Fourex, which was established four years ago to provide travellers returning from foreign trips with an innovative way to exchange their foreign currency is set for further expansion including into African markets, according to its chief executive Anthony Rice.
Fourex, which was developed by South Africans, has opened its second round of crowdfunding to raise R16.3 million and is inviting South Africans to participate.
Fourex’s revenue has grown by 175 percent in two years, reaching £1.98 milion (about R36m).
Fourex provides self-service kiosks for exchanging 150 currencies in coins and notes.
They have 67 locations, and are planning to roll out throughout the UK and internationally.
Fourex plans to be the interface between cash and digital.
Rice said in a telephone interview yesterday that the firm received a strong response and participation from South Africans in 2015 through the crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, which is why it is again reaching out to the country to participate in the next round.
“We expect to maintain our high rate of growth. We are expanding our reach across the UK and will accelerate our plans to move into international markets. New digital conversion options are on the cards, and this expansion will drive revenue.
“Fourex will become the primary self-service interface between cash and digital money,” said Rice.
He added that Fourex would probably launch in South Africa in the next three years, because South Africa and African markets have a huge attraction for it. “The innovation that you see with regard to mobile payments and options of self-service for both banked and unbanked populations in Africa is the perfect fit for our solution.
“We are very innovative in the foreign-exchange experience, using our self-service kiosks,” said Rice.
The firm’s future is for those kiosks to be an interbank for withdrawing cash and putting cash into mobile-payment banking solutions, which currently is not possible with an ATM, as the ATM is simply a connection between the bank and the customer, he pointed out.
That option will give people the ability to transfer money, pay money into their accounts, and exchange money with cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions, Rice said.
“That is very much our future, after seeing the attraction and because of the innovation of what we see in South Africa, and it being a massive part of our future,” said Rice.
He said Fourex sees the future of its kiosks being that one cash interface.
“Some travellers are buying currency online but they will still need to collect the currency from somewhere. Our kiosks being prolific will give everyone a solution with which they can do that very simply in a simple and easy to use user-experience is what we currently offer. That we believe is in exactly the right locations where we need them, such as international airports and other high-foot traveller locations,” said Rice.
He added that the firm did research through Deloitte’s a few years ago and found that in the UK there was about £3bn in foreign currency lying around in people’s drawers at home, with them not knowing what to do with it.
Rice said research showed that £2.5bn in leftover foreign currency returns to the UK each year.
Fourex provides customers with a convenient way to cash in all their leftover foreign currency instantly, regardless of the denomination.
Fourex has expanded from 10 locations at the beginning of last year to 67 locations, and plans to have 80 sites live by the end of the year.
The kiosks can process 300 coins a minute without the customer needing to separate them, with their high-speed image-recognition technology and a database of more than one million reference points, they can exchange both coins and notes in the same transaction using a real-time pricing solution.
To allow customers increased flexibility to transfer between their physical and digital wallets, Fourex will implement the next phase on innovations with their latest fundraising initiative.
An online currency pre-order and option will make it possible to credit or withdraw using a digital wallet in a simple and engaging way, which will give the customer freedom to process, pay and deposit their foreign and domestic currency conveniently and safely.
Fourex is open to investment from South Africa through Crowdcube.
The mainly South African board with extensive entrepreneurial and global expansion experience includes founder Oliver du Toit, Susi du Toit, Larry Lipschitz, Brett Dawson, Hugh Bauer and Chris Ball.