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无需身份验证和手续费 这家日本转账企业有点怪

备受期待的日本转账新兴企业Kyash预计将在今年春天面向大众开放。公司以轻松注册、无需进行任何验证或审查过程为主要宣传点,计划在第一年获得100万注册用户。

Kyash在2015年成立,已经有了两年的发展。公司提供的服务与手机钱包类似,允许用户转账或支付,不收手续费。应用使用简单是它最大的卖点。如果下载了应用,注册成为用户,就能够立即使用。

2015年Kyash筹集了约150万美元(约1.7亿日元),去年12月4日,Kyash收到约870万美元(约10亿日元)的大额A轮融资。Jafco、Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation、ITOCHU Corporation、Dentsu Digital Holdings、Mizuho Capital、SMBC Venture Capital均参与了本轮融资。

使用虚拟卡进行转账、支付

在日本,进行转账业务的企业通常注册为“转账代理商”。但这种代理商受到诸多限制,转账时被要求立即支付转账金额的等额保证金。同时,开设新账户时,和开银行账户一样,要求完全核实用户身份。因此开设新账户所耗费的时间和花费都让人望而却步。

为了减轻监管负担,在Kyash的应用中转账业务被定义为“预付款支付”。Kyash使用预付款方式进行支付,类似于礼品券、购物礼券或手机卡的使用方式。同时Kyash能够用于转账。个人Kyash账户中的资金无法提现,身份核实也就变得无关紧要。

用户可以指定收款方使用手机联系方式,也可以使用脸书、LINE等社交媒体账号。特定收款人也可以使用电子邮箱地址进行转账。如果首付款双方都是Kyash用户,他们可以互相读取二维码进行转账。这家公司同时计划开发新功能,让用户能够通过蓝牙看到附近的Kyash用户列表。

实际上这家公司定位为维萨卡的发行人,因此一旦签约服务,它就可以立即签署一张预付的虚拟维萨卡。如果你在注册时登记了维萨或万事达信用卡并进行了充值,你就可以进行转账或付款。

未来Kyash也会发放塑料实体卡。如果实现,和普通信用卡一样,Kyash将会有约4400万有效的维萨卡签约商店(电子商务网站、国内外商店)。

因维萨卡是预付制,虚拟卡内可以存钱的最高金额没有限制。但最高充值金额约为87000美元(1000万日元),每次转账的金额最高约为870美元(100000日元)。

利润不靠转账费用

任意转账Kyash都不收取用户费用。那么他们的利润从哪里来?

当用户注册虚拟信用卡时,Kyash向信用卡公司支付费用。如果在维萨卡签约商店使用这张虚拟卡,Kyash将收取佣金。费用之间的差额就创造了公司利润。

公司通过支付过程本身创造了赚取利润的机会。它发展了一套自己的信用审查系统,来审查登记信用卡的有效性及卡内负债情况。Kyash的首席执行官Shinichi Takatori这样说:“通常如果你使用别的公司的系统,将需要花费1%的手续费。因为我们没有这项费用,手续费之间的差额就会稍有富余。”

适宜价值交换的基础平台

Shinichi目光远大,他这样说:“我们想要成为价值交换的新平台。”LINE Pay等竞争者也在同一市场,但Shinichi认为“Kyash不属于任何经济领域(即Line为应用金融系统),这是我们的竞争力。”

未来这家创业公司旨在提高用户数量,同时向合作公司提供OEM软件,公开API。

Shinichi也透露Kyash未来运营可能更像虚拟银行。有了Kyash,存款保证金仅仅为未用余额的50%或以上,未来如果有了银行保证,就不再需要保证金。因此用户存入Kyash的大量现金创造了数目巨大的存款余额。

有了这样庞大的现金流,公司只需开发合适的工具,评估签约商店的风险预测,Kyash也能够成为商业转账服务者。Shinichi指出:“未来收取一定的转账费用和储蓄费用,这也是一个潜在的商业发展方向。”

Hotly anticipated Japanese money transfer startup Kyash is set to launch this spring. Heavily touting the ease of sign ups—with no need to undergo any identification or screening process—the startup is aiming to secure 1 million registered users in its first year.

Kyash was established in 2015 and has spent the past two years in development. It is a service just like a mobile wallet, allowing users to transfer money and make payment settlements with no charges. The app’s simplicity of use is its major calling card. If you download the application and register as a member, you can start using it immediately.

After raising about US$1.5 million (170 million yen) in July 2015, Kyash received a large-scale funding of about US$8.7 million (1 billion yen) in Series A on December 14 of last year. Jafco, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, ITOCHU Corporation, Dentsu Digital Holdings, Mizuho Capital, and SMBC Venture Capital joined the round.

Money transfer and payment settlements using virtual cards

In Japan, businesses that deal with money transfers usually register as “money transfer agents.” However, there are many restrictions imposed on money transfer agents, and they are required to deposit 100 percent of the transfer amount immediately. Also, when opening an account, users are required to thoroughly verify their identity just like when opening a bank account. As a result, the time and costs associated with starting up the service and acquiring users are prohibitive.

In Kyash’s case, to ease the regulatory burden, the transfer service is defined as “payment by prepayment.” Kyash can be used as a prepaid payment method the same way gift certificates, gift vouchers, and telephone cards are used. It can also be used to transfer money. As the funds in an individual’s Kyash account cannot be withdrawn as currency, identity confirmation becomes unnecessary.

Users can specify transfer destinations using social media IDs for Facebook and LINE as well as with their contacts on their devices. It is also possible to transfer money by specifying recipients with their email addresses. If both parties are Kyash users, they can read QR codes with each other to make the transaction. The startup also plans to have a function that displays a list of nearby Kyash users through Bluetooth.

The startup is actually positioned as a Visa issuer so it can instantly issue a prepaid virtual Visa card upon signing for the service. If you register a Visa or Mastercard credit card in the sign-up process and top it up, you will be able to send money or make payment settlements.

Kyash will also issue plastic cards in the future. When they do, they will be valid at approximately 44 million Visa merchants (ecommerce sites and domestic and overseas stores) like ordinary credit cards.

With Kyash’s prepayment method, there is no limitation to the maximum amount that can be held on the virtual card. However, the maximum top-up amount is limited to about US$87,000 (10 million yen), and the amount of money transferred is limited to up to about US$870 (100,000 yen) per transaction.

Revenue without transaction fees

Kyash does not charge users a fee for any transaction. So where does their revenue stream come from?

When users charge the virtual card, Kyash pays the fee to the credit card company. However, if the card is used at a Visa member store, Kyash receives the commission. The difference in these fees generates the profit.

The startup created revenue opportunities by processing payments itself. It developed its own system of credit inquiries to check the validity of registered credit cards and credit liabilities. According to Kyash CEO Shinichi Takatori: “Normally, if you do the processing with another company’s system, it will cost about one percent commission fee. Because we do not have this fee, the difference of the fees will be slightly positive.”

Adaptable infrastructure for value exchange

Shinichi is setting his sights high, stating, “We want to become a new infrastructure for value exchange.” Competitors such as LINE Pay are also in the same market, but Shinichi argues that “the fact that Kyash does not belong to any economic zone (i.e. Line app ecosystem) is our strength.”

In the future, the startup aims to expand its users while offering OEM software to member companies and releasing its API.

Shinichi also hints at a possible future where Kyash operates more like a virtual bank. With Kyash, deposit money is only required to be 50 percent of the unused balance or more, and that deposit is unnecessary if there is a bank guarantee. As a result, much of the money that users top up stays in Kyash, creating a large asset balance.

With such strong cash flow, the startup only needs to create the appropriate tools for assessing the risk profile of member stores and it can become a money transfer service for businesses. “There are business development potentials in charging a certain transaction fee and depositing money the next day,” Shinichi notes.


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