Last year we featured the success story of Future Forex, a burgeoning local business founded by two Herzlia alumni who initially decided to start the venture at an Ohr Somayach event, making waves in the financial sector with their digital asset arbitrage investment service. Fast forward a year and a half later, we checked in to see how their story has been unfolding and how their new international money transfer service that launched this year is disrupting the South African forex landscape.
Since we last caught up, co-founder and CEO Harry Scherzer (Herzlia Class of 2011) and friend, co-founder and CTO Josh Kotlowitz (Herzlia Class of 2010) have grown Future Forex to be the biggest arbitrage service of its kind in South Africa.
Harry Scherzer is a UCT graduate and qualified actuary with a strong background in Finance and Risk Management. Josh Kotlowitz, a UCT and University College London graduate, achieved his MSc in Space Science and Engineering at the top of his class. Together, they have been riding high on the success of scaling a business that now employs over 50 dedicated specialists (MBA graduates, accountants, engineers and lawyers) who work remotely around the country.
Their stringent adherence to regulatory norms has paved the way for the firm to be given a Financial Service Provider licence (FSP 51884), placing Future Forex among the ranks of the country’s largest and most trusted financial providers.
Using a now-proven formula that capitalises on the power of collaboration, innovation and a client-centric approach, the pair introduced their new foreign exchange service to the South African market this year, adjacent to their booming digital asset arbitrage investment service.
Future Forex’s foreign exchange service assists businesses and individuals in moving money to and from abroad. While banks can do this too, the levels of service and pricing are well off the mark, according to Scherzer. “When entering the foreign exchange market, we were amazed at how poorly clients are being serviced by the major banks. Not only is the pricing often exorbitant, but businesses and individuals are left to fend for themselves if there are any issues or special instructions for a payment. Future Forex is here to change that for good, and to ensure that processing forex transactions can become client-centric, as it should be.” He continues, “I think everyone can relate to being put on hold by a call centre after explaining your issue to the fifth different person, with no resolution. This simply isn’t acceptable to us when moving sums of money internationally.”
Future Forex assigns every client a dedicated account manager who is always available to assist. Their ethos has always been one of a client-centric approach, which is why their account management team knows the ins and outs of their clients’ use-case to ensure that they can assist in the most efficient way, understanding the nuances of different industries and unique client needs. From regulatory approvals of international transfers (AITs) – formally known as FIAs – for individuals wanting to send sums of more than R1 million overseas, performed as a complimentary service by Future Forex, to assisting with the completion of the Reserve Bank’s mandatory Balance of Payment (BOP) forms. Future Forex always ensures that they go the extra mile for their clients in order to transform the industry into something that is seamless and streamlined.
Usually by increasing levels of service, clients would expect the cost of the service to increase. This is one of those rare cases where, because of the exorbitant margins charged by banks, Future Forex is able to offer significantly better and more personalised service, but at a reduced cost. “The aim is to improve service significantly while reducing our margins in order to ensure that it becomes an easy decision for clients to move across,” explains Scherzer. The level of personalised service and ludicrous pricing by banks aren’t the only areas which the Future Forex team have identified as being rife for disruption. They have also found that the level of general operations by banks is decades behind technologically, which translates to poor levels of service when on-boarding, making changes or transferring funds internationally. Future Forex utilises their cutting-edge technology to ensure that all ‘paperwork’ is performed online in a streamlined manner, and that the system can remember all client details so that the same information never needs to be provided twice. This leads to huge time-savings for businesses and individuals alike when making a payment. “Right from the outset, we identified key areas in the client journey where digitisation and automation could be leveraged to improve traditional processes,”
The technological changes underway by the Future Forex team are essential to improving client experience, and have been easily identifiable given the low level of streamlining in the current market. “We’ve started by improving the ‘low hanging fruit’ – for example, removing the need for a pen and paper and going into a bank, or not repeating details multiple times when on-boarding or booking a deal. We’re now moving to more nuanced changes which will further improve client experience like allowing you to transact through whichever platform you please, from email to WhatsApp to our online platform, and even reading details of your ID document or proof of address so you don’t have to input this yourself. We develop technological solutions from what we’re seeing our clients struggle with on a day-to-day basis,” says Kotlowitz.
A recent survey performed by Future Forex confirmed the team’s beliefs that the levels of service in the industry are far off the mark, with 76% of respondents saying that they aren’t fully satisfied with their current level of service from their forex provider.
Future Forex has been shocked by the subpar level of service and pricing clients have to experience when making international payments through the banks directly. Instead of standing on the sidelines and allowing this subpar service to continue as it has been, they have been the change that they want to see in the industry.
To investigate switching to Future Forex for your foreign exchange payments, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 5180558 and one of our specialists will be in touch to improve your service and pricing. Visit: www.futureforex.co.za for more info.
• Published in the November 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.
• To advertise in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and on this website – kindly contact Lynette Roodt on 021 464 6736 or email email@example.com. For more information and advertising rate card click here.
• Sign up for our newsletter and never miss another issue.
• Please support the Cape Jewish Chronicle with a voluntary Subscription for 2023. For payment info click here.
• Visit our Portal to the Jewish Community to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites.