1. Startups

Listening to Consumer Voices, Flip's Efforts Remain Relevant

Discussion with Flip Co-Founder and CTO Luqman Sungkar about Flip's journey and its latest developments

Who would have thought that personal complaints about the burden of interbank transfer fees of Rp. 6.500—which apparently is also a problem for many people—could make Flip the big startup it is today. It is not an easy journey for Flip to remain relevant, amidst the onslaught of other players with their money-burning strategies.

How does Flip mix each product before it is released to the public and have features that remain relevant to user development? To answer this question, DailySocial.id met Co-Founder and CTO Flip Luqman Sungkar at their office in South Jakarta. He shared about product journey The flip and the latest news so far.

Luqman said that Flip's initial initiative was born from the Co-Founders (Rafi Putra Arriyan, Luqman Sungkar, and Ginanjar Ibnu Solikhin) are studying at the University of Indonesia. They and their friends often owe each other money because each customer is from a different bank. To settle the debt, they have to borrow someone else's account as a Flip account.

After graduating from college, they want to take these needs seriously as a company product. The first thing to do is validate the idea before achieving it minimum viable product (MVP).

tool The simple thing they use is a Google Form that users must fill in before making a transfer. After here entered, Flip will forward the money to the intended account manually by using internet banking.

“All processes are manual from content here Google without any coding at all. We just buy domains and so on. Then we offer it to friends and relatives. We standby "At the office, as soon as there is a notification, then we start working [on transferring funds]," said Luqman.

Because it became the talk of the internet, within two months transactions reached hundreds per day. They are overwhelmed if all the processes are done manually. In the third month at the beginning of 2016, it was decided to start coding one by one automating the Flip system. Coincidentally, they are all students from the Faculty of Computer Science, so there is no need to recruit engineer for coding.

"It took three years for the Flip system to be fully automated with banks because we have to connect with banks one by one."

Flip/Flip Management

Close to consumers

Not only domestic transfers, Flip products now include international transfers (Flip Globe), e-money top up, Top Up & Bills, Investment (P2P lending in Amartha), Sharia Financing, Zakat & Alms, Request Money, Subscriptions (Flip Freedom), and Flip for Business (B2B).

Before this was complete, companies always asked consumers what they needed. The success of this domestic transfer service based on personal experience has become the basis for Flip that all products must start from consumer needs as initial validation.

These activities are continuously carried out as Flip's organizational structure gets bigger. The company even created a special group superuser on WhatsApp which represents the demographic of Flip users who are active in making transactions. It contains the CEO of Flip and other teams who also join in and are ready to answer all user questions.

"This is what we want to maintain, because without denying it, the bigger the organization, the distance to consumers becomes different. We try to stay close to user even if you can direct, now it's more structured. For B2B users, there are many bizdev teams Chat."

According to Luqman, every consumer who contacts Flip does not only contain complaints, but also provides input for future product development. Team customer service (CS) always separates the two and forwards any input to the team that handles it. This is what inspired the birth of purchasing credit and bills, as well as the presence of e-money in the Flip application.

"Always look feedback from user, ask them what they need. When user There have been many, we see whether there is potential for user transaction patterns. Once there, we asked them what they could do with Flip. This is also the forerunner to Flip for Business."

There is an interesting story that became the forerunner Flip for Business which was present in 2017. The team found that there were users who made transactions with so many amounts and so many times that the transactions were estimated to reach three digits. "We tried asking them what they were using Flip for, it turned out they had a business. Then we asked around and created a [B2B] product from their complaints."

He continued, "Previously we were also trying to look for ideas but it turned out that the most suitable one came from user because they are the ones who have needs."

The presence of the e-money solution provided by Duta Money as Flip's partner was initially due to input from users. They find it bothersome to have to repeatedly transfer to their Flip account every time they want to make a transaction, whether to transfer funds, e-money top up, buy credit, or top up electricity tokens.

"This e-money money is as if it were a new, flexible bank account without multiple transactions. If you transfer e-money to other places, you don't get as many transfers as here because you can do it all at once. top up in large quantities at once.”

Technology team

Starting from just three people in 2015, now the total number of employees at Flip has reached 400 people, almost all of whom are local talents. Team engineer and operations occupy the largest position in the company structure. This expansive addition to the team has only occurred since 2019, after seeing the company's needs continue to grow.

As a company that relies heavily on technology, Luqman admits that he is always careful about the people responsible for adding teams to his division. He ensures that every new person recruited has a task that is in line with the company's needs and the value it wants to bring to consumers.

Interestingly, the composition of the technology team at Flip contains small groups based on Flip products. Each group has teams from across divisions, there are product teams, engineers, design, and UI. "They focus together Solve one product on Flip. There is domestic transfers, international transfers, digital products, and others."

Regarding the development of the technology team's capabilities, Luqman admitted that there were a number of them skillset which is not yet owned by local talent. For this reason, Flip also recruited two employees from outside Indonesia. In order for the local team's capabilities to develop, these employees are required to transfer knowledge to move up a level.

"We want a team engineer in Flip grow together. We also do it regularly internally Sharing session from employee to employee to share knowledge."

Flip Development

Based on the company's internal data, the total number of individual users reaches 13 million people and more than 1.000 business users. Transactions processed by Flip are claimed to reach billions per month. Flip has connected with more than 100 banks and its international transfers can be connected to more than 50 countries.

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These individual users have an age demographic ranging from 25-35 years spread throughout Indonesia. In accordance with economic conditions, this age range is a group that has just started working and has many needs. In this regard, the services they most frequently use are interbank fund transfers and digital products.

"They are starting to try to save as much as possible. Flip is crucial for them, especially if they have a lot of transfer needs. Being able to save several thousand [Rupiah] every day is quite good. That's the main segment of our users."

Meanwhile, for business users, there are quite a variety of business scales, some at the MSME level to large scale. This is natural, because the need to transfer funds is a need for all businesses. This product for business is in the form of a dashboard with features that are connected to the system user with direct API (host-to-host). Available features are fund transfer (domestic and international) and payment receipt.

Luqman is also optimistic about the prospect that Flip's services will continue to be needed in the future. The presence of BI FAST (Bank Indonesia Funds Transfer System) is not an obstacle, but rather supports a much better infrastructure backbone for the industry.

"[BI FAST] gak disrupt business because value what we deliver not just reducing costs, but there is a need for transfers and readability which can be maintained as customer serviceit," he concluded.

Flip has been backed by a number of top investors, such as Sequoia, Insignia Ventures Partners, and Insight Partners. The latest funding the company received was Series B+ of $55 million in June 2022. This second round was led by Tencent with participation from Block, Inc, and investors Existing Insight Partners.

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