Priyo Pay, a Bangladeshi fintech company, is set to be launched officially in November, promising to transfer foreign currency earnings to freelancers' local bank accounts within five minutes.
While transforming the financial landscape for Bangladeshi freelancers, the service will reduce the need to rely on foreign platforms to repatriate remittances against small value service exports in non-physical form such as data entry, data process, off-shore IT service, business process outsourcing, its founder hopes.
Freelancers have long faced difficulties repatriating their earnings. Now, what they will need is an account with Priyo Pay to get their dollar earnings transferred to local bank accounts in real time. The user will receive a Mastercard for making foreign payments, Priyo Pay CEO Zakaria Swapan told The Business Standard.
"Priyo Pay also offers physical support centres to resolve any issues. The company is currently in beta version and plans to launch officially in November," he said.
Priyo Pay beta launched on 1 October, and around 3,000 customers have already signed up for the service.
Explaining the features of the service, Zakaria claimed the fintech innovation will provide a comprehensive suite of services that are on par with foreign payment processors such as Payoneer and Wise.
When asked who the users of Priyo Pay will be and how they will benefit from it, he said the company is initially targeting freelancers in Bangladesh, with plans to launch remittance services for wage earners in the future.
The entrepreneur emphasised that freelancers can resolve any issues through the company's local office in Bangladesh, eliminating the risk of their money getting stuck. If a transaction fails for any reason, freelancers can contact the local office for assistance. "In other words, customers' funds are completely safe with Priyo Pay," said Zakaria, who had 14 years of work experience in an IT company in Silicon Valley before starting his new venture in the digital payment sector.
Work began on this new service for freelancers a year and a half ago. Priyo Pay first established a digital bank in the USA, followed by a fintech service under the same name.
How to use the platform
To bring their dollar earnings to Bangladesh, freelancers must first open a Priyo Pay account with a passport or NID number. This account will be linked to the company's digital bank in the USA as well as the customer's phone number. When they open an account, a customer will receive a Mastercard that they can use to spend dollars anywhere in the world.
Opening an account is free, and customers can transfer dollars from their freelance accounts to their Priyo Pay accounts. Customers can transfer money in real time to any bank account of their choice.
Priyo Pay promises better dollar rate. The annual service charge is $24, but it will be refunded if a customer remits $2,000 or more in a year.
"Foreign service providers do not offer adequate support for this problem as they have no offices in Bangladesh. Additionally, freelancers struggle to bring money to the country in real time. Priyo Pay was created to address these challenges," the CEO said.
Currently, around 5 lakh Bangladeshi freelancers earn over $900 million annually, while the global freelance market is worth over $1 trillion.
With a plan to expand the remittance service to wherever there are expatriate Bangladeshis, Zakaria is optimistic about the future of freelancing in the country. "I believe Bangladeshi freelancers will earn billions of dollars annually in the next few years."