Interviews

Mehedi Hasan, Founder/Executive Director, MyCash Online

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MyCash Online is the ultimate e-Marketplace for Migrants.

Can you please elaborate on the different types of services provided by MyCash Online. Are they exclusive to migrant workers?
We have a wide range of services, which is fully tailor-made for the migrant population. It starts with Mobile Topup, International Mobile Topup, Utility Bill Payment, micro insurance, life insurance, salary payment, health services, e-commerce, cross border remittance, e-wallet payment services (e.g. bkash, rocket, easyPaisa). We have different types of products and service purchase offers (eg. Mobile Phone, Subscription Coupons and so on).

To provide easy access to online financial services to the 40 million unbanked migrant workers in Asia, we have developed a reliable, secure and easy to use the online platform, where they can purchase products & services securely using their mobile phone. In the same platform, they also can save money and transfer money home electronically. They can either avail of our services using their smartphones or they can visit one of our 1000+ Mobile Salesperson (MSP) locations in Malaysia & Singapore.

Please give us an overview of the size of your operation and the number of users?
Our business started in April 2016, and since then we have already performed over 2 million transactions worth approximately USD 30 Million. During this time, we served around 100,000 unique migrant workers in Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. Currently, in Malaysia every month we perform 70,000 transactions on an average which is worth more than USD 3.5 million. Moreover, every month we record a 25% month on month growth of our monthly gross transacted amount.

We have more than 95,000 registered users in Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. And we have seventeen people in four offices across Dhaka, Cyberjaya Malaysia, Singapore, and Brisbane. Australia.

How is MyCash making Fintech services more convenient for migrant workers?
MyCash Online is an e-marketplace fully customized for the massive pools of migrants across Asia. MyCash Online offers all the services in migrant’s mother language, which makes it very easy for them to use. With a simple android phone, they can download the MyCash Online app which can be accessed conveniently from any location at any time. MyCash Online is timely, efficient and also offers security to its users.

Our solution is unique as this app has been developed by migrants. We have three co-founders, both Nurol and I are migrants from Bangladesh. I have been living in Malaysia for the last twelve years. Our third co-founder, Lin is also migrating to Singapore to better manage the business from the HQ. Even our other team members are mostly migrants and from many different backgrounds, countries, and cultures.

Nurol and I were co-workers in another technology company for two years before we started this venture. I lead the system development team, while Lin has a BBA degree and six years of experience in finance and accounting, and Nurol has eight years of working experience in a remittance company in Dubai and Malaysia.

How has the response been from Bangladeshi migrants? What are the services most popular among them (Bangladeshi migrants)?
90% of our customers are Bangladeshi migrants. They like our services a lot because of our understanding of their needs and our team that serves them, speaks Bangla. Obviously bKash is the most popular service among them. Last month we did more than 1 Million RM (around 22 Million BDT) worth of Bkash using our platform.

Being an immigrant, what are the challenges you had to overcome to establish and develop MyCash Online?
The main challenge was to prove that we can build it and deliver. We have successfully managed to deliver on that. In fact, the investors who invested in MyCash in 2017, received an impressive 44% return this year and few of them sold off their shares of the company. This highlights the success of MyCash Online.
Apart from that, FinTech regulation is very hard in every country. So as a migrant, we needed to be creative and form partnerships with local companies to make it happen. We have a few local partners/directors from Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia to help us with this.

How crucial has been the role of the centralized development team in Dhaka for MyCash Online?
Dhaka team provides the lifeline of MyCash. All our apps and web services are developed here in Dhaka with our team. It helps us to keep it lean and we can share resources among the team.

We have seen so many startups around the world fail to live up to expectations, how is MyCash Online future-proofing itself?
We have seen that business is becoming slow in Malaysia and Singapore due to the economic slowdown in South East Asia. We are beginning to start operations in the Middle East and the EU as early as the next few months. We already have an entity in Lithuania and now we are in the middle of applying for EMI license in the EU market. It is not possible to future proof of a startup. We are trying to keep ourselves innovative and fast-moving.

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