Canada takes great pride in its thriving immigrant community and has made developing programs and services to support newcomers a priority. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of roadblocks and restrictions when it comes to accessing finances across borders and transferring funds for new residents to pay bills, tuition, or credit card expenses.
Denson Xu noticed these pain points and made it a goal to develop a better solution to help Chinese immigrants send and receive money between Canada and China, easily and quickly.
In 2019, Denson and two other founders enrolled in AC:Incubate to begin developing a solution that aligned with the needs of their potential customers. During the first phase of their programming, the founders tried out several different business models, such as a currency exchange platform for travelers and a cash delivery service. Unfortunately, after conducting customer interviews and surveys to determine their product market fit, the results showed that customers wanted to transfer funds digitally, rather than in cash.
Denson and his team were able to adjust the initial business model based on the needs of their customers and the feedback they had given. After a year of researching and strategizing, the idea was solidified and Baneks was born.
Baneks is the world's first Uber-like currency exchange platform focused on providing clients with the ability to make foreign exchange transactions without money actually crossing the border. The platform matches client demands for currency exchange so that they interact directly with each other to enable users to save time and money. Baneks not only provides better exchange rates than banks, but it also enables the fast movement of funds between the Canadian bank and digital wallets such as WeChat and Alipay after converting Canadian dollars into Chinese Yuan (CNY) and vice versa.
Baneks created a new way to reduce the foreign exchange and cross-border remittance costs for users, as well as removed the limitations on funds that citizens can transfer in and out of China, which is restricted to $50 000.00 per year when being moved across the border.
“We are the only platform in the world with this business model, and our customers love us,” said Denson. “We are so proud of the positive ratings and customer reviews on the app store expressing how responsive and quick our team is. Our client base grew extremely quickly just from word of mouth.”
Baneks now has over 50 000 customers in Canada and has grown from just three founders to a team of 40 located in Toronto, Sherbrooke, and China. In August, the Baneks platform was launched in the UK, and then in Hong Kong in October. The team plans to continue to scale and enter new markets as they expand into more countries.
After years of research, planning, and hard work, Baneks is graduating from AC:Incubate! Join us on October 26 for our in-person celebration of our new graduates.