The idea to set up Globiance was born in 2018. At the time, its seven co-founders were of the opinion that cryptocurrencies will replace the banking system in a short time. However, they soon realised that this was far from true and that what the world needs is a bridge between the traditional financial system and cryptocurrencies.
“We also realised that it is very hard to find banking solutions for crypto or other high-risk industries and we started to focus on finding suitable banking providers for us and our clients. From the start, we planned a global set-up to be able to serve clients around the world with their needs,” they recall.
Ms Mudreac, the company’s Chief People Officer, and Mr La Rosa, the CEO, say they have helped a large number of clients, including most major gambling groups in Malta to open accounts in one or more banks. Crypto services were also launched as, slowly but surely, the gambling industry pushes more volume towards cryptocurrencies.
Mr La Rosa had been involved in successful ventures in the past and has over 13 years’ experience with his team, servicing banks in Europe and knowing, as well as supporting, the IT platforms used by such banks that now benefit Globiance.
Prior to co-founding Globiance, Ms Mudreac had set up two successful ventures herself. With a background in psychology, she can not only fulfil her official role in the company but also play a crucial part in vetting new suppliers and business partners.
The other co-founders Alexander Pfau and Sascha La Rosa have a technical background and are responsible for the platform. Nicolas Bruzstowski, serial entrepreneur and owner of The Network in Malta, as well as Oliver De Bono, the former COO of Malta Blockchain Summit and Sigma, are the marketing gurus in the team.
“We complement each other very well. Despite facing several setbacks with the project initially, we never gave up and always followed our goal and, finally, launched our first platform in May 2019,” they assert.
In addition to the Estonian and UK platform already in place, Globiance recently took over a Singapore EMI, which serves not only as headquarters of the expansion in the Asian markets but allows the company to offer more services directly.
The founders point out they do not plan to replace their banking partners but believe in working with several banks in numerous countries and integrating more each month so, in the end, clients will have one platform with all banking services available in one place: “onboarding with an additional bank through Globiance and doing daily business without the need to log in into multiple banking platforms to check balances and execute transactions.”
Globiance, Mr La Rosa explains, provides financial services to both professional and personal customers. Its platform covers exchange and trading of crypto and fiat currencies, payment solutions and worldwide transfers.
Globiance is one of the few platforms with a global approach and, additionally, features integrated individual bank accounts for each client, they add. It focuses on the user experience of buying and selling crypto, combined with the ability to instantly withdraw fiat to the integrated accounts, and a personal client support that does not hide behind emails.
In October, the company launches its UK-based multi-bank platform GlobiancePay. Through this platform, the co-founders say, Globiance not only opens SEPA/SWIFT accounts for its clients but also merges multiple banks in one offering and can provide IBANs under one login. In addition, accounts will be in the client’s name for SWIFT payments.
“It is a great platform and we are very proud to be able to offer it to our clients,” Ms Mudreac asserts. Multiple Tier 1 banks are behind the platform and users can open one or multiple accounts from each bank to create redundancy and different payment rails for business sections or regions, she explains.
Globiance works with over 35 banking partners and it strives to make all of them accessible as fast as possible in either the UK-based GlobiancePay platform or the Globiance global platforms.
The goal is to facilitate access to all underlying banks via a combined interface, listing IBANs of multiple banks together with the client’s crypto and fiat assets for a complete overview of one’s finances with the ability to initiate crypto and fiat payments in all directions.
The newly-released Globiance global platforms (Europe, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Pacific and the Commonwealth of Independent States) now feature multi-language and multi-currency wallet accounts providing several currencies including EUR, GBP, USD, SGD, HKD, THB, MYR, IDR, CNY, JPY, KRW, LAK, VND, AUD, NZD, CAD, ARS, MXN, BRL, COL, CLP, PEN, TRY, ZAR, NGN, KES, UGX, INR and GTQ.
Besides buying and selling cryptocurrencies (largescale crypto-to-fiat cash-outs or buying crypto), users can handle their payments within the platform (internal, national or international via crypto or SEPA/SWIFT). Also, retail users can pay businesses on the Globiance platform with crypto or fiat currencies, they say.
The Globiance Payment Gateway was launched beginning of October and features more than 220 built-in connections to Acquirers and Alternative Payment Methods. Globiance starts with offering different acquirers solutions in its gateway while it onboards with the card networks directly to be able to grant its clients the most competitive rates possible, the top company executives continue.
They explain that banking and crypto exchange services go hand-in-hand on the company’s platforms, which is why it integrates its banking partner in the platform, making it easier for clients to deal with both crypto and fiat currencies.
Given the sensitivity surrounding the use of cryptocurrencies, the subject of regulation is inevitably raised. “From day one, we planned to conduct KYC/AML on a banking level as we already understood that is where the industry is heading once it matures, so we were not surprised by the tightening of regulations,” they explain. “Each user goes through KYC/KYB and AML checks, powered by our partner, ShuftiPro, before one is allowed to trade. We also integrated the coin analysis services of Ospree, ensuring the safe origin of coins traded on our platforms. We have our own Compliance Department, which ensures the safety of all business partners and clients dealing on our platforms,” the co-founders point out.
When asked about their opinion on ICOs they add that the air for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) has become thin and that there are very few projects that still obtain funding. However, on the other hand, they remark, this results in a natural selection and the filtering out of “bad” projects that would have never received funding before the ICO regulation.
Too many projects received funding in 2017 and most of them ended silently, Ms Mudreac and Mr La Rosa continue. However, they think there remain some good projects that are worth investing early in and benefiting from their success, provided, of course, that careful research is first conducted as one would do with traditional investments.
Security tokens, the business partners insist, have a place in the market, especially for commodities and real estate. In their view, such methods facilitate the trading of illiquid assets and, thus, allow more investors to participate, including those with small budgets. Real estate developers can, finally, reach into every household to turn them into investors, they add.
The co-founders strongly believe that cryptocurrencies and digital currencies will stand the test of time. For example, more and more banks join Ripple to ease transfers between them and, also, national currencies are being planned and deployed globally, they explain. Globiance especially follows the national cryptocurrency development closely and will list those in the Globiance platforms to allow their clients to trade as soon as possible.
As to stable coins, Ms Mudreac and Mr La Rosa deem them very important for mass adoption. Many users fear the volatility of cryptocurrencies but with stable coins they can be sure their money has the same value tomorrow, they explain. Acknowledging that fiat currencies are changing value too, they note this is not happening at the same rate as cryptocurrencies.
Crypto usage, they note, is already much better than before and many industries value their speed and easy handling, using crypto to settle their bills and to receive payments. The acceptance increases every day and, in their view, it is just a matter of time before one can speak of mass adoption.
Globiance is working on its own Singapore dollar-based stable coin together with its partners, XinFin. It considers the Singapore dollar to be a very important currency for Asia’s trade finance and the company is hoping to drive the digitisation forward, facilitating the trading with its SGDX stable coin.
Globiance already planned five live platforms before adding the CIS and Pacific global platforms as well as the Globiance Gateway, which are also all live now. In addition to the GlobiancePay multi-banking platform which starts end of October, Ms Mudreac and Mr La Rosa say more solutions and platforms, including a platform for the North American market, will be released in future.
Globiance offers global platforms that cater to the needs of business and retail clients alike but, today, it focuses on corporate clients that use its services. “We are permanently improving the platform and strive to become the provider that makes all our clients globally happy,” they note.
This feature was first carried In the October/November edition of Digital Island