Visit at the easy to use P2P platform Swaper. Interview with CEO and Owner of Wandoo Finance Group, Iveta Brūvele and Product Owner of Swaper, Danija Misus. Review 2019

Visit at the easy to use P2P platform Swaper. Interview with CEO and Owner of Wandoo Finance Group, Iveta Brūvele and Product Owner of Swaper, Danija Misus. Review 2019

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Swaper review 2019

I have only been invested with Swaper for about three months at the time of writing this article. I have been wanting to start for quite some time, but the word on the P2P forums has been that they had a cash drag problem and it was hard to get your money invested. I usually stay away from platforms like that, but after I got a chance to talk to the people behind the Swaper platform and Wandoo Finance, I decided to give it a go. Turns out that I experience very little cash drag. It seems to be a matter of setting the auto invest up in a proper way. As this fall gave me some cash drag on Mintos instead, due to lower interest rates from their loan providers, I decided to move some funds from Mintos to Swaper and add additional funds. After three months, I have 6662 euros invested with Swaper, earning 14%. So far, I am quite satisfied with the platform and the results I am getting. Below you can read the interview I made with Swaper

The interview with Iveta Brūvele and Danija Misus

Georg: 
If you sign up as an investor at Swaper, you don’t see any loans available on the platform. This might cause some investors to drop out and not use the platform at all. Why can’t you see any loans available? 

Iveta: 
You are not actually supposed to see any available loans. That is the whole point. A lot of investors have auto-invest set up. So to actually get some loans in your portfolio, you need to set up auto-invest or the loans will quickly be distributed on all investors having auto-invest. It is very rare that you will see any loans available to invest in manually. We used to have a really bad situation. We had more investors than loans and that was a disadvantage of our platform for a long time. We were a new company and the loan originators were new. We did not want to grow fast, as we wanted to be very careful of setting op all the risk rules. But since June Swaper has been growing really fast. There is not a lot of cash drag anymore. We checked this morning and there were 200000 euros in uninvested loans. This was after the weekend and during that time the volume of the loans are lower. During the day, those 200000 euros worth of loans will be invested. For a long time, we did not grow the amounts on purpose, because we wanted to make sure that we were actually earning and running a good and healthy business. Usually, if you set up your auto-invest and transfer funds, they will be invested in a couple of days. Usually, there will be plenty of short term Polish and Spanish loans. Swaper has some investors who sign up, transfer funds and only wait a few hours. When none of the funds are invested yet, they withdraw the money again. 

Georg: 
I prefer auto-invest when it comes to direct to consumer loans. I think that some investors would automatically think that there is cash drag, as there are not available loans for manual investing. I was thinking the same thing. 

Iveta: 
Our September campaign +2% campaign for portfolios under 5000 euros was also our first because we could see that we were growing fast and we wanted to have a sufficient amount of investors on the platform. This was very intentionally. We did not want to run a campaign at a time where the loan volume was smaller. But we finally did it! 

Georg: 
When investors look into new P2P platforms to either start investing with their first platform,  or want to expand their portfolio to the next platform to diversify, it is always important to know something about the people behind the platform and their experience in finance and business. So Iveta, can you tell me a little about your history and background in the finance sector? 

Iveta: 
I started my career in the finance sector at Swedbank, one of the biggest banks here in Latvia. I started as a call center employee, answering questions and working with technical support and after a while with corporate support. I actually did a lot of different things there and it was an interesting four years because in the end, I knew all the products of the bank. I was moving from one department to another and then again another. The bank offers a lot of services and products, and that was really interesting. However, if you work for a big bank everything moves really slow compared to smaller companies and private businesses. I am not really a corporate person. I like to see the results of my work right away. I want the possibility to move in a new direction fast instead of having a lot of levels of approval. That is when I took my next job with 4finance, which is also an international company. I started there as head of their customer service department. After that, I was responsible for debt collection. I was also helping to open up new markets. Then I became responsible for system development. So ones again, I was involved in pretty much everything during my time there. From there on this was the kind of things I was doing. Then I worked for Twino, another P2P platform. In Twino, I was the country manager in Poland, so I was living there. For the Polish market, everything was really interesting during the first 6 months when everything was new. But when everything was set up I was thinking, “what should I do next?” So I was also involved in opening the market in the Czech Republic, the Russian market, and group level tasks. After that, it was Swaper! I don’t know why it became that I got to open my own company. However, I knew that I did not want to make the same mistakes as some of the companies I had worked for. In those organizations, there are some things that I thought I could do better, for example in terms of organizational work. I am probably never going to leave Swaper because when you start from the beginning there are so many stages of growth of the company and you have to adjust at each stage. So there is something new all the time. There is always a new challenge. I very much like the speed of how things can be done. My usual response, when someone asks me for a deadline, is that it should be done yesterday. People already know the answer. I like that things can be done really fast. 

Georg: 
That is of course also very important in the fintech industry. 

Iveta: 
For sure! You have to, for example, adjust legislation changes , to new risk terms, and changes in the local markets. For Swaper we have also built our own AI or machine learning scoring model, which is completely automated. So there are so many new things happening here at Swaper

Georg: 
I see that your former COO, Elina, also has a history with 4finance and Twino. Did you start here together? 

Iveta: 
We were working together at 4finance. At that time she was responsible for system development. So she was from the IT side and I was on the business side. We were working closely together as we were launching the new markets. When I came to Swaper, I was alone, but when I created my team I was looking for people that I already had built trust with and had worked with in the past, so that is why she is here. If we take the risk, finance and business development people they are all from other loan companies or other companies in the financial sector. Maybe not the IT people, but business, risk, and finance are first of all the best people I already knew from my previous work experience. I have been working with some of them for more than 10 years.  

Georg: 
What about you, Danija

Danija: 
It is hard to follow after that impressive CV in finance. 

Iveta: 
Well, it is quite impressive actually, because Danija was here with us from the moment when we launched the Swaper project. She also started working in customer support answering calls and helping customers….  Sorry, for taking over your question.  

Danija: 
It is ok. You are doing good actually. Haha. (Everybody laughing). 

Iveta: 
I would say Swaper is very much her project as well and she has been taking on more and more responsibility here at Swaper.  

Danija: 
Yes. So I don’t have a financial background. I started in customer care in aviation at AirBaltic. I feel the same way as Iveta in the sense that I want to do something and move forward all the time. So went something is very stable and does not require change that much, it becomes less interesting for me. So when I found Swaper I was hooked. My responsibility is growing and with the new locations, everything is very interesting. I am getting all the feedback and demands from investors and now we are going to make the changes a reality on the Swaper platform. I am actually working for two companies at the moment, as I am also working for Swaper in Estonia now. 

Georg: 
So if we talk a little bit about the Swaper platform in general. What exactly do you offer for investors? What kind of loans do you have, terms, and interest rates? 

Iveta: 
I can start with the Wandoo Finance part. So far on Swaper we only have loans issued by the Wandoo Finance Group. In Wandoo Finance Group we have companies in Poland, Denmark, Spain, and Russia. We used to issue loans in Georgia as well, but that market is dead now. On the Swaper platform, we do not yet offer loans from Russia. We used to do that, but if you compare it to European countries, is quite a different market. It is more complicated so it is currently not a market that is easy for us to understand and how we can to work in a proper way because there are huge differences. All of the loans are short term payday loans with a high yield. Swaper offers a fixed 12% interest rate for smaller investors and 14% for loyalty or VIP investors, starting from 5000 euros. 

Danija: 
When it comes to the loan duration, Poland and Spain are one month, and Danish loans are four months. All loans are secured with buyback. That means if the borrower is late paying for 30 days, we will buy back the investment and return the principal and the accrued interest for the whole period. That means that investors will also earn interest during the late period. 

Iveta: 
From the Wandoo Finance perspective, Swaper will probably at some point offer the Russian loans as the situation is quite good there and we have started to increase the volumes. So when we are sure that it is profitable and our setup is solid, we will start to offer loans from Russia again on the Swaper platform. About the buyback, I think the way it works is quite clear. The margin between the interest that we earn on one side and what we pay to investors on the other is quite large. In Denmark, for example, we get 200% per year. So all the time we keep a certain amount separated for the buyback

Georg: 
Can you tell me a little bit more about Wandoo Finance Group and Swaper?

Iveta: 
Swaper started in October 2016 and Wandoo Finance Group started a little before that. The Swaper platform is not owned by Wandoo Finance Group, but instead by our partner. On the Swaper platform, there are only loans from Wandoo Finance Group at the moment. I don’t think that is going to change. In the beginning, a lot of outside loan originators came to us and wanted to originate loans to the Swaper platform. However, that was not the way we wanted to go and it still isn’t. That would mean we have to take a reputation risk for another company. That is not something we are willing to do. We want to be sure that the loans can earn as they are supposed to. It also means that we have the same conditions for all the loans and that is also an advantage of the Swaper platform. Other platforms have to assess risk levels for each loan originator and the conditions can change over time. Also, each platform defines the risk levels differently. It is not as transparent as well as there are so many details. We have full control and total insight and we offer the same conditions as we did from day one. We have local offices in all markets except for Denmark at the moment, but we are currently looking for a country manager. Each company in the local markets are daughter companies of Wandoo Finance Latvia. 

Georg: 
What happens in a specific market if they get into financial problems? 

Iveta: 
If they get into trouble, in terms of investors, they still have the claim against the borrower. It is common that there are late loans. It is something you see on pretty much any platform. But later we do the collection. So we use the court system to recover a lot of it. It is still not that easy in Russia, but for the other countries, it works quite well. We have good possibilities the get the money back. The level of money that we do not get back is very low. Another good example is the Georgian market, that was the first market for Wandoo Finance. It was initially a great market because the people there had a very good culture of paying back debt. It was like that until a certain moment. Swaper was really profitable in Georgia. However, regulatory risk is something that we are dealing with in all countries. There was then a legislation change in Georgia and they limited the yearly interest rate to 100% and that was a huge switch as the interest rate for us before the switch was about 220%. So we changed our scoring and switched our product to a two-year loan instead. We did the change in just two weeks, so very fast, just the way I like it. We were, of course, issuing fewer loans because our risk standards were now much higher with the lower interest rate. However, we were still profitable. It was a very good example of how you need to adjust to legislation changes in the fintech industry. Then Georgia implemented new changes to decrease the limit to 50%. That made it completely impossible for us to do business in Georgia, because of our customers and risk level. So we closed down the Georgian market and stopped issuing loans. For more than a year we were solely dealing with debtors who were not paying back the loans. A small part of the portfolio was sold on the last day before we closed the company. It did not influence investors on the Swaper platform. First of all, we bought back all the loans issued on the Georgian market from the investors. In May this year, we bought back the last long term loans from investors and we sold off that part of the portfolio for a smaller amount. It was not that profitable for us, but it did not affect the earnings for investors. Because these things can happen we also want to diversify our own risk by expanding to new markets and to have more products. We need to do this as the biggest risk in our business is the regulatory risk. You never know what might happen in the markets. From my perspective, the most important thing is to have more countries. In the future, we also plan to offer installment loans for up to two years and credit lines. It will most likely start with Polen because we really like that market and we have good conditions there. We are also looking at countries outside of Europe as they are not that regulated yet and they are probably going to be regulated only step by step. We don’t mind regulations but it has to be reasonable with our risk levels. We are not sure what new markets we will enter but it could be some of the interesting markets in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia. Before we go there, we will probably enter markets closer to home. It could be countries like Armenia or Kazakhstan. But there are no final decisions on any specific markets yet. We are currently preparing our systems and doing market research. For us to set up business in, for example, Armenia would take a month to a month and a half, if we decide to launch them on the Swaper platform

Georg: 
When Swaper wants to go into a new market, what are the procedures? 

Iveta: 
When Swaper goes into a new market, then the first thing we do is to find legal support, and tax advisers for accounting. This is important for us to understand how we can work there and what the conditions for legislation are. The next step is to find someone from the local loan industry. Usually, it is not on a country manager level or managing director level, it is COO level. We choose someone from the local market who knows the details and how to work there. Of course, before that, we do a lot of research in terms of culture, how people are using the Internet and spending habits. As country managers, we like to use Latvian people, so we have a Latvian country manager in Spain. Elina, our former Swaper COO has recently moved to Poland to be the country manager there and lead our biggest market at the moment. There are a lot of cultural differences between the countries, so it is important for us to know exactly how to deal with the person to get the desired results. This is complicated if we work with a country manager from the local market. From an IT perspective, it is usually quite simple to launch into a new market with Swaper, as we have most things set up already. 

Georg: 
When you took me around the office I was a bit surprised because Swaper is a bigger company than I expected. How many employees do you have? What functions do you have inhouse and is anything outsourced? 

Iveta: 
In the whole group, we are about 130 to 140 people. That includes everyone here in the Riga headquarters and the call centers in the different markets. Except for Denmark, as they are currently located here in Riga. Here at the Latvian headquarters, we have three functions centralized here. IT, finance and risk. All the decisions and work is done here locally. We don’t give those functions to the local market offices. Here in the Latvian office, we are about 45 to 48 people at the moment. More than 30 of them are IT people. Infrastructure, frontend developers, designers, web designers, and backend developers. Everyone needed to create and maintain our IT solutions, including the Swaper platform and the mobile app. In the different markets, we have customer support, sales, support teams, and debt collection. In all countries debt collection is something that we do ourselves in the first 30 to 60 days because we believe that we can do it better than the external companies. We have extended the period where we are working with the debtors ourselves if we compare to when we started, as we found out that we could do this better. In the call centers, most of the people are debt collection people. Talking about outsourcing, I am not a big fan of it at all. The only thing we have outsourced in the local markets is legal. That is something that we do not have internally at the moment. But probably that is something that will change in the future as well. How many people we have in the local offices greatly depends on the market. In Russia, for example, there is a lot more paperwork to do and we are regulated by the Central Bank of Russia, so just because of that we need to have at least 15 people who are doing the paperwork for the regulator and we cannot really automize any of that work. Regarding Poland, it is very automated that only 6% of the loans go to manual approval. We have around 35 people working there at the moment. Most of them are in debt collection even though we automated parts of that, but there are still a lot of calls to debtors. For the Danish market, we have only 4 people working here in Latvia. In Spain, it is around 15 to 20 people. When new tasks are coming in, we first look at if there is any way we can automate them. 

Georg: 
You told me that Swaper uses AI or machine learning in your scoring model. Is that also built in-house? 

Iveta: 
Yes. That is something that our risk, data science, and IT people have built together. That was actually a huge switch for us, because when we moved to this new technology and scoring it turned out to be an excellent decision. We don’t spend a lot of time on it anymore and we need fewer people. If we were to launch ten new countries it would not mean that we would have to hire 20 people more in IT and risk. We would probably just need one or two in addition. They are working mostly on automation, so maybe 99% works on automation and we don’t need to do a lot of manual work. So resource-wise and in terms of scalability this is a huge advantage for Swaper. In addition, the scoring is more precise and the system is learning by itself and for each loan, it becomes better. 

Georg: 
So what are the requirements to invest on your platform? Is there anyone who cannot invest with Swaper

Danija: 
We are only accepting European residents as investors. So you need to have on IBAN account in the European Economic Area and you need to be a resident as well. 

Georg: 
So someone from the US, Japan or Brazil cannot invest with Swaper?

Danija: 
No, they have to be a resident. 

Danija: 
We currently have more than 3000 active investors on Swaper

Georg: 
What is the average investor portfolio size at Swaper?  

Danija: 
The average is around 5000 to 6000 euros. This is because they are mostly going for the loyalty bonus and the extra 2% to reach the interest rate of 14%. In the beginning, it is common that investors start with smaller amounts and if they have set up their auto-invest as we advise, then they see that the money is invested and they are earning. After that, they usually add more money the reach the VIP status. Some have more, of course, but the average is 5000 to 6000 euros. 

Georg: 
I heard from some investors and read on the forums that they were having problems with cash drag on Swaper. That is, they transfer money and set up the auto-invest but all the funds are not invested. How can they solve this problem? 

Danija: 
This is a large issue, actually. We are working to improve this situation. The thing is that there are many features that, if set up in the wrong way, will result in cash drag. The simplest advice I can give is to use the default setting in the auto-invest that it is set up with from the beginning. With one click you can be set up with the best settings to avoid cash drag. If you want to diversify we have the three loan originators in three countries and they are all short term. Some investors try to invest only in the long term loans but unfortunately, this does not work as we do not have them anymore. Russia was 6 months and Georgia was 12 to 24 months. 

Iveta: 
That is always a struggle because for our product we don’t really need the auto-invest settings. For Mintos, for example, it makes sense as they have a lot of different products, interest rates, and terms. Our products are more simple so it should basically just be a button that says “Invest” and that is it. Maybe the maximum you need to set is the countries that you want to invest in. That is really all that you need in our case. Our idea, in the beginning, was just to put a play button and that would be it. Then we realized that a lot of investors are used to those auto-invest settings and they were asking for them. So some of the settings are useless in my opinion. The interest rate is the same and there is buyback on all loans. 

Georg: 
I think there is a lot of psychology in that. In my experience, in the beginning, when investors start with a new platform, they want short term loans so they can exit fast if they do not like the platform or the performance. Once they feel more secure, they want long term loans so they don’t have to check for cash drag all the time and they can make their set up more passive. So I feel your struggle. 

Iveta: 
We are currently working on making the auto-invest simpler to understand. We have investors who set it up in strange ways. When it is not working, they think that there are no loans to invest in. 

Danija: 
I think it is mostly a problem with information. People do not realize that we currently have only short term loans. Another example would be a portfolio set up only to invest in Danish or Spanish loans. Our largest market is Poland, so if you exclude Poland it will be much slower to get all your money invested. I also see that many investors setup the maximum investment in one loan to the minimum of 10 euros. This can give some problems as well. However, loan volumes are increasing. So we advise using the default auto-invest settings. That will help to get the money invested faster and diversify overall loans that are available on the Swaper platform. We also have a secondary market in place under manual investing and your auto-invest will automatically grab loans both from the primary and secondary market. We actually have a video on our blog on how to use the auto-invest. 

Georg: 
Talking about your blog, what kind of help and information can investors find there? 

Danija: 
It is both industry knowledge and information about Swaper and how to use the platform. It is mostly how-to guides and also we are going to restart our blog with posts about the finance sector and peer-2-peer in general. 

Georg: 
There is a lot of new platforms popping up in the P2P market. Investors like to jump from one platform to another when something new comes along or new features are released. How does Swaper keep the investor’s interest in the platform? 

Iveta: 
Our advantage compared to the brand new ones is of course that we have been in operations for a while and we have already gained some trust. Another advantage is that we do not change the conditions and interest rates. They have stayed the same from the beginning. That being said, many of the platforms are very similar and it is hard to reinvent the wheel and most of the new platforms don’t offer anything new. The Swaper loyalty bonus is definitely a plus as well. We don’t try to hold the investors on the platform, so they can exit fast if they choose to do so. It is a competitive market situation but we are doing good and we feel that we offer a good product for investors. 

Georg: 
In August there was a newsletter regarding that Swaper was moving to Estonia. How will that unfold? 

Iveta: 
It is both in terms of company registration and also a physical move. There is an office in Estonia and there are local employees there. The platform is working in terms of Estonian legislation now and all the business activities have already been moved. The only thing we still have here is Danija. 

Georg: 
So all of this, you have set up here in Riga is going to move to Tallinn? 

Iveta: 
Yes. It is already there. There are people working with the customers and the Swaper platform. There will, hopefully before the end of the year be a new market and we will launch new products on the existing markets. It will be more long term products and we think that many investors will appreciate that. 

Georg: 
But I saw a lot of people in the office during the tour. Will all of those people move to Tallinn? 

Iveta: 
No, all of those people you saw during the office tour are Wandoo Finance employees. All the Swaper people have recently relocated to Tallinn and at the moment only Danija remains. 

Georg: 
Investors worry about what will happen to the P2P market when we go into a recession. What do you think will happen in the P2P market when a new type of financial crises will come? In particular in terms of Swaper 

Iveta: 
If we are talking about payday lenders, a crisis is the best time to work. If you take a look at the statistics during the crises in any country where payday lenders are in operation, usually the numbers are increasing because more people need to borrow money and they are willing to take the higher interest rate. If we talk in particular about Swaper, talking about Georgia for example, when the interest rates dropped we were taking less risky customers and change the product to remain profitable. As our scoring if automated, as soon as a lot of bad customers will start to come, we will realize that quickly and the scoring will adapt automatically. Even then, we will most likely issue more loans as some of them will be good and the demand will be higher. Georgia is a good example of where we switched to the borrowers that we really wanted to take. So in terms of the Swaper platform, in my opinion, I don’t see a lot of risks. In general, it is true, that earnings of payday lenders are growing during a crisis. 

Georg: 
What kind of regulatory changes are you preparing for? 

Iveta: 
Regarding the regulation of platforms in Latvia, platforms need to get an investment brokerage license. This is breaking the business model for us and that is why Swaper is now in Estonia and that is why a few platforms are already outside of Latvia. From what I hear only one of the biggest platforms will stay in Latvia and the rest of them will move. We don’t mind to be regulated and we already are in Russia by the Central Bank of Russia, An investor brokerage license means that you have to get a lot of additional thins implemented in your business model, which makes it unprofitable for us. Estonia is much more fintech friendly and it has always been like that. Wandoo finance group is applying for different licenses in order to offer more financial services, like issuing cards and open bank accounts. I believe that this is the future for companies like us. We did not see the point to get a license in the middle since we are already applying for a different one. So that is the reason for moving the Swaper platform to Estonia. There are potential upcoming regulations in Poland, our biggest market. They are planning to increase the interest rate to 120% per year, so that is 10% per month. It is half of what it currently is. So we are preparing new products, like installment loans, where we can afford to grant loans for a longer period and still be profitable with the lower interest rate. But we do not know if those changes are going to come or not. We are definitely not leaving the Polish market, as we really like it and we are profitable there. So those regulations will not be a game killer. Even if the regulations will not be put into play, we will still implement the products. They had an election in October and it was part of the political campaign to increase the interest rate. It is always like that, not just in Latvia but also in other European countries. They could implement the changes in six months, but we can launch the product in about a month, so we are ready if it happens. It will be installment loans for sure and they are almost ready. The credit line is the second option and it is something that we are considering. 

Danija: 
When the new products are ready and will be launched, we will inform investors to update their portfolio to include the new products and terms. 

Georg: 
You don’t have 2-factor verification on Swaper yet, so if anyone gets access to your account somehow will they be able to withdraw the money? 

Danija: 
We are considering to implement this functionality, as this is something investors are asking for. However, if someone gets access to your account they will only be able to withdraw the money to your account, not their own. 

Georg: 
Is Swaper profitable yet? 

Iveta: 
It depends on the country. We also have a lot of questions about financial statements. 2017 was our first full year in operations in all countries. Swaper was not profitable in 2017, because we were so new. In 2018 we got better and 2019 will be profitable for sure for the whole group. In terms of financial statements, for 2018, they are not ready yet. However, as soon as the statements for 2018 are ready, we will publish them for investors to see. For 2017 we did not see any point in doing that. But for 2019 Swaper will be profitable. We could see it in the first quarter already. As we publish 2018 we will most likely also share some numbers for 2019, so investors can see the trend. If investors would like to see the statements for 2017, they can do so on Lursoft

Georg: 
What are your expansion plans for the next 3-5 years? 

Iveta: 
We already talked about the short term plans. Within a year we will most likely enter 2 new markets in terms of issuing loans. In the longer term, we will be applying for a banking license. We are quite strong on the technical side and we know finance. But we will hire additional people when it comes to the banking parts. Having more financial services and a banking license I think is the future for companies like us. However, this will be a long process so I cannot give any timeline as it takes a lot of preparations even to apply. It takes a lot of work with the regulator as well. We will not apply for a license in Latvia, it will be in a different country but I cannot share information about that yet. But it will be a banking license to be able to work in the European Union and to be able to offer more products. We like the idea that you can open a bank account on your mobile phone in 5 to 7 minutes. You don’t have to go to a physical branch and you do not need to make any paperwork. To me, this is amazing and this is the direction that we want to go in. Maybe not like Revolut, as this product is more aimed for traveling and currency exchange. We do not plan to go in the direction of cryptocurrencies as well. N26 is a bit closer to something that we would like to offer. 

Georg: 
Mintos, for example, has a diversification tool, where you can choose how big a percentage you would like to invest at the maximum with each loan originator. I know that you just have one loan originator, Wandoo Finance, but how can investors control the split of their investments over different countries, if they wish to do that for diversification purposes? 

Danija: 
This could be done by creating several auto-invest strategies for each country on Swaper. However, it would take time to get an even split, like we talked about before, as Poland is a big market. 

Iveta: 
Yes, that is true. However, we are currently increasing the loan volumes in Spain and Denmark. If you limit the amount you want to invest in Poland, you can do that, but not all of your money will be invested right away and you will experience some cash drag. But when Spain will grow closer to the size of the Polish market, this approach would make more sense. 

Georg: 
One investor complained to me that he could not use Transferwise for his first payment. I have used Revolut from the beginning, and that works. Can investors use Transferwise on the Swaper platform? 

Iveta: 
For the first transfer, we require a transfer from a bank account, as it is part of the verification process. Additional documents need to be submitted as well, of course. We need to make sure that the transfer includes all information about you so that we are sure that you are actually who you say you are. The next payments can then come from Transferwise

Georg: 
I know that Transferwise, at least at the moment, does not give enough information about the originator to follow the AML procedures. 

Danija: 
Yes, on Transferwise it is not from your personal account, the transfer comes from a Transferwise account. We can also not withdraw money to a Transferwise account for this reason. But the main reason is identification so it is not something that we will change. 

Georg: 
That was actually the last question from investors on the forums. Do you have anything else you want to tell me, that may be interesting for my followers? 

Iveta: 
Danija, now you can brag. 🙂

Danija: 
This has been an amazing year for Swaper. We have won two awards. The first one is from the bankingcheck.de. Our investors voted for us, left reviews and we were awarded as the best crowdlending platform 2019. BankingCheck is a German website, but the nomination is for all of Europe. Twino came in at number two. This was during the P2P conference in Riga, so I was in Berlin at the time. The second one we got in late July from Wealth and Finance, also as the best European P2P platform 2019. 

Final thoughts about Swaper

I have only been invested with Swaper since August this year, but so far it is going great. I already has an account setup before the interview, but I was reluctant to start investing as there was talk on the forums about cash drag on the platform. However, after the interview I transferred some money and started investing. I only changed one setting in the standard auto invest setup. The minimum investment per loan is set to minimum 500 euros. That was too high in my opinion, but of course that all depends on how big an amount you invest on the platform. I like to keep the minimum investment at maximum 1 percent of the full amount I invest on the platform. I initially set the minimum to 150 euros to get all of the money invested. After that, I put the minimum to 15 euros and now I run with 10 euros as a minimum, with 6737 euros invested at the time of writing this article. Sometimes I experience a small cash drag of up to a couple of hundred euros, but the money usually gets reinvested in a few days. If not, I put the minimum of to 50 euros for a day and everything is usually invested. So sometimes I still need to tweak a bit manually to get rid of the cash drag, but it is fast and easy. I think it is worth the trouble for the high return. 

As I have more that 5000 euros invested, the interest rate is 14%. One thing I would really like to see though, is a bigger loan volume from the Danish and Spanish markets. Swaper is very heavy in the Polish market today. All in all, it is a very simple and straightforward platform to use. Swaper is pretty much a set and forget platform. I find the loyalty bonus of the extra 2% very attractive, and I like the liquidity of the short term loans.

While writing and getting the interview ready for you, the financial statements for 2018 were revealed. You cannot access them on the Swaper website yet, but they can be found on Lursoft

Share the knowledge, your opinion and get answers to your questions​

Have you already invested with Swaper? What do you think of the platform? What do you see as the pros and cons of the platformAre you thinking about signing up? Have you invested in other platforms? Please leave a comment or any question you have below and I will get right back with an answer for you. If you know someone who would like to get started investing or is already investing, feel free to share this article with them. 

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