1. Startups

Get BI License, Transfree Remittance Startup Soon to Open Presence in Q2 2021

The first focus is on serving migrant workers in the Southeast Asian market

Starting from personal experience as an overseas child in England, Crisman Wise found it difficult to find a simple and inexpensive transfer solution between countries. With the original intention of helping a friend, in July 2018 he came up with a solution to make it easier to transfer overseas as well as receive money in other currencies at no extra cost.

Then the service is named Transfree (an acronym of free transfers). Two years later, after a tortuous journey to obtain a permit from Bank Indonesia, this service was successful in obtaining a license as of July 2020.

"We see the problem of transfers between countries as big and becomes a need for many people. With the initial intention of helping friends, we feel this is something that can grow. That's how we started Transfree," said Founder & CEO of Transfree Crisman Wise.

Crisman admits that living as an overseas child requires him to deal with money transfers to and from Indonesia. To achieve this, he had to spend quite a lot of money due to the high transfer fees from international money transfer platforms.

In terms of business model, the services offered by Transfree are not much different from competitors such as Transfez, Zendmoney or TransferWise. They allow customers to send money overseas and get payment in another currency into their account or the recipient's account. The difference is, Transfree does not charge additional fees for this service. The company admits only taking advantage of foreign exchange differences.

Digital remittance player in Indonesia

Goals in 2021

Initially, Transfree was intended to help foreign students, especially in the UK, to make the transfer process between countries easier and cheaper. Along the way, it turned out that his team found that the biggest problem was with PMIs (Indonesian Migrant Workers). In the process of sending the results of their hard work in other countries to Indonesia, they have to spend a lot of money for additional costs.

Data compiled from Bank Indonesia shows that remittances or foreign exchange remittances from TKI who tried their luck abroad throughout 2018 reached US $ 10,971 billion or equivalent to Rp. 153,6 trillion. From this amount of incoming remittances, it has created great business potential.

In less than two years, this startup has served transactions between Indonesia, Europe and Australia. Most customers come from relationships, but not a few also come through recommendations. The amount is then used by the company to validate the request (demand).

More Coverage:

Technically, Transfree has not officially launched this service for PMI. This is one of their targets in Q2 2021. Another target comes from the funding side, currently Transfree is still bootstrapping. His team is still trying to raise additional capital in order to realize the company's vision of making the international money transfer process feel like a local transfer.

"Right now we are working on getting launching in Q2 this year. Our service focus will still be on Southeast Asia. For targets customer and our transaction volume still can't disclose. But you could say the traction is quite good. We are currently running fast so as not to miss momentum," said Crisman.

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