May 19, 2017  By : Elena Mesropyan
MEDICI now! Startup Stories highlights the companies that are shaping the new financial technology industry. Keep an eye out each week for new stories! If you or someone you know should be highlighted, send us a note. Without further ado…
Company Name: Pangea Money Transfer
Name/Title: Nishu Thukral, CEO & President
Industry Segment: Remittance/money transfer
Target Markets: US, Latin America and (soon to be) Asia
LTP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Nishu Thukral: As the CEO & President of Pangea, I am leading our efforts to provide our customers a new simple, fair and easy way to send money home to their families. I have been in the payments industry a long time – with more than 15 years of experience as an operator, investor, advisor, and entrepreneur. I previously served as the head of payments strategy at Redbox and an investor at Susquehanna Growth Equity, a private equity group.
On a personal note I grew up outside the US; I am of Indian origin but grew up in the Middle East. The experience of leaving home in search of opportunity and then working to send money home is something that is very familiar and personal to me since that is the journey my family took. I know first-hand details about not only the current challenges that senders face but also am keenly aware of the opportunities that exist to improve that experience.
LTP: Give us a paragraph pitch of your company.
NT: Pangea is a remittance platform built for the mobile user. It allows users to send money from the US to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, and this summer we will be expanding our network to include countries in Asia. With a transparent and low, flat-fee structure, users can send money back to their family and friends using their mobile phone through an experience that is unmatched in our industry.
LTP: In a sentence or two, what problem are you solving today?
NT: Pangea is trying to change the slow and complicated process of sending or receiving remittances. The Pangea app makes it easier for users from the US to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in a few simple steps – all from the convenience of their mobile device.
LTP: Who are you selling to?
NT: We are providing a service to people who are tired of the hassle associated with sending their friends and families money in other countries. We understand that to our customers, time is money, and we empower our customers through our platform to make sure their loved ones have the funds they need quickly.
LTP: What’s the most important change coming to your segment in the next 3-5 years?
NT: The biggest challenge still facing the remittance industry is mobile. While other parts of the payments industry have been able to keep up with the rise of mobile payments, the remittance segment has traditionally lagged. In the next 3-5 years, the biggest change won’t just be the shift to a mobile-centric mentality but getting mobile right – seamlessly balancing user experience and security. Pangea is at the forefront of this push to serve the mobile-centric customer, as a vast majority of our existing customers access our platform through mobile devices.
LTP: What’s your next milestone?
NT: Pangea started with the mission of making money transfer simple, fair and safe. We are fiercely committed to our users and we always strive to help our users save time, money and ultimately improve their lives. We will be expanding that commitment as we begin to serve customers who need to send money to Asia in the coming months.
Bonus – User’s Choice Question!
LTP: What’s one thing you wish customers knew before a sales meeting?
NT: That we at Pangea are our customers. Many of us are immigrants; many use our service to send money to our own families. We all are trying to solve a problem that we are very familiar with. And we will work tirelessly to earn our customer’s trust. This to us is a mission – and not a job.
LTP: If you could change one thing that financial services people do incorrectly, what would that be?
NT: Traditionally financial service providers view their relationship with their customers as purely transactional. At Pangea, we are building an unparalleled experience for our customers – as a result, our relationship with our customers is much closer. It is this relationship that results in industry-leading loyalty rates and our customers continuing to return to us for their sending needs and then also referring their friends and family – something we are incredibly proud of.
LTP: Thank you, Nishu!
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Elena is a Market Research Analyst at LTP. She is a research professional with a background in social sciences and extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about technologies enabling financial inclusion for underprivileged and vulnerable groups of the population around the world.