South African startup FomoTravel, a web-based payment solution that allows users to save for holidays, has launched to take the lay-by model into the online sphere.
FomoTravel allows users to break down the total cost of a travel experience, paying via smaller installments over a predetermined period of time prior to departure.
Users are able to manage their cash flow but also still afford their dream holiday, with FomoTravel acting as a facilitator by selling and promoting packages on behalf of affiliates.
“We believe that the expert travel agent should do what they good at, and that’s create amazing package deals, while we focus on helping and guiding the traveller to a debt-free holiday,” Andrew Katzwinkel, FomoTravel chief executive officer (CEO) and founder, told Disrupt Africa.
“We have gone out and created great relationships with some of South Africa’s best travel agents in order offer the best product at the best price.”
All funds paid over time by a user are kept within a Standard Bank Trust account, held securely until all monies are paid in full. At this point the affiliated travel agent will receive payment and issue the final confirmed itinerary to the client.
“Along the way you can also easily share your travel goal with friends and family, so that they can help lighten your financial obligation through meaningful contributions like birthdays, christmas, or wedding gifts. The more you share the less you pay,” said Katzwinkel.
He said the current payment methods on offer are prohibiting keen travellers from seeing the world.
“The South African consumer very rarely has the full amount on hand to pay for a dream holiday like a honeymoon or a much needed vacation. We therefore are forced into a corner to pay in full upfront or use credit to pay for the travel experience when your dream holiday is only taking place well into the future,” said Katzwinkel.
The startup charges no interest and does not do credit checks. This has seen the bootstrapped startup see strong early uptake, with over 4,500 people signed up to the platform so far.
“The response has been positive as there is a clear need for such a solution but there is a long way still go and we are looking forward to the journey ahead,” Katzwinkel said.
“We are currently only servicing the South African market and plan on doing so for the immediate future. This is a company that has been built in South Africa for South Africans and that means we are focused on making travel affordable and accessible for all South Africans before we look to expand to other markets.”