Visiting banks and financial institutions to get the right loan, insurance plan or savings account can sometimes be a hectic and troublesome business. Searching the internet can be more confusing with the number of results you get. However, to solve this problem, a group of young tech savvy people have started Rumsan Money that allows users to get all the updated information on a single platform. The platform Rumsan Money was created with the motive of making the banking process more efficient through the use of technology.
Rumsan Money is a fintech product that provides collective information about banks and financial institutions, their products and services such as insurance policies, interest rates on loans and deposits. Rumsan Money works as a bridge between BFIs, insurance companies and consumers. At the moment, they have information on 27 commercial banks and 20 insurance companies (19 life and 1 non-life).
A product of Rumsan Group of Companies, Rumsan Money consists of five team members. Santosh Shrestha is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Rumsan Group as well as Rumsan Money. Shrestha, who worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland for several years, came back to Nepal with the idea of creating an impact on society through technology. Ruchin Singh, managing director of Rumsan Group and advisor of Rumsan Money; Bibek Khadka, project lead; Raktim Shrestha, chief technical officer; and Raman KC, COO of Rumsan Group, are the other team members. Along with them, Pragya Gyawali looks after public relations, Sujal Shakya looks after data analysis and Smriti Bhujel Chettri looks after content production.
Project lead Bibek Khadka says that the concept of Rumsan Money came to him last year during the lockdown that was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. The idea was generated out of their own problems. “Everything was closed and visiting banks personally was difficult. However, people needed banking services. All our team members had banking problems at that time. So, we thought about solving the problem of visiting banks physically. And after multiple brainstorming sessions and team discussions, we came up with the idea of Rumsan Money.”
The groundwork for Rumsan Money was laid last year. Market studies, various researches went into building a prototype. After that, the team carried out an internal soft launch and asked Rumsan Group’s team to use the web application. With the feedback, they gradually developed the features and did a public launch in June 2021.
Rumsan Money was started with an investment of Rs 3 million. As Rumsan Money was started during the lockdown period, they created their user base through social media and web-based advertisements. At present, search engine optimisation is their marketing tool. They also use Facebook Groups through which they promote their product.
Although only a year old, Rumsan Money, according to Khadka, is gradually getting people’s attention. Monthly visits to their site are in the range of 2000 to 2500 which is increasing. “Our user base is increasing day by day which is a positive sign,” he says.
Currently, the platform generates revenue on a commission basis. Once a loan is approved through their system, they take a certain percentage as commission from the bank concerned.
Rumsan Money has loans, savings, and insurance options in their website where users can get information about interest rates and details of all the BFIs. Along with information on individual banks, Rumsan Money also allows users to compare different products among various BFIs and insurance companies.
Khadka claims that earlier there were no such platforms as Rumsan Money where one could compare the services and products of BFIs and insurance companies on the basis of their interest rates and benefits.
“Without any confusion and in-person visit to banks, users can actually compare the product they need and choose the one that is suitable for them,” says Khadka. Not only can they compare products, they can also directly apply for the loan or open accounts for deposits.
For now, they have been directly sending users’ information to the bank through emails and also writing emails to the users informing them that they have forwarded their information to the bank.
Khadka says that they are working on developing a fully automated Know Your Customer (KYC) system where users can update their KYC information. “And if one bank approves it, they can then submit the same KYC to other banks. This would solve the problem of users having to update their KYC frequently,” explains Khadka. The group is also attempting to make loan approvals digital. “Users then will not have to visit banks to submit the documents required for a loan approval. For this, we are holding meetings with the banks,” Khadka adds.
Rumsan Money also wants to develop itself as a platform to spread financial literacy through their learning resources. The section ‘resources’ allows users to get all the information on every product of each bank and insurance company. Along with this, they also write a weekly blog where people can get extra information.
Initially, the group found it a challenge to collect and maintain the relevant data as much of the information on the website of banks was not properly formatted. For example, he says that since there were no product descriptions on the website of many banks, they had to write it themselves. “Since we started by working on Google sheets, it also took some time due to the troublesome data collection process,” says Khadka.
With their product now fully launched, they are facing other kinds of challenges related to the market, such as creating a relationship with the banks. Khadka says, for example, that setting up a meeting with banks is a bit difficult.
The pandemic has led banks and financial institutions towards adopting digitisation. Although the digital market has grown a lot, Khadka says that people have not yet understood the value of digital platforms. He gives an example of how people still go to the market physically to buy things instead of getting it online. “People would rather check the price online and visit the market. People’s awareness and lack of trust in the digital system is still a challenge to overcome,” he says.
Nevertheless, Khadka believes that the area holds huge prospects. He says that since the government as well as private sector is working on developing the startup ecosystem, the opportunities are increasing.
“The government’s programmes and policies such as a startup fund and subsidiaries are commendable. This means that the government is also thinking about startups and working on creating a favourable environment. But, as is always the case, the implementation process should be strengthened,” he says.
In 2022, Rumsan Money plans to also integrate the information of the entire Class B (Development Banks) banks in their system. Further, they plan to integrate a block chain system and update the automatic KYC system. Through the block chain system, they aim to strengthen user data privacy and data security. Khadka informs that they have already started working on both these plans.