A Chat With Abhinov Balagoni, Founder at Pax Credit: Helping International Students Pay Less While Studying Abroad

Abhinov Balagoni,

Pax Credit is a one-stop platform for international students to ease their financial needs.

Pax Credit facilitates international payments from emerging markets to pay for expenses such as university tuition fees and visa application fees in local currencies with market-leading exchange rates and flat transfer pricing.

On average, an international student saves about $500-$1200 on program fees by using Pax Credit instead of their local banks.


How did you come up with the idea for Pax Credit?

Back in 2015, after receiving an admission offer for my Masters in Singapore, I was trying to figure out a way to pay the Singapore Dollar denominated tuition fee in Indian Rupees. Since this was the first time that I had to transfer money internationally, I reached out to multiple banks to identify the funds settlement time and pricing.

During this process, I discovered that I could save as much as $1,000 just by opting for a service from a different bank. This amount of saving is significant for the emerging markets, where bulk of the international students originate from. This experience shaped the thesis for Pax Credit!


What have you learnt from being part of the Techstars Hub71 Accelerator program?

Prior to Techstars’ Hub71 program, Pax Credit supported international money transfer in Indian rupees and provided international debit cards issued in India. However, during the program, we re-engineered our payment product and expanded the scope of our product, ready to enter new markets.

This progress was primarily enabled through our learnings from the accelerator program. The Techstars worldwide network helped us with industry partnerships, reducing time to enter new markets. The exposure to mentors resulted in a much more effective product strategy. Finally, the fundraising opportunities post the program helped us choose great partners, facilitating an opportunity to build a long-term business.

What can we hope to see from Pax Credit?

Going forward, we will add support to multiple currencies primarily in China, South East Asia and the Middle East and North Africa regions, along with an expanded focus on user experience; including facilitating through multiple local payments.

In the long run, we seek to provide international students with a comprehensive suite of financial tools that includes credit and banking services. Our goal is to become a holistic one-stop financial service provider for international students so they can worry less about how to move money and focus more on their academic pursuits.