Around the world, everything from financial markets through to day-to-day life has been impacted by the Covid-19 virus. The world has gone online and is working from home, which has further influenced the way people buy and use products. Consumers are demanding more personalised, intuitive and unlimited-use services – an option which is currently not available when making payments or money transfers.
In June this year, Sokin will launch an exciting new model for payments and money transfers, which is the first fixed-fee subscriber platform. It is the answer savvy buyers are looking for – serious cost savings, with a secure and seamless user experience.
Vroon Modgill, CEO of Sokin, is known for introducing global payments for a monthly fixed fee and giving consumers the power to make unlimited money transfers. The company is headquartered in London and has 10 international offices. In this Behind the Idea he explains how ee founded Sokin in 2019 because he was driven to create a way of making international money transfers and payments transparent, faster and so easy his retired father could do everything he wanted with a few simple taps. After ten years of working extensively in financial services, he took the decision to set up Sokin and build a new global currency ecosystem.
What has been the traditional company response to financial technology innovations nationally?
The world of global payments needed to change. For many years, you could only make transfers and payments through banks who charged huge commissions, took days to send money from account to account and made the process time consuming and difficult. New entrants to the market have changed this by introducing apps which have taken business away from traditional banks. They have made the process much easier and quicker, but they have not been passing the cost-saving onto their customers. At Sokin we will complete the change which these new Fintechs started, by offering a new generation the buying model they know and understand. We are the equivalent to unlimited roaming for the payments market.
How has this changed over the past few years?
Fintech allows easy-to-use, simple systems to deliver the services people want. We are just cutting out the hidden and repeat costs to allow everyone to make payments without being continually overcharged. We want everyone to have access to a transparent and secure system which will make managing and moving their money simple and safe.
Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?
The culture has been built by experienced people who want to create a genuine difference in the sector. They know that technology and a new approach can deliver a product which will benefit thousands of people. They can see there is a better answer and are driven to make change happen.
What Fintech ideas have been implemented?
For us, it is all about using Fintech to create the UX that consumers want. From onboarding to completing the transaction, we have focused on the customer journey making this smooth, easy and enabling the repeated use of the service for a single monthly fee.
What benefits have these brought?
The benefits will be for anyone who wants to make international payments and set up local accounts, especially important for people who have family and friends abroad and are relying on money being transferred. They will find that their hard-earned money is being sent back without being subject to hidden and repeat costs and will be transferred at market-leading exchange rates.
Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?
The challenge will be that as soon as users realise their payments firms apply hidden costs each time they make a transfer, they will all want to have access to a subscription model. It is like Spotify bringing out its streaming service – no one wanted to keep paying for each song. We think we are setting down a challenge for the payments industry – do they want to stick with the old or adopt the new?
Can these challenges be aided by Fintech?
Yes, of course. It will be through the application of new Fintech that we will develop the next generation of payment and money transfer technology. We are taking a big step forward with the launch of the monthly subscription-based payments services. But the goal has to be the instantaneous, frictionless movement of funds between all individuals and businesses. This is our goal and Fintech will provide the solution.
Ten years ago, it could take five days and cost a lot of money to send a payment from the UK to Europe and it would have been almost impossible to get funds into China. Now, with our service, the transfers are cheap, fast and efficient, whether you want to move money to Beijing or Belin. But for us, this is just the starting point and we are excited to show people what else is possible.