Qwikwire was founded in November of 2013 by Ray Edison Refundo when he was still residing in the US. It started as a payroll system for freelancers. The business model changed and improved overtime until he went back to the Philippines and continued running the company together with his co-founders Earvin Ang (now the president of Qwikwire) and Jesse Manalansan (Qwikwire’s CTO).
The founders then saw the opportunity in the cross-border real estate scene when they realized how difficult it is for OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to pay for their homes in the Philippines while residing abroad. AQWIRE (a play on words of “acquire”) was then introduced in 2018 as the real estate arm of Qwikwire.
AQWIRE reduced cost by more than 95% since using Xendit
In 2020, the team decided to integrate with Xendit to enable even more payment methods on their platform. We chatted with the people at Qwikwire, to understand how they were introduced to Xendit and how their journey with us has been.
AQWIRE was introduced to Xendit by our very own managing director, Yang Yang Zhang. “I have known Yang from PDAX and the Philippine fintech community for some time. I saw her at the airport when I was flying to Singapore for business a couple of years ago. She mentioned she already moved to Xendit during our chat while waiting for our flight at the gate. I saw she was really excited to bring it to the Philippines.” said Ray Refundo, Qwikwire’s founder and CEO.
The team then decided to integrate with Xendit to support them to provide more payment options for their users, particularly direct debit payments from various local banks. Xendit’s integration helped them reduce fees, as well as the effort to maintain multiple integration with multiple bank partners.
“Before Xendit, we could only accept card and e-wallet payments, which had pretty high fees considering that our average transaction size is very large. The online banking option helped us reduce our fees by more than 95%.”
Kenji Yuchengco, Qwikwire’s COO and Head of Strategy mentioned that the strong adoption of digital payments in the market has worked to AQWIRE’s favor. “The more options we have integrated into our service translate into added value for our customers.”, Kenji added.
“In the first half of the year, we have already processed over $30M in volume. For comparison, in 2019 we had a total GMV of $31M while in 2020, we reached $44.7M.”
What’s next for AQWIRE?
AQWIRE has seen success in the real estate scene but they aim to go beyond that. Their vision is to become the leading cross-border payment solution, not just in the Philippines, but in Southeast Asia, and soon, the entire continent.
Kenji mentioned that AQWIRE priority at the moment is developing capabilities to provide our users with more convenience and better rates. That means we are working on strategic partnerships from around the globe that will allow them to serve users better wherever they may be.
The company is also working on the next round of funding which should put it in a position to build a stronger back-end infrastructure and develop more products that will allow for market expansion.
“It is our goal to expand outside the real estate vertical, in which we are already a leader at. We aim to serve other verticals that need an efficient payment solution such as schools, hospitals, insurance, and loans.”