Lucy CHUNG of Winngie, tells us about a unique way to transfer money abroad and exchange currency.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Lucy CHUNG: As everybody has difficult times during the pandemic, it was not easy, but regarding the physical health situation, hopefully, everybody is fine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Winngie.
Lucy CHUNG: I am one of the Co-Founders of Winngie. My talents are; Financial Control, Strategies business, global store expanding strategies, APEC researcher, industry researcher, M&A experiences.
I already had a background in the IT and finance sector for years. I met my first partner at a business dinner in Manila in 2016. We frequently talked about the startup ideas and were fantastic if someday these ideas would become true. One time we met his hometown friend in Istanbul, who currently works in Tokyo as an ERP tourist system linked with booking.com. We were like three fools in the first talk and couldn’t stop talking about the P2P Forex/Transfer idea the whole night. With this dream, we decided to establish Winngie to make the fin world innovative, convenient, and fairer. It is a challenge and accepted.
How does Winngie innovate?
Lucy CHUNG: Our company Winngie is a global-mind Fintech solution, and every single person who has to deal with money is our potential user. We have realized during publishing our services that more than half of the world’s population is suffering from the current system and its painful progress. So, the idea of finding a solution for billions of people is making us overexcited, and with every single feedback we have received, we are focusing and sticking to our idea and, as a result, our product with greater motivation.
Instead of international money transfer and currency exchange companies commonly using, Winngie takes a unique approach towards abroad money transfer and currency exchange with a simple mobile application.
As part of the “sharing economy,” Winngie offers the users someone’s currency as a medium to exchange, instead of an exchange office or transfer via bank. On Winngie, we can find people to exchange currency on users’ next backpacking trip through Europe, or the users can find someone to transfer their school fee during the internship in Los Angeles. Also, if they want to exchange leftover currency in their own home from their last trip to Thailand, Winngie users can exchange through Winngie and save money by exchanging without giving any commission. Winngie is global, can be used in any country with any currency.
Winngie sends money, and the exchange currency application is based on peer to peer principle. Any confirmed user can participate in the system and start saving money.
Winngie is a social application providing a new way to send money abroad. By taking a complex process and making it simple and effective, Winngie helps millions of people every day. Whether it’s helping children go to school, helping family members receive medical treatment, or just assisting people to pay their bills, Winngie believes in helping our customers’ hard work go further.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Lucy CHUNG: We almost stopped marketing activities due to unknown situations for 2 months in April and May 2020. After examining the new customer data, we have seen that new customer rates were low for a few weeks, but it was looking all good, and there was no ressastion in our market. We were planning to attend some exhibitions, but all were canceled, so actually, we spent less and transferred our budgets to more online channels. I can say the way of spending changed, but we stick to the budget plan, and financially all was okay from our side.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Lucy CHUNG: We already announced new job opportunities to hire 2 more employees at the beginning of April 2020. Later, we stopped and decided to continue with freelancers based on project tasks. Because offices were closed, transportation was limited, even if we have hired new employees they had to work from home. Since then, we are still working with freelancers, and I can say office costs have decreased, and we can find more qualified people all over the world, but the deadlines of tasks have increased a little bit.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Lucy CHUNG: Yes, we have started to use an online chat platform on our website and hired a freelancer for faster customer support. Since people have more time on the internet, they like to chat, and we increased the incoming inquiry amounts by that way.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Lucy CHUNG: Yes, the government has a home office working salary support funding like 40% of the minimum wage, and yes, I can say it has helped some.
Your final thoughts?
Lucy CHUNG: During the past 12 months, all over the world, life has become more and more digital in almost every aspect. As we are in the Fintech business, I can say banking systems should find new ways for transferring money, and money exchange business should go through P2P instead of visiting crowdy exchange offices or bank offices. Platforms providing those services will rise more, and old-school methods will end up soon. People are strong and adoptive, we will pass these difficult days, and when we reach normal days, it will be a different kind of normal. But we shouldn’t lose respect, ethical rules, and human values to each other. Since then, we will be stronger.