Easier and cheaper international money payments.
Iker Marcaide is the perfect example of how one can take advantage of a setback. While he was working in London for Boston Consulting Group, he started the formalities to enrol into the MBA of the MIT Sloan School of Management, located in Boston (US). That is when he experienced the difficulties of making international payments with high bank charges and the frustrating feeling that, despite all his efforts, money was not going to get there in time. Far from discouraging, Marcaide turned these unexpected events into a business idea and founded PeerTransfer, a company whose objective is to simplify international money transfers, saving time and money.
The first innovation introduced by PeerTransfer – whose use is free – is targeting the higher education sector, whether students or schools and universities. Its mechanism is based on a web-based platform where the student or institution only needs to introduce his home country and the amount to be transferred. In the subsequent steps, he will be informed about the savings he would make by making the transfer through the platform itself. Such saving is possible because, unlike banks, PeerTransfer does not charge any commissions, but only a small margin depending on the type of currency change. Something that they achieved through the development of a lower-cost infrastructure, working by aggregating currency purchases on the market.
This idea made him worthy of the MIT Young Innovator recognition granted by the TR35 Spain Award. Isaac de la Pena, senior Director of MicroStrategy and partner of Inveready at the Technology Investment Group, and one of the members of the Jury of the competition, assures that, in spite of his young age, Marcaide has proven to be a “highly innovating person in an established industry lacking dynamism”. His talent has been recognised internationally and his product has received the prize of “Best consumer technology that makes life easier”, awarded in June 2011 by MIT.