Photo - (From left) Liew Ooi Hann, Chief Executive Officer of Saving Plus; and Siew Yuen Tuck, Executive Director for Business Development, Saving Plus.
The recent legal merger in Malaysia between RinggitPlus, a financial comparison and application website, and SaveMoney, a personal finance education site, means that one integrated team now offers both personal finance advice as well as access to the best products and promotions, said the partners.
The legal merger officially took place in March 2014 following an informal partnership between the founders of the two sites since April 2013 and resulted in the forming of Savings Plus, said Liew Ooi Hann, chief executive officer of Saving Plus and Siew Yuen Tuck, executive director for business development, Saving Plus, during the announcement to media in Kuala Lumpur on 24 November 2014.
The teams from the two sites are now operating as one team from a single site, said the partners. Siew said "RinggitPlus.com will continue to help Malaysians make the best choice for their specific needs when it comes to financial products, helping them choose the best credit card, loan, savings account, insurance plan and more by making the fine print understandable and offering exclusive promotions to consumers who apply for their financial products on the site."
"I came to depend on financial comparison sites for all my banking and insurance products during my stint overseas," he said. "I found that similar services were lacking in Malaysia - which has a financial landscape dominated by large banks and insurers. This made me realise that there was a gap I could fill - empowering Malaysians to make the smartest and best informed financial choices, plus offering them exclusive deals."
"Consumer rights awareness in mature economies is very vibrant - including in areas such as personal financial products," said Liew. "In Malaysia, there isn't sufficient awareness training and financial education for consumers. They see financial products advertised everywhere but tend to lack ability to evaluate them critically. I was thus inspired to set up SaveMoney.my, a trusted and independent site that helps consumers get the information and insights they need, to manage their personal finances."
"Even the banks acknowledge our role as a trusted independent source of financial advice, and are proud to declare that they have been reviewed by SaveMoney," he said.
"One of the main reasons we decided to merge is that we wanted to help Malaysians through the entire process of researching and applying for financial products," added Siew "I wanted to make sure people who applied on RinggitPlus were making the most informed decision possible. The merger allows us to offer reviews and insights from SaveMoney.my, Malaysia's most trusted money saving community. No other online comparison site can offer such trusted and unbiased views."
"We don't want any Malaysians to choose a product simply because the person selling the product is the most persuasive or aggressive," said Liew.
"We want to help them choose the most suitable and best products based on the most compelling criteria - their personal lifestyle needs and their financial profile. As a merged entity, we want to jointly help educate consumers and help them get more from their banks - going beyond merely helping to compare financial products. The fact that our money saving community remains loyal and keeps growing is the best proof there is that we remain impartial and consumer-centric."
"Financial institutions themselves are cognisant of the value we add to the personal finance landscape," Siew said. "We have a 100 percent client retention rate among our banking clients - something no other player in our space can claim. In fact, not only have we never lost a client, but every client has chosen to increase their budget and the number of products listed on our websites - testament to our effectiveness as an honest and impartial channel of communication between the financial institutions and their potential customers."
The partners said they will raise growth capital to expand regionally and are already on track to deliver more than RM3.3 million (US$1m) in revenue in Malaysia this year, placing them among the fastest growing FinTech startups in the region.
They added that both sites attract more than 500,000 adult consumers in Malaysia alone and also publish a monthly SaveMoney magazine, which has a circulation of 50,000 in the Klang Valley. The sites include more than 120,000 members and will generate more than 100,000 product applications this year.
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