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An Israeli startup company is developing a platform for exchanging foreign currency for traveling abroad

The Israeli startup company FlyMoney, Develops an innovative platform for currency conversion for traveling abroad and won a prize of €25,000 in an initiative competition Visa's Everywhere recently held.

Source: pixabay.
מקור: pixabay.

The Israeli startup company, FlyMoney, is one of the winners of the Visa's Everywhere competition in the "Foreign Travel Challenge" category. The final event took place during the Money 20/20 conference held at the end of June in Copenhagen.

The company has developed a global aggregation system that compares costs and provides currency exchange solutions for travelers when booking flights at tourist sites.

The company's solution includes an API that compares costs and provides currency exchange solutions when a tourist books a flight through a travel website, travel agent or airline.

The company was established against the background of a need from the field: Tal Ekroni, the current CEO of the company, was serving as a finance lecturer at the management college in Rishon Lezion when his students asked him: We are about to fly to India, where is the best place to buy Indian rupees? In principle, it became clear very quickly that this is not such a simple task: "For tourists, the whole currency exchange experience is quite disturbing. It is completely offline, it has no transparency at all and therefore no competition either, which is reflected in conversion rates that are not always fair."

"I asked a friend who is a travel agent how he helps tourists convert money cheaply and he replied that he does not handle this field. When it comes to flights, hotels and car rentals, he has computerized systems that he uses to make reservations. But in the field of foreign exchange, there is no digital service that centralizes all solutions and in the surrounding sea of ​​digitization, this field is still conducted as it was in the 80s. From here we decided to create such an aggregation system - and that's how Fly Money was born.

"We have integrated the exchange rates offered by currency exchange service providers all over the world. Some of them have the ability to send the currency to the buyer at home, others provide reloadable cards, others deliver the currency at the airport in the country of origin or in the destination country. The customers don't even know that they are using our service since it is embedded within the tourism site from which they purchase the tourism services. As far as the customer is concerned, when he finishes ordering the flight ticket, he is presented with an offer from the tourism provider to purchase the local currency at his destination.

Tal Ekroni, CEO of Fly Money.
Tal Ekroni, CEO of FlyMoney.

"To date, we have connected to our interface foreign exchange providers at 56 airports around the world and converted tens of millions of shekels. In Israel, we have connected most of the tourist sites to the system, such as EasyGo, Groupon, the 90th minute, Ophir Tours, Lemtyel and more. Israeli tourists, for example, can receive the money they purchased at the Bank Hapoalim branch in Netav. Our solution has also been launched in some of the largest Spanish tourist sites, and now Spanish tourists receive from us the currency for their trips in several delivery methods.

"Our connection with Visa is designed to allow us to offer customers foreign exchange by converting the loyalty points of airlines, hotels and other tourism entities. In these loyalty programs lie huge sums that burden the balance sheets of these companies, which are forced to allocate funds to allow customers to use the points."

The company was founded in early 2016 and is a graduate of the SigmaLabs accelerator. In addition to the principal, Ben Aviram - the CTO, and VP of Product Gilad Shelang are also partners in the company.

Oded Salomi, CEO of Visa in Israel, said: FlyMoney was among 8 Israeli companies that advanced to the final stage and competed for the prizes against 7 other young companies from around Europe. The competition was tough, but the contestants stood out with their innovative ideas, advanced technologies and advanced solutions, which will change the way people use money."

Bill Gajda, senior vice president for innovation and strategic partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Visa, said: "We have been looking for, and we continue to look for, a wide range of fintech solutions. In places like Tel Aviv, Berlin and London there are a lot of companies that work in these fields."

"Israel is strong in many technologies, not only in everything traditionally related to security. Israel is starting to become a world leader in the field of biometrics and now a vibrant Bitcoin community is also emerging there. In general, there are many good fintech companies in Israel that we want to work with and accelerate their development."

In order to contact Visa's innovation division in Israel, click HERE.

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