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Arro Money – tackling financial exclusion with technology

By Muhammad Asim, CEO and Co-Founder at Arro Money. 14th Feb 2019

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Arro Money is an authorised current account provider that offers accessible accounts to both individuals & businesses. We spoke to Muhammad Asim, CEO and Co-Founder, to find out what inspired him to start the business and what he hopes to achieve with this funding round.

There is a wave of new account providers and banks stepping forward, what makes Arro Money stand out?

Arro Money is targeting a very specific group of people; those currently excluded from financial services. There are people out there that want a current account but don’t believe they can have one, because they don’t have a long address history or because they’ve had issues with credit or high street banking in the past.

These people don’t need gimmicks, bells or whistles, they just want to be able to manage their money in a straightforward and efficient way.

That’s what we’re trying to do, but that’s not to say we don’t have a range of customers. Our fast application time and straightforward approach appeals to a wide audience wanting to step away from the traditional high street approach.

What is it that makes you unique in such a busy market?

The Arro Money accounts are a big part of our business, but they’re by no means the only part. Offering the technology as a white label solution opens up a new market and we’re one of the few offering this service.

This solution is available as a ‘bank in a box’, but we have an affiliate programme as well. There are a number of discussions in place, and we hope to make an announcement soon about the companies we’ll be working with.

Why are you so passionate about financial inclusion?

Financial inclusion is important to me because when I first came to the UK, I myself struggled to get a current account. I had the means and the funds, but because I had no long-term address history and no UK credit file, the banks didn’t seem to have a straightforward way for me to open an account. This left me carrying cash around to pay for hotels, and unable to access essentials such as being able to rent a home, or purchase a mobile phone, car or insurance.

Over 250,000 people move to the UK each year and thinking that so many people face the same struggle as I did drives me to make a dent in the number of people experiencing this frustrating issue. This is why we’re so active with the Emerging Payments Association on their new financial inclusion initiative alongside Mastercard, GPS and other challengers.

One of your upcoming markets is international students, are you worried about Brexit?

It’s not a massive concern for us. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what Brexit will actually mean, but a lot of the students coming to the UK from overseas aren’t actually from the EU. Furthermore, in the semester following the vote, the number of international students coming to the UK continued to rise.

We’re confident that Brexit will not negatively impact our goals, because international markets are just one of our targeted markets. Our other audiences, such as SMEs, those lacking address history and those who’ve had issues with high street banking should be less affected.

What would you say is your strongest asset?

The technology we’ve developed is impressive, but I’d have to say the biggest asset we have is the team. On the board, there are over 100 years of experience in finance with knowledge from the payments industry, high street banks, international regulators and compliance.

On the ground, we have a team of UK customer support operators and a cutting-edge development team, both of which we want to grow to onboard more multilingual team members. We also have a motivated marketing team that has been fundamental to our growth.

The wider team is more than just an asset; I’m exceptionally proud of them.

What is your greatest aspiration for this funding round?

With the funding from this campaign, we want to be able to make some of our plans a reality faster than we would be able to at our current size. The growth of the team is integral for us to be able to develop the products we already have, create new partnerships, build new products and offer the best possible value.

Making all of this accessible to those who might struggle to access financial products would be a brilliant achievement.

Find out more about Arro Money and invest by visiting their pitch page.

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