Mobile payment transactions in China will reach 9 trillion yuan, according to an Internet Society of China (ISC) report. A startup based in Hong Kong wants to be a part of this huge opportunity and is all set to expand to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.
Mobexo offers a customizable system of pre-payment, payment, and post-payment services. The Mobexo mobile payment e-wallet is a free app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which allows two parties to transfer funds without the need of additional devices. The app enables users to pay online or at physical shops, restaurants and bars. At the time of payment, users can earn points on their preferred merchants’ loyalty card and redeem promotional deals. Unlike credit cards or cash, Mobexo allows merchants to accept funds from customers without requiring them to give out their personal banking information.
The Mobexo web portal allows merchants to setup and customize their services according to their business-specific needs. The basic services are freely accessible and are monetized on a volume basis. Advanced services are accessible on a subscription basis.
Mobexo aims to be a one-stop-shop financial and added-value services provider for online and SME retailers. After 3.5 years of R&D in France and Vietnam, Sopheap Lao moved to Hong Kong in May 2013 to launch Mobexo’s commercial operations, targeting 10,000+ users and 2,000+ merchants by Q1 2014. Sopheap Lao was born in Chinese-Cambodian-Vietnamese family and was educated in France, he has worked in MNOs for the last 16 years in over 10 countries.
Mobexo is currently operating in Hong Kong and Vietnam. There are about 50 merchants in HK and 70 merchants in Vietnam with over 2600+ downloads of the app from going live around May-June 2013, the startup claims. Mobexo has raised 1.8M USD till date.
From a Paris café to Hong Kong and Vietnam: Founding of ‘Mobile Exchange Organization’
Sopheap had the idea of Mobexo back in 2009 while listening to music on his iPhone at a café in Paris. When the bill came, Sopheap realized that he forgot his wallet and thought how great it would be if he could select a payment card like he selected an album with the iTunes coverflow and use it to pay for his drink just like when he pressed on the play button to listen to songs. That was how Mobexo or Mobile Exchange Organization was born.
Headquartered in Hong Kong; Technical Development Office in Vietnam
Sopheap: We are headquartered in Hong Kong because it is one of the most fast-paced and freest economies and in the world, and is the ideal place to start a finance business. Finding the right talent and cost-effective workspace are the reasons we have our own technical development office in Vietnam.
We can also leverage on two ecosystems – one is a developed finance and commerce-focused city and the other is a developing country, where the majority is unbanked but have a mobile phone. Our goal is to showcase the versatility of our platform and how it can adapt to any merchant’s growing needs from the smallest to the biggest in any location in the world.
Mobexo’s plans for Mainland China
They are currently signing strategic financial and non-financial partnerships in Mainland China to enter as joint programs with other major companies. One of such partners is one of the most important banks in China. They are starting in 3 areas as few of their partners are based there: Southern China, developing from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou; Northern China in Beijing and Shanghai.
Mobexo’s retail partnerships so far
Sopheap Lao : In terms of retail establishments, we have signed up The Studio, a boutique mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong where the merchants are using Mobexo as their payment gateway today. Last Saturday, we helped Miss Beauty open their new shop in TST and helped their customers to sign up and use Mobexo.
Plans going ahead
Sopheap Lao : Starting mid-January, we will be rolling out our membership program which will allow merchants to create custom membership to their shop. They will be able to customize the look, what sort of benefit or rewards and how many levels there are.