According to many blockchain enthusiasts, cryptocurrencies will replace the current banking system over time. To do this, new solutions and platforms are needed. One such platform that brings us closer to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is Bankera. Have a look at what they learned about the project from Ieva Rimkevičiūtė, business developer of Bankera.
What is Bankera all about?
Bankera is building a bank for the blockchain era. They are offering financial services to various digital businesses and individuals involved in it. Their background is in the crypto space as Bankera is a spin-off of cryptocurrency exchange SpectroCoin, and the main focus is crypto and blockchain-related businesses and individuals. However, they also serve gaming, affiliate, marketing, forex and other online and traditional businesses.
They are based in several locations around Europe, including Lithuania, Malta and Estonia. More than 180 specialists are working on the project, including developers, lawyers, designers, compliance and cybersecurity specialists.
Bankera co-founders Vytautas Karalevicius, Mantas Mockevicius and Justas Dobiliauskas as well as key core team members have been working together for nearly 10 years, while Bankera’s idea was in the minds of co-founders from day zero. However, Bankera’s brand was created back in 2017, and Bankera started to offer financial services only in 2020.
How does Bankera help people?
Bankera offers multi-currency payment accounts with dedicated IBANs, physical and virtual Visa payment cards, SEPA Instant and SWIFT wire transfers, payment processing and other financial services for individuals and businesses.
They are helping clients whom traditional banks and payment service providers usually ignore due to innovative business models, which traditional bankers and compliance officers rarely understand. They are building a bridge between the digital economy and the convenient financial world.
Why was Bankera founded?
It all started back in 2012 when their co-founders started to brainstorm about a debit card which can be prepaid by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Team saw that acceptance of crypto users and businesses by traditional financial markets is vital for cryptocurrencies survival. At the same time, legacy banks’ ignorance towards crypto showed as a market opportunity to build a bridge between blockchain and traditional financial worlds.
A clear goal is the key
Bankera’s core vision is to help people and businesses to pay online. As a result, their main goal is to offer the spectrum as wide as possible for digital payment channels, for their clients ranging from bank wires and card payments to alternative payment methods. They are building a platform and user base, so they easily could plug in uprising payment methods to be a one-stop for their clients’ digital payments needs.
The company’s special infrastructure relies on many competitors
Mainly Neo and Challenger banks, various payment service providers and electronic money institutions as well as companies empowering them by providing financial infrastructure.
Those companies are different as their policy is to do as much as possible in-house and avoid outsourcing at all cost. As a result, they own their IT as well as legal infrastructures. For example, they have their licenses, and they are principal members of Visa and Mastercard.
Also, Bankera is solely owned by their co-founders, so decisions are made fast, and they can adjust to market needs immediately once an opportunity arises.
Because they came from the cryptocurrency background, they have a deep understanding of the ecosystem and can understand in-depth and onboard legit crypto businesses, while other institutions usually see such businesses as outside of their risk appetite.
Another unique selling point is that having all infrastructure in-house enables Bankera to offer white-label and banking-as-a-service solutions for other companies. That allows them to issue cards, offer virtual IBANs or upsell full scope internet banking to their clients without building a solution from zero.
The biggest challenge
Managing expectations between various stakeholders and clients. While they deal with clients who are liberal in their nature and are true fans of technology and seamless user experiences as offered by cryptocurrencies, they still have to stay compliant. So balancing between user-friendly services and regulation is the most challenging task in the whole FinTech world.
Will crypto adoption move forward if the banking system will start to onboard it?
According to Bankera, crypto adoption would move forward once traditional banks would start to use it for payments and clearing. Currently, they see that banks are starting to upsell cryptocurrencies as an investment to their clients. However, it might push back crypto adoption if the current crypto bubble would suddenly bust.
Cryptocurrency is a protocol to send value over the internet the same way as an email is a protocol to send information over the internet. That is ignored by most of the traditional institutions as well as investors. However, once banks see crypto not as an opportunity to squeeze high investment margins from their clients but as a viable payment infrastructure alternative to legacy systems, crypto will start to have actual adoption.