InterviewsNewsFlashFX Talks Foreign Exchange and Blockchain

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Traditionally, transferring money overseas was a long, arduous, not always secure, and expensive process. Thanks to innovative tech, changes in global regulations and a much more competitive landscape, this is no longer the case.

Now you can send your money quickly, securely and track every step of the way. And, according to FlashFX, by using blockchain technology, you can get bank beating rates, a much more transparent process and no transaction fees too.

We spoke with Michael O’Sullivan and Nicolas Steiger, the founders of FlashFX, the Australian company that is using blockchain technology to provide a more efficient service and way to transfer your money.

“As local country barriers come down, there is continued growth of global migration and everyone becoming a citizen of the world. There will be a corresponding growth in international payments to match the growth of migration and expansion of businesses. The future is a world with frictionless international payments as consumers demand instant transfers, easy verification, high security, and transparent processes.”

Tell us about FlashFX?

FlashFX is a transparent international money transfer service that:

  • Is simple to set-up and use
  • Enables faster transactions
  • Gives you best value for your money.
  • Always innovative. Always fair. Always easy. No surprises.

Fundamentally, we would love a world with international frictionless payments. Correspondent banking is a convoluted network of banks’ agreements with layered counter-parties in order for money to move from A to B via multiple hops. FlashFX is redesigning the system to bypass all the middle layers and connect users in the network directly so that international payments are fast, trackable and cheaper. FlashFX will stay at the forefront of innovation and we aim to make international money transfers simple, safe and fair.

What drives your innovation?

We both had worked extensively in the banking industry, were frustrated by the limited choices available to an Australian consumer transferring money overseas. With the Aussie banks monopoly on the international money transfer market, consumers currently experience long time delays to receive money, high fees charged, uncompetitive exchange rates, and complicated processes.

With Michael’s extensive IT background and entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with my drive to create more efficient processes that work for the consumer, there was a clear opportunity to see how technology could be applied to improve the consumer’s experience positively when transferring money overseas.

Thus FlashFX was born. An innovative service that is underpinned by blockchain technology to integrate with global distributed ledger payments protocols, such as Ripple. FlashFX is able to provide the customer a faster, easy to use, transparent, cost efficient way to move money overseas.

FlashFX shows Australian consumers that there is another way.

Why blockchain?

FlashFX’s cloud based infrastructure integrated with blockchain technology (Ripple) provides a number of benefits for the customer including reduced time (for finding information and verifying transactions), decreased costs (for overhead and intermediaries), transparency (complete records of where each asset has been) and alleviated risk (of collusion, tampering and fraud).

FlashFX has been and is a strong supporter of pushing for regulation of digital currencies. CEO Nicolas, was a co-lead for the blockchain
committee for Fintech Australia. He is passionate to see this change to transpire so that the general population can gain greater trust of using
blockchain technology.

Cyber security is recognised as an ongoing threat across all industries. FlashFX believes that compliance is paramount to a legitimate digital
currency exchange business model. A strong compliance framework enables FlashFX to remain vigilant and will not accept any business sourced from or related to criminal activity.

Why is FlashFX different?

At FlashFX our mission is to be a transparent, highly competitive, and a trustworthy FX transfer platform with exceptional service. A platform that is technologically advanced through use of blockchain, automation, and cloud based services, a focus on making the complex simple, and a mindset to be nimble with the ability to integrate different protocols at speed. We want Australian consumers and businesses to be treated fairly and to make their life easier.

What changes do you see happening  in the industry over the next few year?

As local country barriers come down, there is continued growth of global migration and everyone becoming a citizen of the world. There will be a corresponding growth in international payments to match the growth of migration and expansion of businesses. The future is a world with frictionless international payments as consumers demand instant transfers, easy verification, high security, and transparent processes. FlashFX aims to deliver this via our use of Blockchain technology and our advanced tech platform, and deep industry experience with the regulatory aspects of payments.

The rise of the neo-banks in Australia will be a welcome arrival of new financial institutions that can be built from the ground up, with a new way of thinking and implementation of technology as well as service culture that will be more geared towards what the population is expecting from their bank. While initially a niche, we’d expect some of them to grab market share from the big four in years to come.

What’s next for FlashFX?

While FlashFX has been using the benefits of Ripple for the past 2 years for some payment corridors, we are working with Ripple to expand the
utilisation of their product suite and open new payment corridors, allowing us to uphold and expand our customer promise. FlashFX is a fully
licensed money service provider in Hong Kong, however we are not yet operational. The aim for 2019 to close this gap and expand operations.

Who is using blockchain to its potential?

There are many industries and companies that are exploring the benefits of blockchain globally, however, most still in relatively early stages of
commercialisation. In Australia, there are varying stages of proof of concept work and implementation to production across industries including
payments, logistics, and securities. We support all of these projects irrespective of the size of company or stage of development.

We see great benefit in the utilisation of a blockchain to either increase security, improve efficiency of processes, increase transparency and accessibility, and
enhance the ability to share information and data. It’s a process that will take time however we believe it will significantly & positively impact
Australia and the world in time to come.

 

Thank you, Nicolas and Michael for your insights into the market and keep innovating. We will check in again with you soon.

 

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Aisha Hillary-Morgan

Aisha Hillary-Morgan

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