The Future of Online Forex

BMF is interested in entering the B2B markets where businesses can start offering foreign exchange.

The Indian travel how to get funded as a trader industry got a big boost when flight and hotel aggregations such as MakeMyTrip and Ixigo arrived in the early 2000s. A $13.61 Bn opportunity has been created by the online travel market in India. This growth should have had an impact on the growth of international remittance and foreign currency exchange. It did not.

The money that was spent on travel-related services was not available online. The travel space was disrupted and saturated, while the foreign exchange market was still working in a traditional mode, according to Sudarshan.

While introducing many travel-related foreign exchange services for the Bank of Punjab and others, he thought of bringing tech into the equation and changing the status quo. BookMyForex was launched in November 2012 with an angel funding of 25 lakh, where customers could view live foreign currency rates through the day, compare exchange rates and service quality standards, book their orders and get foreign currency delivered at home.

BookMyForex was not a marketplace and was tied up with a single partner for fulfilling its customer requirements. BookMyForex became a marketplace. BookMyForex is able to offer pickup and delivery of foreign exchange products in 650+ Indian cities and towns, as well as its own delivery centers in 30 cities.

Sudarshan said that the platform now sifts through the rates provided by all vendors in all cities in real-time to find the best vendor for each currency.

Retail customers have pain points.

Sudarshan explained that they wanted to solve customer pain points with BookMyForex. Here is a picture of it.

Most of the processes on the platform have been streamlined. This includes some things.

Rate comparison engine compares parameters such as vendor rates, distance from customer and previous vendor track record to match each customer with the most appropriate vendor.

BMF extracts rates from several sites and uses offline market intelligence to figure out the best rates being offered and uses that information to set pricing.

Order tracking allows channel partners, customers and internal staff to take action when a service-level agreement is broken.

There is a rule engine that can identify which orders are at risk of breaching agreements and alert the appropriate stakeholders.

Customer payments can be routed to the correct partners to complete their orders.

The monetisation is very easy. The platform automatically adds a small margin on the rate provided by the vendor when they give BMF their rates. BookMyForex makes money from the additional mark-up that the bidding engine adds.

From First Mover To Innovator

They had to face a few challenges. The world’s first online foreign currency exchange and remittance marketplace was created by us. He claimed that BookMyForex is an original idea.

BMF has simplified foreign exchange for the Indian market and is now focusing on creating products for B2B2C and B2B models, where referral businesses can start offering foreign exchange under their branding. It would greatly improve the access to foreign exchange in areas where BookMyForex is not currently available.

The training of the staff at the branches of the bank was one of the early challenges. It was a big blow when we arrived at the marketplace model, but we kept our focus on solving customer’s pain points and finally arrived at it.

Sudarshan believes that the next set of challenges will be with product portfolio expansion and scaling in the next 20 to 30 Indian cities. It has launched its first multi-currency card and will soon be launching next- generation cards that customers will be able to manage via the BookMyForex app.

The customers can see the equivalent of the spending amount in the Indian rupee. They will be able to locate surcharge-free ATMs and reload their travel cards while on the go. In case of suspicious transactions, the card can be easily locked or blocked by the person who uses it.

The Unexplored Opportunity In Online Forex

BookMyForex may have claimed to be the first mover, but it is not the only player. The segment has evolved and has become a breeding ground for online foreign currency exchange and international remittance players.

The hard truth is the same. Less than one percent of all foreign exchange transactions are done online in India. The trend is changing quickly, according to analysts. Large tech companies have been able to capture a larger share of the market. In the UK, Transferwise has been able to acquire almost 10% of the market.

The market conditions are right to increase the adoption of online foreign exchange due to the growing population of young people. As the number of Indians going overseas is set to increase from 20 to 50 million in the next few years, the size of India’s foreign exchange market is expected to explode.

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