Now Students Going Abroad Can Have A Breather With The Ease Of Paying Their University Fees via ExTravelMoney

George Zachariah - CEO  - ExTravelMoney

Now Students Going Abroad Can Have A Breather With The Ease Of Paying Their University Fees via ExTravelMoney

Money is one of the most valuable things in today’s time, especially for students going to study abroad. Every rupee counts for them, as they may already be burdened under the weight of an education loan. Their significant expenses are usually paying university fees abroad and money for their day-to-day expenses there. With traditional banking, there is a steep cost of International Remittance with high margins on foreign currency exchange rates and exorbitant charges. As the Fintech industry grows to prominence, companies like ExTravelMoney are constantly engaged in changing the way transferring money between India and abroad takes place.

ExTravelMoney.com is an all-in-one online forex service platform determined to tap the ‘study-abroad market’ by covering the forex needs of students who are going to study outside India. Their goal is to make International Remittance and foreign exchange services more accessible and affordable. The term ExTravelMoney is an abbreviation of “Exchange Your Travel Money.”

ExTravelMoney Offers Forex Services With Utmost Credibility

Focusing on its target audience, ExTravelMoney provides its services based on three fundamental values. Apart from the obvious, i.e., delivering a reasonable, low-cost forex service, they are also dedicated to providing a customer-centric approach with integrity and accountability and maintaining their clients’ faith in them.

  • Parents can send money to their children studying abroad through their Outward Remittance program.

  • Tuition Fee Payment Abroad allows students to pay their university tuition fees abroad from India, which is required to obtain a student visa.

  • The tie-up between ExTravelMoney and banks in Canada, such as ICICI Bank Canada, and CIBC & Scotia Bank, has opened up an avenue for parents to transfer funds to their child’s GIC student account. Their tie to ICICI Bank, Germany offers transfers to blocked accounts in Germany. They are planning to tie up with Expatrio and Coracle.

  • Liquid cash is still essential for basic expenses, even in a primarily digital setting. Foreign currency for the initial expenses abroad can be bought through ExTravelMoney at a wholesale exchange rate for students travelling abroad.

  • Also, Prepaid Forex Travel Card is offered by ExTravelMoney. It is like a debit card containing foreign currency and can be used in ATMs or POS machines abroad at shops, restaurants, or supermarkets for purchases.

ExTravelMoney has already processed over 1000 GIC and Blocked Accounts transfers this year alone. In between the burden of student loans and interest rates, students can at least be assured by the foreign currency exchange rates that are kept low.

A Deep Dive Into ExTravelMoney And The Working Model

ExTravelMoney started in 2016. After 6-years, they have established themselves as one of the leading fintech services in India. ExTravelMoney has positioned itself to meet the rising demand of students using forex services when living abroad. With their brand presence, they have completed 1,20,000+ transactions in their 6-year run to over 90,000 customers in different places across the globe.

ExTravelMoney has a straightforward process. First, the student is required to enter the country or region where they want to transfer money. Next, they will enter the amount and the RBI-mandated purpose. The platform will automatically search for banks and money changers.

These searches are based on location, exchange rate, and service charges. With these readings transparently shown on the screen, students can choose the best option per their needs. The order is confirmed after the verification of KYC documents. After that, students can transfer funds to the chosen vendor. They will initiate the outward remittance, and the funds will automatically be credited to the beneficiary bank within the next 48 hours.

This has created many advantages for every party involved. Students can tap into the best exchange rates in the marketplace, and thus their transaction costs are reduced. Multiple payment options include a credit card, NEFT, UPI, or e-wallets. The locked exchange rates remain active for 48 hours.

Customers can choose from an online and an offline method of KYC verification. On top of it all, ExTravelMoney has outstanding customer support agents who are qualified to guide customers through the entire forex booking process along with A2 form filling. The company is keen on creating a platform to help students make informed decisions. In short, they have created a one-stop shop for forex.

Customer Retention is The Sucess Metric For ExTravelMoney

ExTravelMoney measures success based on its customer repetition rate.

They have a repeat customer rate of nearly 34%, which is quite high in the International Remittance and Foreign Exchange industry. This stands as a testament to their lower costs, convenience, and stellar customer service claim.

A review of their Google or TrustPilot Reviews re-iterates the same fact. They are rated 4.6 on Google with 369 Reviews. While on TrustPilot, they have a higher rating of 4.9 with 469 Reviews.

Here is a recent review from one of their customers

“I had the best experience with ExTravelMoney. Rapid and well-timed processing of transactions and support from the agents also helped my smooth payment for my GIC account. They provided satisfactory foreign exchange rates, and therefore I would suggest it to my friends too.” - Anjaly Raju

The Background And Current Standing Of ExTravelMoney

ExTravelMoney is led by Mr. George Zachariah, who is currently the CEO of the company having an experience of 16+ years in the banking industry, specialising in the retail forex sector.

Traditional banks or money changers charge a lot for international remittance and foreign currency exchange, increasing the entire cost.

This crisis gave rise to the idea of a startup platform that can help students compare exchange rates and fees on remittance of different forex vendors. ExTravelMoney also partnered with banks and money changers willing to provide wholesale exchange rates.

They have partnered with over 25+ banks and money chargers across India to 6500+ branches. Apart from CEO George Zachariah, other key executives of the company include Ashwin Narasimha and Nisanth Issac, the CTO and CMO of ExTravelMoney, respectively. They have an employee count of 15 at the moment.

How ExTravelMoney Wishes To Impact The Remittance Industry in India?

Even today, forex services are mostly confined to brick-and-mortar stores. As banks are the primary option for students or parents to transfer money from India, it creates a semi-monopoly market. Using their brand presence and safety, they can charge premium exchange rates on remittances. Students may also face compliance issues regarding the rules and regulations placed by RBI on outward remittance. These banks may also have inadequate customer care service, lack proper documentation framework and KYC verification, and do not communicate properly about the exchange rate, taxes, and time. This has put a limit on students opting for cost-effective exchange rates.

This is where ExTravelMoney.com fills the gap. Their hyper-local e-commerce model has helped create the biggest’ forex search engine’ in India. The organisation has established India’s largest network comprising RBI-approved forex dealers and banks. Also, they’ve introduced technological aspects to forex booking processes such as e-signing of KYC documents, location-based service delivery, online booking of money transfers abroad and currency exchange, providing timely updates of the transaction status.

ExTravelMoney Talks About Its Milestones

ExTravelMoney had its product launch in 2016 with 3 money changers on board and 2000 forex stores across India. In 2016, KSIDC (Govt. of Kerala) Seed funded ExTravelMoney. In July of the same year, they were recognised by the StartUp Program India.

By 2017, they had already partnered with 13 money changers and opened over 4500 stores in India. In 2018, their total transaction volume also crossed 60 crores.

In 2019, ExTravelMoney had 25+ money chargers and over 6500 forex stores. The most impressive thing happened when they roped Axis Bank & RBL into their network. By this time, they had already crossed over 100 crores in the total volume of transactions.

ExTravelMoney forayed into the GIC space in 2020 by partnering with ScotiaBank and ICICI Canada and crossed the 150 crores total transaction mark. Soon after partnering with CIBC in 2021, they made provisions for creating GIC student accounts and allowing transfers. This year, the total transactions went over 300+ crores.

By the start of 2022, ExTravelMoney partnered with ICICI Bank Germany, Coracle and Expatrio, helping students to open up Blocked accounts and transfer funds from India. ExTravelMoney has recorded over 400 crores of transactions. They also added travel insurance products to their portfolio.

Awards & Recognitions

Throughout their 6-years in operation, they have earned quite a few recognitions. For the first time in 2014, ExTravelMoney became the winner of the Hot100 Technology Awards presented by Amazon & Microsoft Ventures. The following year, they became the runner-up at Startupbootcamp, the world’s largest accelerator for fintech startups.

The same year, ExTravelMoney was nominated for NASSCOM 10K StartUp Programme. In 2016, it won the CISAT - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Startup Award (Fin-Tech). The same year, they were also the finalist for the India FinTech Award. In 2017, ExTravelMoney was deemed the winner of “IT Start-Up of the year,” presented by the KMA-NASSCOM IT Awards. Project Management Institute Of Kerala declared ExTravelMoney, the winner of “Best Emerging Start Up In Kerala - 2018”.

The Future Of Fin-Tech Industry & ExTravelMoney’s Plans

Going ahead, they want to add more banks and RBI-authorized money changers to their network. Incorporating new technologies such as advanced video KYC and blockchain technology is on their agenda. They also want to reach out to rural areas of India and are currently discussing matters with different bank remittance companies.

ExTravelMoney is also looking for opportunities to tie up with more foreign banks. They are also building a 24*7 remittance booking facility offering a guarantee on rate even during off-hours of the market.

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