Fintech & Ecommerce

Fintech Startup Surfin-Meta Actively Uses AI

Surfin-Meta startup, which is based in Singapore, aims to use the capabilities of artificial intelligence to provide services to people in developing countries who are facing a shortage of banking maintenance.

Fintech Startup Surfin-Meta Actively Uses AI

The mentioned company achieves success largely due to its inclusive vision of financial empowerment. The startup provides services in the spheres of lending, credit cards, payment remittance, and wealth management. The company’s activities are aimed at young individuals between the ages of 23 and 30. In this case, it means those potential consumers who have never had access to financial services.

Surfin-Meta currently serves more than 50 million registered users across nine markets.

Founder, chairman, and CEO of the company Yanan Wu says that the firm uses artificial intelligence to generate an initial credit score that will allow consumers to start their financial journey. When solving the corresponding task, the AI pays attention to the specifics of their behavior and activity on the Internet.

During a conversation with media representatives in Hong Kong, Yanan Wu said that his company is committed to riding the technological wave to bring down the barrier of equal access to finance for the wider population. According to him, in the coming decade, the firm intends to focus on rapid income growth in emerging markets, increased consumption, and the formation of a middle class.

Yanan Wu’s company predominantly uses social channels to gain consumers. In this case, such platforms as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok are borne in mind.

The company builds a user profile based on the Internet activity of the person. In this case, attention is drawn to the actions on social networks and the search history. The relevant information is used to produce the credit score.

Surfin was founded in 2017. Since then, the company has launched operations in nine markets, including Mexico, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Yanan Wu stated that the accumulated volume of transactions over the past six years amounted to more than $2.5 billion. Since 2021, the company has become profitable, delivering revenue growth of 50-60%. Yanan Wu stated that Surfin’s revenue exceeded $170 million last year. The company’s net profit for the mentioned period amounted to $20 million. This year Surfin intends to double the specified figure.

Currently, there is a rapid development of digital lending in Asia. The relevant tendency is especially relevant for emerging markets. It is worth noting that the process of rapid development of digital lending in Asia is observed against the background of high interest rates.

The results of a joint study by Temasek and Bain Capital indicate that the volume of virtual loans issued to consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises in Southeast Asia amounted to $60 billion in 2023, which is 26% higher than the indicator recorded in 2022. The mentioned figure is expected to increase by 400% to $300 billion by the end of the current decade.

Traditional financial companies are also starting to use digital services more actively to retain users. Against the background of these efforts, there is an increase in competition. The mentioned study notes that there is currently a struggle for the survival of the strongest among financial companies engaged in so-called pure-play.

Yanan Wu says that Surfin is focused on building long-term relationships with customers. According to him, lending is the beginning of the journey for users. He noted that Surfin is currently working to expand its ecosystem of other financial services.

The company currently underwrites its loan book from its own capital and could tolerate a delinquency rate of as much as 20% at the current stage of expansion. This was stated by Yanan Wu, noting that non-performing loans remain in control as the fintech focuses on credit management.

Surfin raised $10 million in debt capital from Europe. The company also plans to secure another $20 million from Asian investors this year. Moreover, Yanan Wu stated that Surfin is nearing the completion of a $20 million round of raising investments led by Singapore venture funds. He also talked about the desire to turn the company into a regional powerhouse of digital banking in the next three to five years. Moreover, Yanan Wu is committed to making Surfin inclusive, scalable, and sustainable by using artificial intelligence algorithms to interact with customers and meet their needs. In his opinion, prompt-driven financial services will allow consumers to feel more equal and valued.

It is worth noting that during the period of active integration of artificial intelligence into many spheres of activity and workflows, the issue of cybersecurity is of particular importance. It is worth noting that scammers also have access to AI, which is why their operations are becoming more sophisticated. In these realities, user awareness is important. For example, a query in an Internet search system, such as how to know if my camera is hacked, will allow anyone to get information about signs of unauthorized access to the device. Digital literacy is also a tool for countering cybercrime.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.