- Respect Small Money (RSM) is a search app for small money investors, without sufficient financial knowledge, based in Korea.
- Financial institutions pay $2 per ‘match’ when a user clicks their product.
- The platform analyzes customer demographic data and delivers it to financial institutions.
ITKeyMedia asked the CEO at Respect Small Money Ernst LEE about the company and its plans for the future.
ITKM: Explain, what exactly Respect Small Money is?
Ernst LEE: Respect Small Money is a search app for financial products. However, it’s not a personal portfolio management platform that ‘recommends’ products. The major difference between the ‘recommendation’ app and the ‘search’ app is the ‘neutrality of information’. RSM just shows search results of neutral financial product information of each customer’s 6 conditions, while personal portfolio management puts the recommended product first.
RSM is a new financial product created to fill the chasm between financial institutions and small money investors.
The number one benefit we give financial institutions is promotion. Take an example. City bank funds cannot be advertised on TV commercials, either radio or newspapers. So that’s the fundamental problem of financial institutions. But we, as a startup, provide a platform for them where they can upload up to 10 strategic products to the waiting list. Once the product is matched with the target client, we charge financial institutions $2 per click.
First, an investor goes to the platform and answers six simple questions about amount, period, principal amount guarantee, deposit guarantee, expected return, tax benefit, maximum loss, etc. Then a relevant product pops up. When the user clicks the product, it means there is a ‘match’.
Do you have any strong competitors?
Not really. There is no direct competitor. Yet, the alternative competition exists such as personal portfolio management recommendation apps in the U.S. and Europe. But they are for those who have severe knowledge in financial products and are able to compare, analyze and decide.
Today, we charge just $2 per click, but more importantly, we provide a blockchain-based AI machine running data.
All the buzzwords.
No, actually we analyze a customer’s demographic appetite. Who is the person who clicked your product? What is the average amount? Maybe, it’s $300, $400. We analyze this data and deliver it to the financial institution for better-targeted marketing. So financial institutions get client CRM data for $2 per click.
It seems like a very ambitious plan. How many people are in your team right now?
Oh, we are five.
How many developers?
We are working together with 20 outsourcing developers and two guys in our office.
What would you have done differently in the first, say, half-year since the launch date?
The fintech companies are in two sectors. One is money remittance and the other is a payment solution that is extremely competitive, so we are uniquely positioned in-between to help financial consumers. We have met the chairmen of almost every major financial institution in Korea. And, we came to a consensus that this service can be synergistic for their business.
As soon as we finish the development, we will coordinate with the Korean financial institutions. But this model should also work in other parts of the world. For example, it should work in Japan and specifically in China.
We have already contacted alibaba.com and they found it a very good model.
Are you raising money at the moment?
Yes. Mostly from public funds and some private one strategic investors and accelerators. We’ve already spoken with SoftBank, and they showed interest.
‘RSM seems to be a promising marketplace. It understands that the online process has to be as simple and intuitive as booking your next holiday adventure. Their 6-question process is simple and friendly. Just moments after entering the required information, customers are presented with a selection of offers from various partners. Thanks to a clear layout, they can easily choose the one that suits them best. The app may fill the niche by giving its users better ways of investing their money, but it will need to find its sweet spot on the more and more competitive market,’ CEO of Bancovo.pl, a digital loan platform, Monika Charamsa told ITKeyMedia.
What’s your main goal right now?
Our goal is to attract 100,000 app users in Korea. So we don’t expect 1 million. It’s just 100,000 people. And, we assume that they are extremely busy and use our app just once per month, clicking one product. Surely, we show five products on the list, but they would probably click only one. If 100,000 people click once per month which brings us $2, the monthly income will be $200,000. Annually, it will be 2.4 million. That’s a minimum assumption.
To date, the company has sharpened the RSM mobile application and its related back-end/database side. The team begins to distribute a test app version to take functional tests. The beta version will be uploaded soon.
Speaking of the benefits for small money investors, it’s a cashback. Take an example, you signed a $400 product that can be a deposit or fund. Today, you don’t get paid anything for that, there’s no reward. But in our case, once you sign the $400 product, either deposit or whatever, with a Korean bank, we get a 1% fee. For instance, a sales fee is $4 per week. We take the half, and another half, $2, we send back to you in cash in appreciation for your data. This is a concept of blockchain. You control, you pay, you have the ownership of your information.