Transpay wants to solve the problem of payments for freelancers in Asia

Freelancers can get payments within a day or two, as opposed to up to five days via bank wire


Osman Husain July 16, 2016
Pakistan has the third-largest userbase on Freelancer, a popular site where clients post tasks they need fulfilled. PHOTO: REUTERS

There’s a large population of freelancers in Asia, with countries like India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh constituting the majority of this community. The Indian freelance community is made up of about 15 million people, making it the second-largest market in the world after the US. In a similar vein, Pakistan has the third-largest userbase on Freelancer, a popular site where clients post tasks they need fulfilled.

But the problem for the majority of these people is one of payments. Paypal doesn’t work in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. Freelancers who want cash wired directly to their bank accounts often face lag times and hidden fees. That’s partly because sending payments across borders is a time-consuming, costly, and highly regulated process.

Transpay wants to solve this problem for both businesses and consumers alike, explains Nagarajan Rao, who’s a senior vice president at the startup. He explains the payments company can deliver funds in local currency directly into a recipient’s bank account in more than 120 countries. There are also more than 200,000 cash pickup locations around the world.

Cutting out banks

Freelancers can get payments within a day or two, as opposed to up to five days via bank wire.

New York-headquartered Transpay launched in 2012 and is backed by private equity firm GCP Capital Partners.

Nagarajan affirms that Transpay differentiates itself from other payment startups by providing an API and web-based platforms. It provides businesses a SaaS product that simplifies the payout process. It also gives them a direct indication of how much recipients will receive via a live FX calculator

He sees it as important that Transpay owns and operates “every link in the chain” and does not rely on traditional bank wires to send payments. All aspects from compliance to foreign exchange is managed by the firm.

“As a result, we are able to offer more cost-effective rates and a streamlined service.”

“Additionally, while e-wallets and prepaid cards are popular options, they still act as intermediaries between a recipient and their money. The extra step of withdrawing funds from a prepaid card or e-wallet adds not only time but [also] unnecessary fees for maintenance and withdrawal costs,” he adds.

Nagarajan declines to reveal how many enterprise clients Transpay has or the number of transactions it facilitates monthly, simply saying that it “processes thousands of transactions.”

But he does say that Asia is a priority market for the team.

“Our network is very strong […] and we’re able to complete same-day payouts to several Southeast Asian countries. Because of this, we work with several clients that are sending freelance and vendor payouts into Asia, like Upwork, Microworkers, Hotel Quickly and Premise Data.”

This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.

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