EasyPay Transfers, a cross-border trade payments company in Malaysia, has raised US$500,000 (~RM2 million) in seed funding from a group of unnamed local investors.

The startup will use the money to open more corridors, primarily in countries that Malaysia businesses trade with, such as Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Vietnam and Hong Kong. A portion of the investment will also go into team expansion, as per an official media statement.

EasyPay was launched in March this year with an aim to facilitate cross-border payments for businesses to their counterparts in China. In the last several years, the trade between China and Malaysia has boomed, with total imports from the Asian giant accumulating to RM164 billion (US$40 billion) in 2017. This means there is an equal demand for businesses to perform cross-border trade payments to their Chinese counterparts.

EasyPay helps SMEs process payments to China within 24 hours. Instead of submitting paperwork, EasyPay allows all processes to be completed online — from registration to document submission for payment. EasyPay helps remove the hassle of visiting banks, filling up physical forms, or the three to five days’ processing wait time via Bank Telegraphic Transfers (TT).

EasyPay focuses on businesses that are under-served by banks. These businesses are typically micro traders, sole proprietors, and other such smaller enterprises who would otherwise not enjoy preferential rates and enhanced service levels that banks typically offer only to large businesses.

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“SMEs are generally overlooked by banks because their transaction volumes are small, or they don’t have a proper credit history. Most of them still need to queue at the bank counters, and pay higher exchange rates for international transfers,” said Felix Yew, General Manager of EasyPay Transfers.

The startup charges a standard transfer fee of RM15 (US$3.6) regardless of transaction size. Additionally, EasyPay’s exchange rates are easily 50 per cent lower than what banks offer, it said.

The genesis of EasyPay happened when its founders, who have immense experience in the financial services, technology and procurement industries, realised how inconvenient it was to make international business payments at the banks. They realised that making international business payments, especially to China, was an expensive affair coupled with endless visits to the bank to comply to documentary requirements. The post- transaction service levels provided by banks were also not stellar, as it was usually difficult to get clarity on the status of payment transactions especially when a transaction exception occurred.

“We thought of how we could make cross-border remittances more accessible and affordable for smaller businesses. So we looked at how we can leverage on technology to bridge this gap,” said Jared Ang, Co-founder of EasyPay. “By focusing on making cross-border payments more efficient for businesses, we believe we will be able to help thousands of small businesses grow.”