Idea in Focus – A proprietary system that is integrated with your bank’s mobile app in such a way – it could allow anyone around with extra cash to become a potential ATM. Featured here is the Singaporean start-up SoCash that is doing exactly that.

ATM crowds (photo: www.dnaindia.com)

We all have experienced that situation when you need cash but cannot find an ATM, in some cases, you find one but have to endure a long queue to withdraw your cash. For the banks, the cost of expanding and maintaining a fleet of ATM machines is something to give a second thought if presented with viable alternatives. Here is where the entrepreneurial question comes in – what if we could have reliable access to alternatives for cash withdrawal on just about every street corner or sidewalk?

Platform Highlights

A Fintech Platform: A financial technology platform like the one designed by SoCash, of apps and mobile-friendly user systems that connect with traditional banking apps in such a way that it pairs the customer’s cash request with the nearest available cashpoints. So the customer can safely access their cash whenever and wherever they need it without the need to hunt for an ATM. Each exchange of cash is backed by digital transfer of money between bank accounts.

Partnership with the Banks: The business as it were, may have to get the buy-in of partner banking institutions that will be supported on the platform. In an interview with Dealstreetasia, Mr. Hari (co-founder at soCash) says “our pitch to banks is this – for large banks with existing ATM network, we can offload 25 percent of their ATM volumes, especially in residential areas. For banks betting on fully digital banking models, our pitch is to make cash ubiquitous via soCash platform rather than investing in their ATM infrastructure.”

Vendors will have an incentive to participate (photo: www.mainstreetinc.net)

Partner “Cash Point” Vendors: Prospective cash points are envisaged to be mostly cash heavy businesses in the area e.g. local retailers, etc. The value proposition to these prospective cash point vendors is that their need to continually deposit money at the banks physically will be reduced as it gets done automatically and they get paid for it.

Reliability & User Experience: The end-to-end user experience in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use, the integrity of transactions and transfers, the security of the platform and vendor-client relationship, the speed and effectiveness of complaints resolution, etc is crucial to the success of the model.

Regulatory Allignment: It will always be a safe bet for financial technology firms to get very knowledgeable about government regulations. As they increase in popularity, winning over investors and consumers with innovative product and service offerings their social responsibility and regulatory compliance will face more and more scrutiny from government institutions.

The Singapore-based technology start-up, has applied innovative technology solution to expand the cash withdrawal network beyond ATMs to any physical retail outlet. The entire end-to-end process would take much lesser time than the time taken up looking for an ATM and queuing. The business model to drive revenues includes – transaction fees and network monetization (this could evolve in time). While billions are being spent on mobile payment solutions and interesting cashless economy driven platforms, soCash bets on cash as an integral part of the payments ecosystem which will never fully embrace a 100% cashless society.

What is SoCash?

  • SoCash is a Singapore-based fintech startup, it has developed a solution that allows people to withdraw cash pretty much anywhere by turning small businesses into CashPoints.
  • They are the first fintech startup to receive backing from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • March 2017, they raised a new round of angel funding worth US$600,000 so it can get more banks in Southeast Asia on board.
  • The public launch in Singapore is planned for July 2017. There will be over 700 merchant “cash points” in Singapore with a goal to reach 5,000 by year end. They plan on expanding to Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.


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