Juris Technologies (JurisTech), a leading Malaysia-based fintech has announced its acquisition of iMoney, a Malaysian personal finance company. As the terms of the acquisition were not revealed in the announcement, JurisTech acquired iMoney for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2012, iMoney is a leading personal finance company in Malaysia. The platform enables consumers to learn about personal finance matters. In addition, they can compare and apply for financial and utility products.
With a mission to empower Malaysians to make smart financial decisions, iMoney is working with financial services providers including banks, government organisations, fintech start-ups to educate Malaysians on personal finance. Till now, iMoney has worked with over 50 partners and executed a variety of effective multichannel campaigns aimed at engaging the consumers in personal finance. Furthermore, the fintech start-up is constantly innovating financial tools like iMoney CreditScore to help consumers make more informed money related decisions.
iMoney’s websites and services are leveraged by millions of consumers in Malaysia. Since its inception, iMoney Learning Centre has become the household guide for consumers to educate themselves on personal finance. Additionally, it also serves as a platform for some of the largest banks, insurance companies, takaful operators and government bodies, to reach consumers and educate them on money management and financial products.
Lee Ching Wei, founder and CEO of iMoney, said that consumers deserve to understand and learn more about financial products before applying or investing in them. “By offering financial marketing services to our partners, we are able to make a bigger impact in educating Malaysians on banking and financial products,” added Lee.
iMoney gives access to a multi-function online platform which contains up-to-date, unbiased information for all of the banking products and services in Malaysia. It was conceived based as iMoney believes that no one should fall victim to making a choice they’d regret when it comes to banking products. The meticulous manual process involves systematically collating and analysing the latest data from over 200 credit cards, 300 savings accounts, 500 loan packages and thousands of investment products in the market and breaking down the complicated banking rules and regulations and perplexing financial terms.
Overall, iMoney is a financial comparison website that helps consumers to make quick, well-informed decisions for all banking products and services in the market. It offers a gateway to help people save time and money by being able to instantaneously make the best decisions when choosing from the enormous range of financial products available in Malaysia. The aim is that decisions will benefit the consumers and not just the banks.
JurisTech is a fintech company that specialises in enterprise-class software solutions for banks, financial institutions, insurance providers, and telecommunications companies. It has running operations in Malaysia, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Founded in 1997 amidst the Asian financial crisis, JurisTech’s contributions and drive to revolutionise the financial industry in Malaysia has won numerous awards like Best Innovation and Best Use of Technology from Star Outstanding Business Awards. The main driver of the company’s growth, success, and achievements is the motto, “The right software, exceptionally delivered”.
From the founders
See Wai Hun, Co-founder and CEO of JurisTech explained that as the world is heading towards digital banking, banking is no longer just a transactional business but also an end-to-end experience for consumers.
“We are delighted to have iMoney join us in our journey to expand our innovation by offering beyond just enterprise solutions to our clients. We are now poised to bring more value by offering a more holistic end-to-end solution to our clients. From marketing to consumers, onboarding consumers digitally, providing immediate decisioning through Artificial Intelligence and straight-through processing, JurisTech and iMoney will help elevate and shape the future of the financial services industry,” said Wai Hun.
Lee Ching Wei, Founder of iMoney commented on the incredible and satisfying journey in the past eight years empowering consumers to make intelligent decisions on money matters.
“We are proud that our team has grown and expanded our expertise to help our partners in the banking and finance industry to collaboratively educate consumers in their personal finance. Now, as part of JurisTech, we are excited to bring more enhanced capabilities to our clients and continue to serve our customers with impactful content and services. With the technology capabilities of JurisTech, we can now provide a better experience to consumers including more refined product matching capabilities and improve customer journey to make applying financial products easier,” said Lee.
Benefits of the acquisition
Wai Hun explained that iMoney is already a well-known brand in lifting the financial well-being of Malaysians. Therefore, “by bringing the two businesses together gives us a fantastic platform to offer complete solutions for both B2B and B2C partners in the finance and banking industry. The iMoney and JurisTech teams are already working closely together and sharing their expertise in technology and financial services marketing,” said Wai Hun.
Commenting on the combined strengths the combined entities can offer customers, Wai Hun said, “We are now poised to bring more value by offering a more holistic end-to-end solution to our clients. From marketing to consumers, onboarding consumers digitally, providing immediate decisioning through Artificial Intelligence and straight-through processing, JurisTech and iMoney will help elevate and shape the future of the financial services industry.”
Lee also added to explain the advantages of the partnership. “We realise our consumers deserve to understand and learn more about any financial products before applying or investing in them. By offering financial marketing services to our partners, we are able to make a bigger impact in educating Malaysians on banking and financial products,” said Lee.
Furthermore, faster loan approvals and accurate matching of the right financial products can only be achieved with superior technology coupled with consumer know-how. Therefore, the partnership of the two companies will transform and revolutionise the financial services industry.
What led to the acquisition?
iMoney’s initial shareholder, Australian-based iSelect, announced that it had sold its majority 84.3% stake back to Lee for a nominal sum
iSelect, an Australian Securities Exchange-listed company, sold its investment in iMoney to Lee for a nominal value. iSelect was iMoney’s majority shareholder with a 84.3% stake in the company. It acquired its stake in iMoney for an initial US$ 3.1M (RM 13M) in 2017.
In a statement, iSelect said the sale took place after a deal with interested parties did not result in a transaction due to the economic uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Despite iMoney’s potential, it became clear that the capital investment needed to continue to support that business was no longer aligned with iSelect’s strategy,” said iSelect.
Brodie Arnhold, CEO of iSelect CEO, said, “Our strategy is to focus and reinvest in our core iSelect business. This decision regarding iMoney will stem the losses that this business was incurring, delivering a positive result for iSelect’s reported EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) and an improvement in the free cash flow.
“Combined with expected positive cash inflows from working capital, the sale of iMoney will help create growth opportunities for iSelect. It will enable us to refocus on our core capabilities centred around delivering our customers real value in their buying decisions,” Arnhold added.
Finally, Lee Ching Wei found a buyer, JurisTech, willing to look long term and invest in the company till it becomes profitable.
About iMoney’s founder
iMoney was co-founded by Lee Ching Wei and Bruno Araujo. Lee is currently the executive director and CEO, however, Araujo left the firm as the COO in 2017 after iSelect’s sale.
Prior to iMoney, Lee completed a bachelor of commerce, majoring in finance and accounting. He worked as a financial advisor as his first job out of university, where he advised high net worth clients on personal financing. After a year, Lee started offering investment advice to clients with large pension funds ranging from US$ 50M0 to US$ 30B. Then, he completed two prestigious professional qualifications, the CFA and CAIA charter holder.
Ching’s first venture was a “parking rental” service. Essentially, the start-up rented from students at a low price, and re-rented to working adults at a higher price.
About JurisTech’s founder
See Wai Hun co-founded JurisTech in 1997, smack in the middle of the Asian Financial crisis when the country’s overnight rate rose from 8% to 40%. Wai Hun secured her first deal with a large multi-national bank to provide a crucial recovery solution for the Bank during this crisis.
Holding a degree in Business Computing from University of Winnipeg with Gold Medal honours, Wai Hun started her career in Ernst & Young in consulting and implementation of enterprise systems.
With passion for product innovation and zeal for culture building, Wai Hun is constantly scaling new heights for Juris. “When Wai Hun is in the room, you can feel the energy and vibrancy that bubbles up from her!” – this remark was made by a programmer years ago and echoed by all Jurisians who have worked with her.
Recently, Wai Hun was named EY Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 in Malaysia. Furthermore, she was awarded an Outstanding Achievement award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category at the annual Star Outstanding Business Awards.
iMoney started out offering advertising on its website and other digital assets and content marketing services to its partners, but due to demand from its partners, it extended its offerings to financial services marketing. These services include brand and marketing campaigns, creative services, digital marketing content marketing, and social media campaigns.
Coming from a more advanced country like Australia, Lee was used to web-based solutions for simple things like opening a bank account and applying for a credit card. While there were many such websites in Australia, Lee noticed how big a problem Malaysians are facing in comparing and identifying the best financial products for them. This was really the spark of the idea behind iMoney. After a couple of meet ups with Bruno, and some desktop research, it was clear Malaysia could use an independent, consumer-centric financial comparison website. Therefore, iMoney was officially born in June 2012.
Juris Technologies’ Competitors
- R Systems: A technology and analytics services company that provides AI-driven solutions to clients across industries
- GameChange Solutions: A fintech company focused on creating technology solutions for financial institutions.
- SBDA Group: A provider of customizable software solutions for banking, retail and industrial sectors.
- Feedstock: A fintech company that designs and develops AI-driven software solutions to satisfy compliance and commercial use-cases.
Fintech in Malaysia
In Malaysia, where annual economic growth has averaged under 5% over the past 5 years, fintech is becoming a part of everyday life. It is rapidly becoming a central part of the country’s financial sector, with immense potential for expansion.
With Malaysia’s growing middle class, high mobile phone penetration rates, and strong government support for the digital economy, it can take advantage of fintech innovation. From mobile wallets and electronic payments, to crowdfunding and insurtech (insurance and technology), Malaysian businesses and consumers are ready to embrace the technology.
The most commonly used forms of fintech in Malaysia are digital payments and mobile wallets, followed by insurtech, lending, digital remittances, blockchain, crowdfunding, electronic Know-Your-Customer processes, and other forms of financial technology. In 2019, there were 200 start-ups in Malaysia focussing fintech areas like payments, lending, and blockchain.
On one hand, fintech products offered by traditional financial institutions are expanding. However, this is leading to the number of physical commercial bank branches and automated teller machines declining over the last two years. Traditional Malaysian banks continue to dominate in deposits, lending, and raising capital while, at the same time, adopting new technologies and either competing or collaborating with new tech start-ups.
Malaysia has been a leader on regulations to ensure that the financial system remains safe amid the possibility of cybersecurity incidents. Well aware that cyberattacks can undercut customer confidence and inflict widespread damage, Malaysian banks and regulators list cybersecurity among their issues of top concern.
In Malaysia, the main challenge that fintechs face, among the universal concerns around safety, is the shortage of talent in key tech areas like data analytics and machine learning, regulatory burdens, and access to funding. Young entrepreneurs and developers will need an extra push to start investing in Malaysia’s start-ups. However, as the government is so involved and aims to see Malaysia as a local fintech leader, there are upcoming policies and initiatives that encourage the young talent to put time and effort into these campaigns and projects to help boost the industry.
Investocracy, a company focused on connecting startups from emerging markets with Japanese investors, produced this article.
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