Cash despatched dwelling by migrant staff not solely helps their households, but in addition allows complete economies to develop. However transferring cash comes at a excessive price to staff, with remittance charges averaging about 6.5%. MyZoi desires to chop charges by greater than half, beginning with the 5 million low-income migrant staff within the United Arab Emirates.
MyZoi (which implies “my life” in Greek) introduced at this time it has raised $14 million from SC Ventures, a unit of Customary Chartered, and Japanese monetary providers group SBI Holdings. It holds two regulatory licenses from the Central Financial institution of the UAE and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Customary Chartered Financial institution.
The startup has two core choices. The primary is a digital remittance service that can cut back transaction prices to lower than 3%, in keeping with merchandise 10c of the United Nation’s Sustainable Growth Targets 2030. The second is a payroll system created particularly for firms that make use of migrant staff.
MyZoi co-founder and chief product officer Christian Buchholz first got here up with the concept for the platform and incubated it underneath SC Ventures. Earlier than beginning myZoi, Buchholz spent 5 years main SC Ventures’ design and innovation initiatives throughout a number of areas. Throughout that point, he mentioned he talked to many low-migrant staff and located that they typically remit as much as 80% of their earnings to kin again dwelling, and have little or no cash left for private use or financial savings.
Buchholz was launched to his co-founder, CEO Syed Muhammed Ali, by SC Ventures, to show the idea right into a industrial enterprise with UAE as its pilot market. The 2 continued to do analysis concerning the issues migrant staff and their employers face.
“Low-income migrant staff are basically locked out of the formal monetary system,” Ali instructed TechCrunch. “Companies at present supplied to them are neither joined up nor developed with their wants and capabilities in thoughts.”
Consequently, many migrant staff flip to cash-based or casual strategies of sending money dwelling. For instance, the myZoi workforce spoke with one lady who labored as a home helper and often despatched cash dwelling to her household. Since she didn’t have a checking account, she relied on her uncle as an middleman to distribute the cash. However she discovered that her uncle hadn’t shared these funds along with her kin.
Ali mentioned that many employers desires “compliant and easy options which are price efficient with a robust social affect,” whereas their staff want a “actually inclusive, complete and fit-for-purpose monetary service that would allow them to fulfill their primary transactional in addition to long run monetary wants.” MyZoi plans to cowl all of that by working on a B2B2C mannequin, with payroll options for employers, remittance providers for his or her migrant workforce and monetary literacy supplies.
Ali mentioned one problem myZoi desires to unravel is the mistrust many migrant staff have of monetary providers, particularly digital ones. The app is designed for folks with low ranges of monetary literacy and “primarily based on in depth analysis and human-centered design ideas.” Customers obtain their salaries instantly into their myZoi digital wallets and might ship cash from there with the contact of a button.
MyZoi will have the ability to preserve remittance prices down due to its digital-only mannequin, which implies it is ready to run comparatively lean operations and reduce overheads, Ali mentioned. It is usually constructing its personal rails to restrict transaction prices in key corridors.
For employers, myZoi desires to unravel the friction of methods that require paper-based onboarding of every worker and have hidden prices. Ali mentioned many employers “would additionally prefer to see somewhat extra empathy in the direction of the challenges their staff face in utilizing monetary providers.”
The shoppers myZoi will serve vary in dimension from a couple of hundred staff to greater than 10,000 throughout completely different industries like oil and fuel, medical, hospitality, development and retail.
Ali mentioned that myZoi will differentiate from different payroll options as a result of it was created for low-income staff. A bonus for employers is that myZoi requires no technical integration or in depth paperwork to start out utilizing. As a substitute, its person onboarding course of is fully digital. MyZoi will primarily serve staff from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Nepal.
In an announcement concerning the funding, SC Ventures member Gautam Jain mentioned, “There are over 1.4 billion unbanked people globally. At SC Ventures, we spend money on progressive enterprise fashions like myZoi so we are able to higher serve the communities we function in. We consider that fintech improvements corresponding to myZoi are rising because the catalyst for change. They’re constructing an ecosystem that delivers easy but significant options to low-income migrant staff, whereas providing a commercially viable and socially impactful proposition.”