Buying, Selling of Foreign Exchange (Forex) was hereto considered one of the most tedious, but obligatory tasks before embarking on an overseas journey. But Gurgaon-based BookMyForex Pvt Ltd has been offering a web platform which has enabled users to buy and sell Forex online. Active for just about a month, BookMyForex.com seems to have captured the attention of frequent overseas travellers.
What’s the appeal of such a platform?
Foreign Currencies are affected by market fluctuations. Hence similar to Stock Markets, timing is important. The currency costs vary even when the buyer, becomes the seller. With such amount of complexity, there has to be a simple enough platform that does away with the hassles & offers maximum possible transparency while dealing with such financial matters. The site currently deals in 14 currencies including US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Australian Dollar, UAE Dirham, Saudi Riyal, Japanese Yen, Swedish Krona, Thai baht, among others. The portal offers a full suite of Forex services, including foreign currency wire transfer, different denomination currency notes, prepaid travel cards, traveller’s cheques and foreign currency demand drafts too.
The site’s claim that it is India’s first full-featured money exchange and foreign remittances portal doesn’t seem over-exaggerated. One can also exchange foreign currency into Indian rupee (INR) here in India. With BookMyForex.com, one can book transactions 24×7 and the portal offers one standard rate for each currency/product across the country. You can also book your transaction at live and real-time market rates shown on the portal.
Despite the aforementioned advantages, perhaps the most attractive (& risky for the company) feature is the ability to freeze the currency exchange rates for as many as three working days. Since a Bank needs to support such a platform, BookMyForex has tied-up with Axis Bank to handle the back-end processing & money handling. Having received Rs. 1.5 Crores (US$ 0.27 Million) funding, the company had funds to finance the operation from grounds-up, but the monetization of the platform seems to be the age-old commission or percentage earned when customers buy or sell foreign currency. The company claims to handle about 450 Transactions per month, which may not appear to be large, but having launched merely a month ago, the progress seems promising.
Companies have been attempting to pull many of the traditionally offline services like Insurance, Precious Metal purchases into the Digital Realm. With proper customer service & a simple platform they can achieve success in a centuries-old profession too. What do you think?