made through Atlantic Money’s iOS app.
We also secured an additional seed capital injection of $3 million, led by Amplo and including Nordstar and former Lazada executive Martell Hardenberg. This is in addition to initial funding of $4.5 million from investors such as Index Ventures, Ribbit & Kleiner Perkins.
Having recently obtained our European license, we plan to use this additional seed capital to boost our international growth. Together, the UK and Europe make up the world’s largest currency corridor, and we’re delighted to offer our fixed £3 flat fee for transfers up to £1,000,000 at the UK’s average interbank exchange rate. market to people from Europe.
We are gradually rolling out across the EU, starting with Belgium, followed by Germany, then Austria and Ireland.