KlickEx, the New Zealand-based startup that makes moving money between banks fast, cheap and easy, won the Top Startup award at Innotribe’s Startup Challenge in Dubai late last week. The prize was $50,000.
The Top Innovator award, given to more established companies, went to Waratek, a cloud-computing provider that offers a Java virtualization service to cut down on infrastructure costs.
Robert Bell is KlickEx’s founder, and the company incorporates his Passport product, previously profiled on Bank Innovation.
Innotribe is SWIFT’s platform for engaging startups and innovators. It hold several events a year around the globe, highlighting and encouraging innovative fintech companies.
KlickEx employs web-based technologies to disrupt existing money movement systems — which may be why SWIFT finds the company so interesting. It is deployed in eight countries and offers in-country person-to-person payments, currency exchange and foreign money movement services. This last item constitutes a notorious customer pain point, often proving expensive, time-consuming, and confusing.
VOSnet is KlickEx’s service for moving money within a country. The service allows for different degrees of connectivity between banks, with transactions happening in real time when banks are connected using KlickEx. The company is able to plug its service into any data ports a bank may have, making setup fast and the service realtime and affordable. The money movement service can be white-labeled by the institution.
Synapse is a currency exchange tool that the company claims is the world’s cheapest, and KlickEx Market is the company’s marquee product, a foreign exchange and settlement service to quickly and inexpensively move money between countries.
KlickEx and Bell have experience in dealing with cross-border problems, working in the south Pacific and New Zealand and Australia and facing problems such as large unbanked populations, vastly different banking systems, and even an imaginary dotted line called the International Dateline.
Bell wrote to Bank Innovation with characteristic exuberance and entrepreneurial ambition, “SWIFT loved that we want to set up a new global central bank to eliminate global FX risks and costs… and have already done it in the Pacific with United Nations Capital Development Program funding.”
The company has strong international experience and has been recognized by the World Bank and, as Bell mentioned, the United Nations, for its work. It is poised for expansion and is working on tackling money movement in Europe as well as the biggest, most problematic banking market in the world, a country we can’t name (but it lies just south of Canada.)