Banking on the right rates


InstaReM provides customers close to Live FX or InterBank rates, which would otherwise never be accessible to individual customers

Every time you send money back to India, you wonder why you have to pay so much for FX fees and charges. This same thought got two friends Prajit Nanu and Michael Bermingham to set up money remittance business InstaReM (Instant Remittance).

Prajit used to work in London and hated the fact that every month banks and money transfer operators give him an unfair FX rate whenever he wanted to transfer money to India. This got him thinking, and he spoke to Michael, a close friend who had spent 15 years of his corporate career with large FX providers. Over countless hours of brainstorming and few litres of beer, InstaReM was formed to provide customers close to Live FX or InterBank rates, which would otherwise never be accessible to individual customers and to process transactions with 24 hours of receipt of payment.

“People find banks the most trusted source for carrying out monetary transactions apart from a few popular money transfer portals. The reasons being obvious — they know their banks. What they don’t really know is that they end up paying too much in the name of FX fees,” says Prajit.

The two quit their jobs and started building InstaReM. The first market they wanted to bring InstaReM to was Australia, and so they applied for an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) in September 2014, which they got in November of the same year.

As customer experience was at the forefront, the IT platform was built from scratch, and after months of rigorous testing, InstaReM was launched in March 2015.

“When I wrote the business plan for InstaReM, I expected customers to first send $100 transfers to check how the platform works and build trust, and then send larger amounts. To everyone’s amazement the company’s first transaction was for $5,000. Since then, the growth has been phenomenal and InstaReM has been growing 100% month on month,” says Prajit.

As for the back end process for India transfers, they are powered by one of the largest banks in India. “The company is set to work with the bank to offer 24/7 payments including weekends from this July,” he adds.

InstaReM continues to evolve at a rapid pace and being a young company their ability to implement is much quicker than their competitors. For example, Prajit read on a Facebook group post that a customer had sent money through a leading money transfer operator and the money had not reached the beneficiary after eight days. He and Blaine Fabi, Regional Director for InstaReM based out of Australia, quickly crafted a 72 hour money return policy. In case money doesn’t reach the beneficiary in 72 hours, InstaReM will first refund the money and then carry out the investigations.

Buoyed by the success of this corridor, InstaReM is introducing new currencies in July which will include Phillipino Peso, Sri Lankan Rupees and Bangladeshi Taka.

Next time you want to make a transfer, visit to check what the LIVE FX rate is and make an informed decision.

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