International

Payments Get Social With Fastacash Funding

Singapore-based FinTech company fastacash announced yesterday (July 14) it raised $15 million in Series B funding from international investors, which will help accelerate global growth for the social payments platform.

The startup allows users to transfer value (such as money, airtime and other tokens) and digital content (such as photos, videos and audio) through social media networks and messaging platforms, providing secure and cost-effective transactions, the company said.

In a company release, fastacash Chairman and CEO Vince Tallent said: “Our company was created out of the desire to eliminate consumer pain points associated with payments and money transfers, be it international or domestic. Our technology has made what was a cumbersome, and often laborious process as easy as the swipe of a finger. We have an unwavering focus on simplifying the consumer payments experience. With Series B, we will scale fastacash’s business by accelerating consumer usage, delivering product innovation and expanding our global reach.”

The latest funding round was led by Rising Dragon Singapore, and also included participation from venture capital firms Life.SREDA and UVM 2 Venture Investments LP, as well as existing investors. Total funding for fastacash reached a total of $23.5 million as of yesterday’s announcement.

“Fastacash addresses the ever-increasing global population of mobile users that have limited access to financial services. Fastacash works with banks, mobile operators, remittance companies, payment service providers, mobile wallets and other financial institutions to enable value transfers, be it peer-to-peer or person-to-merchant, by leveraging social network channels and messaging platforms,” the company statement said.

With its new funding, fastacash plans to tap into the world’s largest payments markets, including the U.S., the U.K., Europe and the Middle East. The company will aim to serve migrant populations who are active on social media channels in those regions.

Since its founding in 2012, the company’s footprint has grown to provide services to India, Indonesia, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam. It has acquired over 1 million end users through its partners, which fastacash said has positioned it to serve a growing money transfers market. A 2012 study by World Bank estimated the global money transfer market will reach $685 billion in 2015, with domestic money transfers at a similar scale.

“The global proliferation of social networks, and the rise in mobile penetration presents tremendous opportunities, particularly across emerging markets. Fastacash is leading the way with innovation that is making social payments a reality. We see tremendous potential in fastacash to transform the way consumers transfer money, airtime and other forms of value,” Rising Dragon Singapore CEO Eric Schaer added.

But fastacash isn’t the only company seeking opportunities in the money transfers market with a social-based approach.

Zipline debuted last month in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. According to a company release, the money transfer messaging app “aims to make sharing money with friends as easy as sending a picture.”

The app is billed as the first bank-compliant messaging platform that can connect directly to its users’ bank accounts. By using Zipline, which is powered by cloud company Rackspace, end parties can send gifts and reimbursements to one another individually or in groups.

Even social network giant Facebook debuted its own person-to-person payments feature earlier this year. The company does not charge any fees for the service nor will it hold the money, although it can take up to a few days for the payment to become available to withdraw, the company said, adding that it already processes more than a million transactions per day, and has been handling payment for game players and advertisers on the site since 2007.

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

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