If you don’t care too much about loyalty programs, chances are that you’ve been relying on platforms like Booking.com and Expedia to find the cheapest flights and hotel rooms. Moneytis wants to do the exact same thing, but for foreign exchange services.
TransferWise is arguably the biggest consumer brand in international transfers. Instead of telling your bank to send money to your bank account, you send money to TransferWise first. The startup then converts the amount and transfers your money to the other account abroad.
It’s been an eye-opening experience for many consumers who realized that they’re getting screwed by banks, Western Union, Moneygram, etc.
But TransferWise is just one player in this space. For instance, while the startup is usually quite competitive when you want to convert GBP into EUR, it’s not as competitive when you want to send money from the U.S. to Europe. Other services, such as CurrencyFair let you keep more money at the end of your transfer.
That’s why Moneytis is applying the Booking.com model to international transfers. The experience is quite straightforward as you just have to put two different currencies and how much money you plan on sending.
“I was an expat in China and Etienne [Tatur] was in Europe. And I was shocked by hidden fees every time I wanted to send money,” co-founder and CFO Christophe Lassuyt told me. “That’s when we listed and compared all solutions out there. Friends quickly asked us to see the list. We ended up launching a comparison tool. We then understood that users wanted to compare, but also transfer easily. That’s the service we’re launching.”
Moneytis then compares many services and displays the fastest service, the cheapest one, the most popular one, etc. You don’t have to sign up to other services as you can send your money directly on Moneytis.
The startup doesn’t add any fee. Instead, Moneytis takes a small cut from third-party services as it is generating leads for those foreign exchange services. On average, clients are sending $ 2,000 — Moneytis takes 0.3 percent (representing $ 6) and it’s transparent for the user.
There’s no clear winner in the foreign exchange space as big players like TransferWise only cover some currencies. Exchange rate volatility also means that some services are going to be cheaper one day and more expensive the next day. Finally, some services will be able to get better deals for particular routes.
Moneytis is clearly a volume play as the startup will need thousands of transfers per day to scale. It could build an API so that big clients can automate transfers and always use the cheapest service out there. This way, the service could become an essential tool for companies doing business in many different countries.