Singapore/Jakarta, 4 March 2021 – PAYFAZZ, Indonesia’s leading fintech providing financial and payment services through agents today announced its strategic investment of US$30 million in Xfers, a Singapore-based fintech providing financial access to businesses via its strongly-built payments infrastructure across Southeast Asia. Following this agreement, both firms will be part of a newly-formed financial entity Fazz Financial Group (FFG) to oversee the combined mission of providing inclusion through financial services across Southeast Asia. Most recently, PAYFAZZ announced a Series B fundraise of US$53 million led by B Capital and Insignia Ventures Partners, with participation from Tiger Global, Y Combinator, ACE & Company and BRI Ventures. Both companies will continue retaining their respective names whilst operating under the new financial entity.
This marks one of the first cross-border transactions between two fintech startups in Southeast Asia who are also graduates of the Y Combinator accelerator programme. FFG has appointed Hendra Kwik, Co-Founder and CEO of PAYFAZZ as Group CEO to drive the concerted direction from both firms. Joining him as the Group’s Deputy CEO is Tianwei Liu, Co-Founder and CEO of Xfers. The two will continue as CEOs of their respective companies. The Group has also appointed Robert Polana, former-CFO of Tiket.com as Chief Financial Officer.
PAYFAZZ is one of several tech startups focused on solving the lack of financial access by finding innovative ways to give more Indonesians access to financial services. The firm currently operates the largest agent-driven banking network with more than 250,000 registered agents.
Hendra Kwik, Group CEO of Fazz Financial Group, said, “Leveraging PAYFAZZ’s vast local Indonesia network and Xfers’ robust payments infrastructure in the region, it was a natural next step for both firms to band together and work towards a common goal. With the newly-formed FFG group, our team will be broadening the combined capabilities to accelerate inclusion through financial services in Southeast Asia.”
With this investment, Xfers will serve as the designated business-to-business (B2B) arm of FFG – focussed on connecting external merchants to the payment infrastructure and user network amassed by FFG as a group. In Indonesia, Xfers currently connects businesses to a range of payment methods that includes bank transfer, e-wallet and offline channels such as agent banking networks and convenience stores.
Since 2020, Xfers has been building up its position to enable agent banking networks (a.k.a. mom-and-pop shops or more commonly known as warung networks in Indonesia) to facilitate digital payments. Through PAYFAZZ and other agent banking networks as its clients, Xfers has amassed access to over 10 million underbanked consumers in Indonesia.
Tianwei Liu, Deputy CEO of Fazz Financial Group said, “We are thrilled to further deepen our partnership with PAYFAZZ, and for Xfers’ new role as the B2B and regional arm of Fazz Financial Group. With more resources on hand, we are also looking forward to helping more brands enter Southeast Asia. Especially for businesses looking to access the underserved consumer segment in Indonesia.”
In spite of Southeast Asia’s recent growth in financial inclusion, a high percentage of the population in the region still do not have access to basic financial services. According to Fitch Ratings1, Southeast Asia is home to an unbanked population of about 290 million. Although digitally-driven financial inclusion is prevalent in some countries in Southeast Asia, the untapped potential across the region remains enormous.
In the second quarter of the year, FFG will be focused on strengthening its infrastructure and product offerings. The group will also be looking to launch two new products namely:
- A zero-integration payment solution targeted at Singapore-based merchants
- A single-integration solution to connect brands and FinTechs looking to enter Southeast Asia with the local payment methods of the region, with the additional support of reaching out to the underbanked consumers in the region.
This investment will further propel fintech leadership of both PAYFAZZ and Xfers in their respective markets and regionally – as they band together to provide more collaborative services across Southeast Asia. Fazz Financial Group will have a well-rounded strength in enabling inclusion through its offering of financial services across Southeast Asia. Tapping on Xfers’ strong background in payments infrastructure, regulatory compliance and technology stack, the investment will equip PAYFAZZ in providing access to a larger network of payments, fintech and financial services in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. ***