Engaged in a regional expansion plan, Malaysia-based Islamic fintech start-up HelloGold is seeking a license with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan to start operations in Indonesia following the launch of its HelloGold application in Thailand.
With an initial target of 120,000 downloads in the first year of activity in Thailand, the first digital gold-backed savings platform to be certified Shariah compliant according to AAOIFI standards intends to serve the lower and middle-income groups, with savings starting from as low as THB10 (31.83 US cents) and up to THB30,000 (US$955.16) per day, according to Siripat Patrangul, HelloGold’s country head of Thailand.
Currently, the application is available for Android devices on the Google Play Store with the launch of an iOS version planned for July 2019.
To further expand its reach, HelloGold has signed an MoU with Central Group, a major Thai retailer, to enable the 15 million 1Card members to redeem THB100 (US$3.18)-worth of gold from HelloGold with every 1,000 One Card points, beginning on the 15th June 2019.
“We see tremendous savings potential in Thailand — 87% of the working population want to save but only 30% are able to save. Equally important, gold has historically been and continues to be an integral part of Thai culture — in 2018, Thai demand for gold was the sixth-highest in the world. For many Thais, gold’s attribute as a highly stable asset makes it the most appropriate gift for important occasions,” shared Robin Lee, CEO of HelloGold.
Besides leveraging the important place of gold in Thai culture, HelloGold also believes its offering appeals to Thai investors as gold returned 7% per year against the Thai baht in the last decade. This is higher than domestic inflation ranging between -4% and 6% and above the around 1.5% return of banks’ savings accounts.
HelloGold was founded in 2015, prior to the publication of AAOIFI Shariah Standard No 57 on gold in December 2016. The standard was a landmark for the industry as it opened new avenues to an asset class worth an estimated US$2.4 trillion.