12 Aug Member Spotlight: TransferUP
Where does the idea of mobile-to-mobile payments through SMS come from? It simply comes from the need for this kind of service. When TransferUp founder Sai Karteek was travelling to Brussels he encountered the problem of not being able to transfer money to his friends. He was visiting a foreign country and didn’t have Internet access, but a simple money transfer should not create such an issue regardless of the network situation. It is the 21st century after all!
Sai received his masters degree in computer science and management at IE Business School in Spain, so he instantly recognised a business opportunity. There must be so many people who are dealing with the same issue while living abroad or travelling and knowing that the telecom infrastructure is still more accessible worldwide than the Internet, he came up with the idea of creating an application that uses text messaging to solve this problem. The solution, named TransferUp, was born shortly afterwards and just three months ago an application that enables seamless money transfers via text message for anyone with a mobile phone was created.
Now the project is being developed thanks to a small team of three engineers and Sai himself, who is taking care of the business strategy and resources. The outcome has already been met with positive feedback from several financial institutions. TransferUp is not another payment or transaction app. It is an innovative chat bot that helps users to transfer money instantly to anywhere in the world. “We are an early stage start-up,” says Sai, “and there is much to be done. Nevertheless, the app is already highly secure with features such as end-to-end encryption and secret chats. Transfers are also protected by no-data-storage program. Safety is one of the three core ideas of the application. The other two being artificial intelligence which results in a smart chat bot, and user experience meaning: chat based design, multiple language support and use of bitcoins”. Asked about future plans Sai continues: “We are piloting the prototype in India, Netherlands and the UK. The official version of the app is to be launched in December 2016. The main target group will be expats and international students. In the future, the app will work in several languages like Chinese or Spanish to make it more accessible and even easier for everybody.”
Creating a super smart chat bot application to simplify offline payments is an ambitious idea. Yet absolutely committed to it, Sai works proactively to finalise it. Therefore, he became a member of Holland FinTech even before the actual application has been officially launched. “There are many tech companies involved in the Holland FinTech network. Each one of them is a valuable inspiration source and a potential client or a business partner. I have received a lot of help while being a member of Holland FinTech participating in meetings and presentations. Organisation helped me to get in touch with start-up incubators. I also had the chance to present my product. After the pitch, I received a lot of advice in both legal and security aspects. This sort of networking is an absolute necessity in the first stage of any start-up”.