ZUU Exclusive Interview with Maxim Chernuschenko, Founder & CEO at Cashwagon
Fast growing fintech startup, Cashwagon is revolutionising the consumer financing industry in Southeast Asia, by providing access to financing for the underbanked in Asia.
ZUU online Singapore had the opportunity to learn more about it from Cashwagon’s founder and CEO, Maxim Chernuschenko.
Tell me more about yourself and how you came to found Cashwagon.
I’ve been in the finance industry for over 20 years now, having worked for multiple banks globally, and just before Cashwagon, I was at Vietnam’s largest point-of-sale company – Consumer Finance Division of Vietnam Prosperity Joint-Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank), which was where I realized that there was a huge market being underserved, the underbanked in Asia.
I believe that when people have easy access to financing, families and communities are healthier, happier and better positioned to succeed. However, the reality is that 80% of South-East Asians are excluded and underserved by traditional financial services. To create greater accessibility, I started out Cashwagon to connect people with the financial services they’ve been looking for.
What gap does Cashwagon aim to fill?
We are closing the financial inclusion gap. Our products are tailored for the consumers underserved by traditional financial institutions. This includes traditional consumer finance products, investment products – all carefully tailored to provide fair and transparent solutions. We offer an innovative approach to help our customers meet their financial needs.
Our retail customers are financially underserved South-East Asians, who are underserved and ‘turned away’ by traditional financial institutions. They are also people who require fast, easy and simple access to conventional financial products delivered in an alternative digital way. These are local people of various professions, social statuses and age.
What are some unique features of the platform?
Our platform is intuitive and easy to use – we use the latest innovations in digital security and our platform is equipped with machine learning and anti-fraud capabilities. Apart from being intuitive and easy to use, we are the fastest in application processing. The turnaround time from application to credit is only few minutes (less than 3 minutes in Indonesia) which is a relief to users experiencing financial challenges and who do not and cannot wait for anything.
Our digital platform is built upon a seamless end-to-end automation system that leverages advanced A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and Big Data capabilities.
Our intuitive touchpoints, across all communication channels, incorporate smart UX coupled with simple functional and human-centred design provide the ease of filling applications and accessing safe financial solutions with transparent conditions.
What also differentiates us from other players is our commitment to building long-term relationships with consumers. We work together to achieve their financial goals.
What is Cashwagon’s geographical reach now, and where do you intend to expand to next?
We have active partnerships in five South-East Asian countries: Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia. Cashwagon is set to expand into India in the second half of 2019.
Since 2017 till date, Cashwagon’s partners have processed more than 2,700,000 loans valued at US$230,000,000 to near 1 million unique customers through the Cashwagon developed platform. We have also launched a mobile application in all countries of operation and garnered over 2.8 million downloads.
Where do you think Singapore is in the adoption of cashless, electronic, and online financial services?
With the growing global trend toward cashless, electronic and online transactions, Singapore has been quick to recognise the need to support and provide resources to invest in these financial services. The growing demand for non-cash payments can be seen from the exponential growth of the rate of adoption of these services.