Meet SnapSwap: A company creating credit cards for SMEs
Where do you go when you want to get a credit card? A bank. Or that is the first thing that comes to mind for most people.
Enter SnapSwap, a Luxembourg startup which has created a credit card known as Everest targeting small businesses.
“We are providing the same services as a bank… but with more flexibility,” said CEO Denis Kiselev. “We thought we could do this for companies or entrepreneurs so they could focus on their product.”
SnapSwap has partnered with Mastercard in an initiative by the US corporation to expand its reach by using more fintechs. These companies draw more companies into Mastercard's system, generating the credit card giant more revenue from a greater number of transaction fees. In turn, SnapSwap profits by getting a percentage of that transaction fee.
"We generate quite a substantial revenue from that transaction fee," SnapSwap CEO Denis Kiselev said.
Before companies can get one or more of the Everest credit cards, SnapSwap, like a bank, does a credit history check to decide how much credit they could be given. The company usually gives credit to start-ups for a short time, offering them a one-off fee to extend the repayment period if needed.
Kiselev, who formerly worked for the World Bank and owned his own fintech company in San Francisco, created the company because he felt there was a gap in the market for financing smaller companies.
“If I want to move a hundred million euros from London to New York it will be easy,” he said. “It will be fast, and it will be very efficient. But if I wanted to move €10 it would be a disaster.”
The entrepreneur came from the US came to the Grand Duchy in 2015 so that he could sell his product throughout the EU as well as take advantage of Europe's financial regulation structure.
“If you move to the EU you can basically transport products throughout the bloc,” Kiselev said. “In the US, we have to get a license in every state we operate.”
Biselev visited several potential locations in Europe before finally deciding on Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy is a good place for financial services, he said, citing communication with financial regulator the CSSF as easy and open. He also felt that because Luxembourg is one of the smaller European states, it is a better place to trial a product and get feedback.
So where next for the company?
Since its inception the team has grown from 5 people to 30, with SnapSwap hoping to expand into Belgium, the Netherlands and then the rest of Europe.