Globitex is one of the most popular Fintechs on BankApply platform for Crypto companies. They have reasonable fees for high-risk clients and have been on the market for several years, reducing the risk that new players usually have.
We reached out to Globitex and asked if we can interview them. As a sign of transparency and flexibility, their CEO Mr Uldis Teraudkalns gave us a look inside the company and its plans.
Interview With Globitex
1. Globitex has quite a few different services. Can you give a quick overview of what features Globitex has today and what kind of clients do you mostly work with?
Globitex is a fintech platform, which offers access to EUR IBAN accounts and SEPA payments as well as a cryptocurrency exchange. We currently mostly work with business clients from the crypto industry.
2. The e-money / online banking scene is very competitive. In Lithuania alone, there are almost 60 different companies licensed to provide e-money services. How do you differentiate yourself from the competitors and build a sustainable business?
The main differentiator for us I believe is our clear value proposition and focused target market. It is very tempting to provide services for „everyone“ and I see many companies falling for this trap, but in the early stage, a company must always find a big enough, but limited market to focus on.
3. What do you think have been the key drivers for success for Globitex?
Solving a real and painful problem for our clients; convenient service and focused marketing and sales activities.
4. How has the current crisis affected your business, and do you see any opportunities for fintechs in the current environment?
While the crisis itself is already at least 2 months old in most of Europe, we are in the very beginning of economic consequences of this crisis so the real effect on the economies is yet to be seen. First indicators are positive for fintech as people avoid physical interaction and use digital services predominantly, thus giving an edge for agile fintechs with a digital-first mentality to steal away customers from the traditional brick and mortar style banks. On top of that, I see a scenario where Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as such is a big winner as dominant world economies solve all problems with infinite printing of fiat money, more and more people start to wonder if that is sustainable and if an alternative makes sense to protect their wealth.
5. We can see that some banks are launching their own fintechs to compete with the likes of TransferWise, Revolut, and Globitex. How do you see this industry evolving in the next 5 years – do you think independent EMIs/online banks will keep taking the market share, or it’s the fintech arms of the big banks who are going to outpace the independent market participants due to better funding and distribution channels?
I see a fragmented market where the combination of fintech, open banking and crypto will lead to complete democratization of this industry, where thousands of providers will provide similar core products and will compete only with customer service, user experience and perks. Banks are wise to invest in fintech startups to hedge against the revolution.
6. Globitex had a very impressive ICO back in 2018, raising 7m euros in just 24 hours. What was it like to see such a strong investor interest, and looking back, was it something that surprised you or you knew the ICO would be a success?
The ICO happened at the final moments of the ICO boom, so I was pretty confident it will be a success as we had a solid working platform already while most companies were selling PowerPoint presentations and raising substantial funds.
7. Has Globitex raised any outside funding after the ICO, or you raised enough funds to scale the company?
We haven’t raised additional funds since, but have been contemplating a raise to boost scaling. These plans were however derailed by this crisis as we decided to focus on the business and not waste time on most likely fruitless discussions with investors facing massive uncertainty in the overall markets.
8. Can you tell us more about the trading features on Globitex? Is it limited to trading cryptocurrencies, or you also enable trading other assets like commodities, equities, etc?
Similar to our focused payments product, also the trading platform is largely focused on BTC vs. EUR trading. We offer some other spot crypto pairs, but more than 90% of our volume is on the BTC/EUR.
9. You partnered with Saltedge in late 2019 – what advantages this partnership gives to Globitex users?
It all started in a kind of forced way, namely PSD2 was introduced and we were required to ensure Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for our EUR payments business. Most companies use SMS for that, but our experience with SMS was not great as often our customers wouldn’t receive them. Which is why we were looking for a push notification style app on the mobile and Saltedge solution caught our eye. Now it is not only a requirement, but it is also celebrated between our customers and ourselves as very secure and convenient 2FA solution, which we have since introduced all over our platform. A push notification is so much more convenient than typing in a google authentication code.
10. Recently, Globitex teamed up with Bitfury Group’s Cristal Blockchain. Can you tell us more about what is Crystal Blockchain and how it helps to improve AML compliance?
Bitfury Crystal is a blockchain monitoring tool. Each crypto transfer that goes in or out of Globitex is screened by Crystal and provides us information on the risk level of involved addresses and also if there are affiliations with any sanctioned, terrorist-related, hack related or any other negative addresses.
11. What has been the biggest challenge for Globitex thus far?
I would say the biggest challenge has been to position ourselves on the market and define our value proposition.
What’s next for Globitex? Are there any new features on the roadmap?
We are currently totally reworking our onboarding journey to make it more efficient both for our clients and our onboarding team. There are also, of course, a multitude of smaller features and upgrades planned, but the biggest projects are the connection to Swift and becoming Mastercard Principal members for cards issuing.
Great - thank you, Uldis!
If you're looking for a banking solution for your crypto business or you want to buy bitcoin, check out Globitex here.