The CoinFlip team (image supplied).
Speaking to HumanIPO Musse Roble, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of CoinFling, which was set up in July 2011, said the platform was born out of his personal frustration with having to travel far to receive money transfers.
“We intentionally decided to launch with native mobile apps (Android and iPhone) because we wanted to design our whole system around the mobile experience,” he said.
“This is because the mobile phone is becoming the primary way people access services. So, our service is currently only available via smartphones... We expect to get a service running via our website in the next couple of months.”
The name CoinFling was inspired by the speed and ease of using its mobile applications and represents the speedy transfer - or flinging - of money from the user to their loved ones.
Roble, who spent most of his childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and is now based in the US, said he wanted to be able to do more with his smartphone.
“I had this powerful smartphone in my hand that can do everything except cook my dinner, and I still had to drive for miles to access my money transfer provider... The market is currently serviced by the big providers,” he said.
The “big providers” include Western Union and Moneygram together with smaller cash-based money transmitters.
Roble added: “Although the larger providers offered their service online, I preferred the smaller operators because of their competitive prices.
“The larger provider’s mobile option is not user friendly. So we set out to create a user friendly and price competitive service offering via mobile applications that also allowed you to transfer [money] to your loved ones’ mobile wallet like Airtel Money.”
Furthermore CoinFling is equipped to allow users to transfer money into a mobile wallet and a bank account.
CoinFling gives the receivers of transactions the opportunity to fetch the cash from any of CoinFling’s partner locations.
With regards to the challenges of setting CoinFling up, Roble said: “The regulations in the USA for money transmitters are very burdensome. Licenses are granted by each state and not the Federal government.”
Each American state has different rules and requirements.
Furthermore, he said banks are reluctant to open bank accounts for money transmitters due to the risk of money laundering.
CoinFling operates through mobile applications, but Roble said “the real magic” takes place on their backend system, which was built on Amazon’s cloud service.
“Most of the platform was developed in house, but as we got more funding, we hired a USA software development firm to help us build certain components of our backend. We outsources the development of the mobile applications to a firm outside of the USA,” concluded Roble.