It’s been almost 14 years since the cryptocurrencies appeared. Since then this industry has nurtured a huge amount of talented entrepreneurs, IT-specialists, investors and many other specialists, who break barriers between traditional and digital finance systems daily.
Swapin is an EU-licensed, regulated crypto-to-fiat payment processing company and thanks to it the biggest gap between digital and banking systems has been closed. InstaPay, InstaFill, CoinCollector and E-com widget solutions for online-markets allow you to send crypto-to-fiat transactions directly to the selected IBAN account.
Today, businesses have the opportunity to invoice and accept payments in crypto and receive in EUR on corporate bank accounts. Meanwhile, the company strictly adheres to all compliance guidelines while offering services at the same level as banks, which eliminates issues with accounting, taxes, and other financial regulation systems.
How did the company manage to do the impossible? What further development plans are in store for the new payment giant? We learned the answers to those questions in an exclusive interview with the CEO of Swapin –– Evald-Hannes Kree.
Formation Of The Company
Due diligence is the procedure, which helps to evaluate investment markets, but most importantly –– to meet with main actors and the team. Sometimes a shining fire in the eyes of founders can overshadow everything else. Let’s start with introducing the team and Swapin’s history of creation.
Hello Hannes. Please tell us how the idea of creating Swapin appeared?
Hello! I came to the crypto market in 2013 and already then there was a need to convert Bitcoin to fiat currencies. At that time, the ability to make an exchange was practically non-existent, as units took cryptocurrencies seriously. As the industry develops, I came to the conclusion that this problem concerns many and slows down further market development. Even today, when many countries regulate crypto in some ways, the problem still remains acute. Before the company appeared, the crypto community faced some problems:
The first problem was that it was hard to use crypto in daily life. And it is still today as most banks are banning crypto-related activities. It is connected with the fact that in many countries, except El Salvador, cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender. It takes a lot of time and technical expertise to use crypto, since there are many steps to be carried out. As a result of slow transfers and a high barrier for entry, clients need to find the most convenient way of converting crypto to fiat.
Now it’s easy to do on any crypto market, but the problem isn’t gone, as they need to make a transaction. However, they understand that they can’t implement it to third parties with a crypto market. Even if they take this step, the transactions will automatically be marked as suspicious and the funds will be blocked. Funds must be transferred to a personal bank account and only then send a transaction. You can see that the chain of events clearly demonstrates how the crypto and fiat worlds are divided. Not mentioning how much commission you’re gonna have to pay for every other step.
And one more issue. Why don’t service providers and sellers accept cryptocurrency? The answer is simple –– it’s too volatile. Businesses need stability, but Bitcoin can easily grow by 10% in the morning and fall by 20% in the evening. And I won’t even get into the legal issues that business can face.
Our service will solve 3 main problems for merchants while competitors are solving 1 or 1,5 issues.
The first one –– accepting crypto and getting fiat and our competitors are doing the same. Secondly, accounting issues –– with Swapin, each settlement payout is made separately and instantly with a merchant invoice, so there is no need for matching settlement payments with invoices. While most of the competitors are making settlement payments once a week and merchants will get X amount of euros. The accountants can’t match it with the invoices and there is a huge mess.
And the third issue –– volatility risk. While using Swapin services, merchants always will get the requested amount fiat and the payer knows that the paid amount is enough and no one is asking to add more.
These solutions are fully automated and there is no need for monitoring.
In 2017, we decided to found Piixpay, which after rebranding in February this year became Swapin. We decided to give the crypto owners the opportunity to pay for purchases or make transactions, while the recipient’s bank account received EUR. At the same time, the whole process is done utilizing a user-friendly process and in a fully regulated and safe environment.
Tell us about your team. Why are you able to make Swapin the leader in the crypto-to-fiat transactions?
In our company we work with first-class specialists with rich international experience. Our CTO developed security software for an institutional financial association. The AML/KYC department is headed by one of the best specialists in Estonia, with extensive banking experience in the relevant position. Sales and Business Development Department consists of specialists with no less rich experience in international companies. Finally, our advisors are the best representatives of crypto, fintech and IT industry. For example, Dmitry Pruglo, co-founder of the Covesting platform, which was one of the first in the crypto industry to receive a Gibraltar DLT license. Marek Pärtel, is the co-founder and CEO of Estateguru, the leading European real estate lending platform, with an annual investment of almost $500 million. Toomas Römer sold his company Zeroturnround in Silicon Valley and is now serving as BOLT CTO and VP of engineering. And many others have joined. With such a first-class team, I think we can change the world.
What problems did your team face in the implementation of the project?
At the beginning we worked hard to get a license. There were not many jurisdictions to do it, because cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are still unknown to many today. We had to overcome that barrier and create a first-class security system and innovative services. Also finding proper banking partners was a challenge. Luckily, we found a way out of this, and became a leader in delivering services at the same level as banks. We experienced many struggles during this time, but we have always overcome it. Now we want to focus on creating new features that our users truly need. I will take this opportunity to thank them for staying with us and continuing to believe in Swapin!
Funding Round And Roadmap
Swapin closed a €1.68 million funding round from authority individuals in the crypto, IT, and fintech industries. We found out what the investment will be directed to and what the project will expect in the future
You recently closed the funding round. What do you plan to invest in?
We have a strong legal base for the next steps. We created a secure infrastructure and have real cases of using Swapin solutions by the largest international companies. As we found out earlier –– we have a stunning team. One thing remains –– to grow dynamically. The next goal is European expansion and increasing the number of users. Funding will be directed to aggressive marketing campaign, improved website localization, and development of multilingual mobile app. All this awaits you in the near future.
Who is Swapin for? Who are your customers?
Today, there are two target groups –– individuals and businesses. For personal transactions, we have developed InstaPay, InstaFill and Predefined Payments solutions.
InstaPay allows users to use crypto assets for their euro payments, which are automatically converted into EUR, specifying the recipient’s IBAN account, for example, to friends, relatives, or paying monthly bills.
InstaFill is the solution that connects your IBAN account with a Swapin crypto wallet. When the crypto wallet receives crypto, Swapin automatically converts it in seconds and adds EUR to your IBAN. If all your assets are concentrated in crypto, but daily expenses require fiat currency, InstaFill solution is what you need.
Predefined Payments is a useful feature that allows users to create a pattern of repeated payments, such as rent, credit or utilities. You can set up the option to remind you of the next payment date, after making a transaction.
For business we have developed solutions such as Coin Collector and E-com widget.
CoinCollector is the solution allowing traditional invoice-based businesses to accept crypto and get euros instantly. Its direct payment link allows the seller to generate it in crypto and send it to the buyer. After the buyer clicks on the link and pays in crypto, the seller receives an EUR invoice to IBAN. This option is used by one of the world’s largest real estate sellers, RE/MAX.
E-com widget is the solution for E-commerce checkout. It accepts crypto payments on the site, with instant conversion to EUR to a corporate bank account. This widget was the first to integrate the online store Aufort Gold, which sells gold.
InstaPay and InstaFill solutions can also be used by businesses. For example, the PaxWorld metauniverse uses InstaPay to pay employees. Miners can use InstaFill and Predefined Payments to convert cryptocurrencies to EUR immediately for equipment, electricity or rent.
We also see an emerging interest from institutional investors and hedge-funds. So it means that the list of our services will only expand.
What are the following products and services you plan to launch?
Today, we continue to develop and improve ready-to-go solutions. Soon, we will present a tool for buying cryptocurrencies called Instabuy. In 2023, we plan to receive the Electronic Money Institute license and develop a virtual IBAN implementation. Our long-term vision is to create a simple bridge between crypto and fiat with our infrastructure products. Imagine a platform where users transact in whatever currency they like and store their wealth like a modern crypto-bank.
What inspires you and wakes you up in the morning?
The opportunity to create something that is needed for the industry and real life.
It was an exciting adventure, Hannes. We wish you further success and to conquer new peaks!
Swapin is an EU-licensed, regulated crypto-to-fiat payment processing company. The company offers a complete set of turn key solutions aimed at bridging the gap between digital and fiat asset flow. Swapin allows the conversion of personal crypto funds or incoming payments in digital assets into direct deposit to the selected IBAN account, avoiding excessive accounting and legal compliance struggles. The variety of ready-to-go solutions, targeted both at individuals and businesses, allows for immediate fiat settlement in the desired fiat currency in only a matter of clicks.
David is a crypto enthusiast and an expert in personal finance. He has created numerous publications for different platforms. He loves to explore new things, and that’s how he discovered blockchain in the first place.