With the multiplication of Fintech startups, people have endless possibilities to pay, save, invest, exchange, transfer money etc. And always with greater efficiency and lower costs than traditional financial services. But that’s precisely the multiplication of Fintech services that creates a new problem Change Bank is trying to solve. Change Bank is a cryptocurrency wallet which aggregates decentralized financial services. The startup has raised US$17.5M with an ICO in November. We’ve interviewed Kristjan Kangro, CEO and co-founder of Change Bank during the Millennial 2020 conference.
IEV: Can you tell us more about Change Bank?
Change Bank represents the change in the financial industry. We intend to match what retail banking should be doing for the millennial generation, with the customer centric approach. Our users can register with an online form (eKYC) and then we send a bank card to their home. With the card, they can use either fiat or crypto currencies. As we don’t provide financial services ourselves, we focus on taking the best Fintech services around the world and integrate them. We offer the choice of services to our users.
Many Fintechs are already doing better than banks on certain aspects. If you look at remittance companies, robo-advisors, lenders… There are a lot of services but they’re scattered. We’re building our platform to cope with that and we’re already working with 4 startups: a robo-advisor (Smartly), a micro-lending platform (DanaBijak), a blockchain real estate company (Bit of Property) and a startup in Japan (not disclosed yet).
We asked ourselves: how do we make services better than in a bank? One company can’t be good at everything. That’s where the idea of creating a marketplace where best in class services can just connect to our users came from. People go to the marketplace and invest in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer loans… all on our interface.
The finance industry has been de-bundled, because different Fintech startups are taking little bites, so we’re re-bundling services.
IEV: What’s your view on working with banks?
We are open to work with banks but usually, they’re quite hard to collaborate with. They see startup partnerships as a risk and startups struggle with capital and regulations. It is hard to reach a partnership that is good for both sides, unless you’re as big as Stripe.
Today, we have enough capital to get our banking license so we can do pretty much everything a bank does.
IEV: Can you elaborate on the eKYC process on Change Bank?
People can register by filling a form, make a small video and submit their passport. We’ve partnered with the e-Residency project by the government of Estonia. Any e-Resident can apply and register with us in one click.
IEV: There’s a lot of movement in the cryptocurrency world these days, do you think they will take over?
This is pretty hard to tell… The cryptocurrency market has increased by more than 15 times. This super growth tells us that cryptocurrencies are going to be something. For the time being, though, it looks more like a cowboy land.
The best use case of blockchain at the moment is payment. While some merchants allow you to pay in Bitcoins, we are connecting with VISA to offer a solution for merchants to paid in traditional currencies.
Ethereum, on the other hand, is like a server or a supercomputer. With their platform, you can create a computer that nobody owns and that can’t be stolen.