India’s foreign exchange industry, dominated by traditional moneychangers and major banks, is being stirred up by a seemingly simple innovation by a one-year-old startup.Buyforexonline allows customers to buy prepaid forex cards online anytime, at rates applicable at the exact time of the transaction.”The main pain point in the forex industry is having to hold the exchange rate, which fluctuates every second, until the transaction happens. In this case you pay online immediately,” said founder Ananth Reddy, who earlier worked at travel company Thomas Cook, which also issues prepaid forex cards.

These cards, a growing option for travellers apart from currency notes and traveller’s checks, can be swiped at any retail location or ATM. They can be replaced if lost, and remaining values can be cashed in upon returning home. The forex industry, of which only 20% runs on prepaid cards, is growing at around 20% a year.

Buyforexonline focuses on expanding card usage among leisure travellers, especially jetsetting students. The Bengaluru-based company completes 800-1,000 orders every month, with an average of Rs 75,000 per transaction. It recently partnered with online travel company Makemytrip as its only forex provider. The startup has raised Rs 2 crore from a group of financial professionals so far. In India, HDFC Bank, Travelex and Thomas Cook dominate the foreign exchange industry.

“Buyforexonline provides a hassle-free process for forex cards at competitive and transparent rates. They will be able to enter other large travel portals with international bookings as well as the independent of f line travel agents market,” said P Ramakrishna, general partner at Uttishtha Fund and lead investor in the startup.