Living in a beautiful multi-cultural country, Canada welcomes diverse people who have emigrated here from places around the corners of the world. Many foreigners travel all the way here in hopes of making a better living to send money back home to their loved ones. In 2015, a total amount of $23.4 billion was sent from Canada to other countries according to Pew Research Center. Unfortunately, a huge part of this hard-earned money is lost during the journey due to fees and transaction costs and moving from agency to agency — from 5% up to as much as 20% of the total sum.
Enter nTrust — A Vancouver fintech that helps people access, move, and use their money, instantly. Using cloud money, users can link up their bank accounts and start sending money to friends, banks and even exchange currency easily.
When it comes to security, nTrust is no joke. Their service meets the gold standard for FINTRAC, secured with SSL encryption and rated level one in data security by PCI Security Standards Council. In addition to all that, nTrust uses professional fraud prevention services that shuts down theft before it even starts. Earlier this year, nTrust was also featured on a PYMNTS article on fraud prevention for P2P payments. Fraud Management Specialist Darcy Berringer shares in more detail about how they tackle the challenges the sector faces.
We had a chance to chat with Rod Hsu, the president of the company, to learn more about how nTrust helps their customers, his thoughts on RegTech for the remittance industry, and well — how to be a good person in general.
Trulioo: What is the biggest challenge people face sending money overseas and how does nTrust help?
Rod: The biggest challenge people face when sending money abroad is overall cost. People want their funds to get to their destination, without being dinged by fees along the way. Those charges can include anything from the foreign exchange spread, to added costs incurred for the actual remittance services.
At nTrust, we stitch together different services and networks to keep the overall expense low for our customers. We focus on the technology of moving money, rather than creating additional overhead costs that are passed down to the user. By focusing on technical integrations, we can keep our own costs down, and provide a better (and cheaper) service for our members.
Trulioo: One of the many hurdles fintechs have to jump through are regulations and compliance. What are your thoughts on RegTech and how it would help companies in remittance specifically?
Rod: Fintech means financial technology, and often times it’s more “tech” than “fin.” Fintechs are always looking for efficient, streamlined ways to leverage technology and serve their customers. That drives every aspect of Fintech, from operations, to marketing, to regulatory and everything in between.
That’s why “It makes sense for #fintechs to turn to #RegTechs to navigate the challenging waters of #compliance and regulation — @rod_hsu” it makes sense for fintechs to turn to RegTechs to navigate the challenging waters of compliance and regulation. Every location enforces slightly different rules, and even those guidelines are constantly changing. The regulatory space requires niche, knowledgeable experts; RegTech companies operate in that niche, and play an important role in the life cycle of any fintech.
Most importantly, leveraging RegTechs allows fintechs to focus on their core business. KYC (know your customer), AML (anti money laundering), and CTF (counter terrorist financing), along with Fraud and Risk Preventions, are all key to understanding customers and behaviors. However, they take time and resources. RegTechs provide the technology to help facilitate all of these processes, whether that means automation, or other ways to satisfy compliance.
Trulioo: Last question! Can you tell us about the story behind Beatrice the Truck and what your favorite random act of kindness of hers is?
Rod: Before she came to nTrust, Beatrice the Truck was a working truck – she was first owned by the Canada Post. We bought her and gave her a complete revamp, from body modifications to a customized paint job and nTrust decals.
Beatrice was a key part of every Be Good event. My favorite has to be our initiative with Vancouver radio station 102.7 The Peak. We gifted $1000 to listener Lara and her students at Clayton Heights Secondary; they asked for donations to create holiday gift bags for their local senior center. Some of the seniors don’t have family to visit them over the holidays, and the students wanted to bring them some happiness.
Our team was invited out to help assemble the gift bags and meet the Grade 8 class behind the whole initiative. That was a great Be Good moment. Check out the full story on the nTrust blog here.
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Other Fintechs in Vancouver we featured
Koho: Secure, Simple, Mobile and a Free Financial Life.
Tired of paying a fee for every little thing you do with your credit card and debit card? Sick of big financial institutions charging you hidden fees that just don’t make sense? Meet Koho, a Fintech in Vancouver who offers a prepaid card solution — without all the exorbitant charges.
NetCents is a spunky financial services company offering a suite of products leveraging traditional capital markets infrastructure and blockchain technology. NetCents helps their users pay, their way. With the NetCents app, you can move, purchase, transfer, withdraw funds and even buy or sell Bitcoins — all in one place.
If crowdfunding and venture capital ever had a child, it would probably be something like this startup. FrontFundr is an investment platform that taps into a much larger investor community consisting of seasoned investors and the wider public versus your traditional startup investors, like angels, venture capital firms and wealthy individuals.