How a global citizen built a bank for global professionals

October 27, 2022

Imagine going on a trip from Mozambique to Colombia, but before getting to your destination, you’ll need to transit through Ethiopia, Ireland, and the United States first. It may sound like an episode of a travel adventure reality series, but for Matthew Cua, that’s all in a day’s work.

Matthew, who has worked for international aid organizations in deploying technological solutions for disaster response, is what you would call a “global professional”—a remote worker or freelancer whose office is basically anywhere where you can find a socket and some Wi-Fi. 

It’s a life of freedom, fun, and excitement but also, as Matthew has come to realize, one of uncertainty and fees. Lots of fees.

“You may be a citizen of the world, but banking-wise, you’re still tied to the financial system of your home country,” says Matthew. “So, every move you make—be it a credit card swipe, an ATM withdrawal, or a simple payment transfer—is going to incur costs. They may not be noticeable as individual fees, but they do add up by the end of the quarter. This makes you question whether or not you are actually earning money.”

Having previously built many outsourced applications, including work in proptech, Cua saw this financial service gap as another opportunity to create solutions through tech. That’s why he turned to Winston Damarillo, founder and CEO of leading fintech incubator Talino Venture Labs. Matthew joined forces with Winston and Talino to build earnie™, a fintech platform designed for global professionals like himself.

“We always say that earnie™ is ‘made for global professionals, by global professionals’ because, really, it was born from the insights, the pain, and the heartbreak the team and I have gone through with our own experiences,” says Matthew.

earnie™ is a financial service designed for freelancers and global professionals who work remotely for U.S.-based clients. Unlike similar services, earnie™ is faster, cheaper, and comes with an integrated invoicing system that makes receiving payments from employers in the U.S. more professional and efficient.

On top of this free service, there is also a subscription-based version that provides users with a U.S.-based bank account through East West Bank, the largest publicly traded bank headquartered in Southern California. 

“With a U.S.-based bank account, users become a U.S.-based financial entity, so their employers can just pay them like they would any other U.S. employee,” explains Matthew. “This doesn’t just reduce fees and transfer times. This also allows them to make the most out of the U.S. financial market. They can shop at Costco or use Venmo, even if they’re in the Philippines.”

It’s an exciting development, just as exciting as the work-from-anywhere life that earnie™ customers are living.

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