Money is a huge issue for everybody, regardless of age. If food and shelter are our basic human needs, then money is almost like the basic of our basic human needs. Just recently in Malaysia, Mohd Adnan Anan Abdullah, the head of the education division of the Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) said that a starting salary of RM2,500 is sufficient for graduates as long as they know how to manage their finances properly and “live within their means”.
Do we really just need a good method of saving and keeping track of our expenses to make full use of RM2,500? If that is the case, then we need a good platform for us to learn how to make the most of our income. And it turns out that we DO have one: Malaysian-based website, iMoney.
Vulcan Post had the opportunity to chat with the Chief Operating Officer of iMoney about how it came to be, his advice for entrepreneurs in the industry and the outlook for Malaysians in the startup industry.
From The Famous Lyrics Of Avril Lavigne
“Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?”
Most startups all have one common root, the entrepreneur notices a problem, and then actively seek to find a solution to overcome that particular problem.
In 2012, Ching Wei returned to Malaysia after being away from home for 8 years. Being a returning citizen, he had to do the things that many people take for granted – that includes getting a bank account and a credit card. Throughout that process, comparing and applying for the most suitable bank became a difficult and complicated process for Ching Wei.
In comparison to Australia, Malaysia had no available sites that were dedicated to using the Internet to solve problems that exist in the local context. Ching Wei mentioned that in Australia, many simple things could be done via the leading private health insurance comparison website, iSelect. And thus, this convenience prompted him to create iMoney.
The Root Of Success Is Knowledge And Initiative
According to an interview in 2013, Ching Wei’s interest in technology and startups began back when he was still pursuing his studies in Commerce. He admitted that when he was in the United States, he closely followed the startup scene before he started several web-businesses of his own.
For example, he was in university, he noticed that parking was an issue with the working class adults and they usually had to pay more just for parking. So with that problem in mind, he went on to create a parking rental service. How’s that for problem-solving skills?
Financial Decisions Made Easy
iMoney is a site that is not as complicated as it looks. The site is dedicated to providing users with information to make financial decisions if you are searching for a suitable bank for your needs, or if you are simply helping someone out with their financial problems.
One thing to note is that iMoney isn’t just about searching for the best bank, the site offers detailed comparisons for home loans, credit cards, personal loans, fixed deposits, car insurance, mobile plans and unit trusts, all these helpful data with just a click of a button.
Wait, Why Can’t I Just Go To A Bank Directly?
You see, the problem is that every single bank promotes their cards to be the best and they will always say that their products are better than others. How then are we, as the consumer, supposed to know which service or product is really most suited for us?
iMoney serves users better by keeping consumers up-to-date with the latest on various financial products being offered. Users can browse every available card on the market and then make a fully informed decision to select a card that best matches their personal needs. Also, instead of applying for the card via a sales representative, iMoney will handle the application process for you to get your desired credit card.
A Win-Win Situation For iMoney And Banks
The iMoney team finds that banks generally struggle to keep up with the rapid changes that are happening with the constant rise of technology and it is getting increasingly difficult to meet the requirements of consumers. It can be both time consuming and expensive for the bank to put innovation first. And this is where iMoney steps in.
With iMoney’s strong team of ex-bankers, the banking industry finds it simpler when transitioning from a more traditional approach of operations, to a flexible and consumer-centric approach.
According to Ching Wei, it isn’t very hard at all for iMoney to connect and partner with the banking industry. After all, banks are all about numbers, and by demonstrating via the numbers generated on their website traffic to prove that the startup is bringing them more customers, banks will be able to see the benefits of signing up with iMoney. Ching Wei recognises that Malaysia is a good place for iMoney to grow because there are over 50 financial partners in the market and a big chunk of them are right here in Malaysia.
“Save And Plan For Your Retirement Early!”
Generation Y’s may have their reasons for not saving as much as their parents have, but without a doubt, money is always a problem and a constant worry. Ching Wei is obviously very aware of this issue and therefore a lot of articles on iMoney are specially focused at the these very people. It’s all about context of financial planning and management being brought to their level so that they can reap the benefits from this.
Ching Wei’s best advice is, “Save and plan for your retirement early!” He explained wisely that we don’t have the same financial opportunities as our parents once did. “Financially, times are tougher; but if you pay attention to it (and take our advice) we’re pretty sure you’ll be just fine,” he added.
And what advice is he referring to? Well, iMoney caters to students too with their learning center where they target different aspects of saving and investing. These guides can be very valuable for students to learn how to manage their finances at an early stage so that they are more financially educated when they begin their first job as a fresh graduate.
Good News, Malaysian Startups
“In Malaysia, we’ve seen a huge leap forward in the entrepreneur support structure, with the likes of Government /Government-linked bodies all aligned to help grow the startup ecosystem (e.g. MaGIC, Cradle, MDec, Startup Malaysia, etc.). There have also been a couple of recent Malaysian success stories such as MyTeksi, PiktoChart, iCar /iProperty, and more,” he added optimistically about the future of Malaysian startups.
Ching Wei’s relaxed, happy, and determined character perhaps is his strong suit. And in the journey of entrepreneurship, he had to put in a lot of hard work and determination in his business. “I’d encourage more young people to follow and pursue their passion in entrepreneurship. Life is short; there’s no better time to start doing what you love,” he encouraged.
Life is short. If you’re not doing something you enjoy or love every day, you’re not doing yourself justice.
— Ching Wei, CEO of iMoney
This article part of a series of collaborative articles between Vulcan Post and Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MaGIC), to showcase successful and innovative startups from Malaysia. For more information about the Malaysian startup scene, please visit MaGIC at http://www.mymagic.my.