WHY NOT TRANSFORM AN INDUSTRY?
Why not transform the financial industry in Indonesia? Inspired by his friends, who were losing money in international transaction fees, Moses knew there had to be another way. At the end of his studies, Moses wasted no time in applying his innovative flair to a new initiative, Xendit, a peer-to-peer mobile payment service for Indonesia. With plans to expand to Southeast Asia, Moses’s entrepreneurial imagination and professional pragmatism saw him named in
Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in Finance and Venture Capital.
Moses Lo left Malaysia for a new life in Australia at the age of seven. It would be another 20 years before Moses would return to live and work in Asia, securing his place on the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in Finance and Venture Capital listing, and transforming an industry in the process.
Moses is the founder and CEO of Xendit, a P2P mobile payment service for Indonesia, with expansion plans for Southeast Asia. It was an idea hatched at UNSW during his Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Information Systems and Technology Management.
Living on campus at UNSW, Moses made friends with students from around the world who were frustrated that money sent to and from their families would be lost in transaction fees. Moses knew there had to be a better way.
'In an age where money is just numbers on a database, it doesn’t make sense that sending funds is so expensive,' Moses says. 'That discrepancy ignited my passion for financial technology.'
This passion would eventually lead him to create Xendit, a platform where friends and family can send and request money across different banks, instantly, for free. Currently used in Indonesia, Xendit is expected to expand across Southeast Asia where some of the most interesting challenges are emerging in financial services, according to Moses.
'Indonesia has lots of technology, yet financial services are really nascent,' Moses says. 'Bank account penetration is only 60% and credit card penetration is only 3%. There are lots of exciting opportunities ahead.'
Moses recognises that UNSW Business School is a hothouse for this kind of innovative thinking that encourages students to challenge conventions.
'I was always encouraged to think creatively to find business solutions,' Moses says. 'UNSW Business School taught me to always look for ways to make things better by simply approaching them from a new angle.'
While at UNSW, Moses prepared for the realities of business, participating in UNSW’s Co-op program, a career development scholarship incorporating industry experience, leadership and professional development.
'The Co-op program was really valuable because I did three real-life internships at three different companies, giving me a competitive advantage heading into the workforce,' he says.
At the completion of his studies, Moses wasted no time in applying his business acumen and entrepreneurial flair to a range of new initiatives. Whilst working at BCG, he started a company called Make My Suit, creating tailor-made suits for graduating students, which is now a mature menswear business called Barker Bespoke. He also travelled to the United States to study an MBA at Berkeley. He would later secure a coveted place at Y Combinator where he would be pitching ideas to Silicon Valley’s best venture capitalists. Here he participated in a challenging incubator program for start-ups which would test his entrepreneurial resilience. It was tough, but he survived, and Xendit was created.
Moses is now based in Jakarta, with Xendit focused on Indonesia. According to Moses, it is a dynamic time to be based in Asia.
'Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region in the world GDP-wise, and more than 50% of ASEAN GDP is right here in Indonesia. The financial services opportunities are really interesting here.'
'Xendit's mission is to provide financial services for the millennial generation of Indonesians. Right now that looks like peer-to-peer payments. In the future that could be numerous other things depending on what our users want.'
Moses's entrepreneurial imagination and professional pragmatism will see this Forbes Asia 30 under 30 visionary transform an industry.