Meet Justin Kong, CEO & Co-Founder of Payd

Disruptr: Justin Kong – CEO & Co-founder of Payd

Share with us on what you do and what inspired you to start the business.

  • We are a financial wellbeing platform that aims to reduce financial stress, improve financial literacy and equip lower to middle income employees with better financial habits. Almost half the Malaysian population have poor financial habits, live paycheck to paycheck with limited savings and often run out of funds before payday. The pandemic has only exacerbated the problem with falling household income and rising debt.
  • My co-founder and I wanted to build a solution which could solve this problem in a socially responsible manner. Our first product allows employees who need funds before payday can now access their salary almost instantaneously without having to go into debt and the risk of falling into the debt trap.

What has the journey been like?

  • The journey has been challenging but at the same time extremely rewarding. The biggest challenge is to educate the market as to what Earned Wage Access is and why it’s a better alternative than the current solutions.
  • Traditionally, it’s never been an employer’s place to take care of their employee’s wellbeing, and so changing the status quo takes a lot of educating and a progressive mindset.

Biggest achievement and what is the one regret that you wish you had or had not done?

  • Our biggest achievement has been to get necessary short-term funding to those who need it most. We’re blessed enough to have some very large clients on our portfolio, and they’re instrumental in leading the way to normalising financial wellbeing in the workplace. Our goal is to serve over 100k employees on the platform by year end.
  • It is difficult to pinpoint a specific regret because in hindsight there are many things every startup founder will tell you they could have done better to be further ahead in the journey. The most important thing is to recognise problems early on and act to fix these problems in a timely manner.

Where do you see yourself in the next 1 year?

  • We see ourselves as the market leader for Earned Wage Access in our core markets.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

  • We see ourselves as a leading player in financial wellbeing across South East Asia. Helping millions of people across the region climb the financial ladder; by reducing financial stress, improving financial literacy and developing better financial habits.

What keeps you going to keep running the business?

  • Seeing the difference that our service makes to the lives of our users. The main reasons customers withdraw funds is because they are paying off existing, costly debts or to avoid late fees on loan repayments. Payd gives them an opportunity to save money and improve their financial situation, and better their credit rating.

What is one local startup you would like to work together with and why?

  • One local startup that we already work with is Curlec to automate our payments. So, when an employee requests funds through our app, the funds are automatically transferred from our bank account into theirs.

Who is one founder (local or international) that you look up to?

  • Eric Cheng the founder of Carsome, he has managed to build the first truly Malaysian unicorn in 7 years which is now the market leader in several countries across the region.

Why should investors invest in your social enterprise?

  • Investing in Payd means investing into the market leader in Malaysia and world class team with global experience and relevant industry knowledge. Collectively, the senior management team have decades of startup experience in Fintech and Financial Wellbeing from the UK and in Singapore.
  • They would be investing into a sustainable business model which has been extremely successful in US and Europe producing several unicorns, whilst making a positive difference to financial wellbeing in a socially responsible manner.



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