Fiat-to-Crypto Services in 2019 — The Interview with Indacoin’s Business Developer Chief
The world of crypto is developing at high speed every day. There are a lot of services already existing: exchanges, monitorings, aggregators, etc. But the question of entering the crypto market is still tough for many people. There are not too many properly developed fiat-to-crypto fintech solutions. It’s difficult and risky to build one: many of the existing ones still have problems with trust, reliability and regulation by law and banks.
One of the leaders of this field who could manage to solve the mentioned issues is ChangeHero’s good partner Indacoin. This project has been taking part in the game since 2014 and became one of the most known services for purchasing crypto with credit cards. We were lucky to have a conversation with Guilherme Jovanović, Indacoins business development director. We had a talk about the difficulties for the new services, how crypto is changing the world, and how the market unites people around the globe. Learn more in our interview!
ChangeHero: Hi! Please tell us about yourself a bit? Where are you from, what’s your position at Indacoin and what brought you to the crypto field?
Guilherme: Hi! My name is Guilherme and currently, I’m the business development director at Indacoin.
I was born in Switzerland and I have Serbian & Portuguese roots. I have moved to Russia about a year ago and I’ve been living here since then. I really enjoy Moscow’s architecture, spectacular views and lifestyle. Being able to speak Russian language fluently is one of my major goals and one of the drivers that brought me to this country.
I have always been passionate about cryptocurrencies, since my early years studying Business and Economics in Geneva. It’s an emerging field that is growing exponentially and I deeply believe in this high tech. In my perspective, I see that technology had strong impacts in various sectors, but quite little when it comes to our financial system which is still underdeveloped. International transactions, for example, take too long and are subject to high commissions, even when it comes to cash withdrawals. These are some of the reasons why I believe that crypto could be a viable solution and why I ended up working in this field.
ChangeHero: So we guess you also have a personal interest in developing the project. It seems to be your passion, right?
Guilherme: Exactly! I am very passionate about the crypto industry and the Indacoin project. I feel grateful for having the opportunity to contribute in a project that I believe in.
With my team, I have attended several conferences in different countries — where we have encountered many interesting individuals from around the globe with innovative ideas and projects. It’s very rewarding to be able to help them and watch their growth closely.
You have to bear all the risks by yourself — in case of a chargeback, you will have to take full responsibility.
ChangeHero: Sounds inspiring! Is it really difficult to build a service like that? And what obstacles did you encounter on the way?
Guilherme: Of course it’s very difficult to build something like this from scratch. The main issues are the legal, amount of existing fraud and obtaining trust from banks. In fact, 60% of payment attempts come from stolen cards — our research team found that when we first launched. It’s very difficult to deal with all the chargebacks and refunds, it can lead any business to bankrupt.
I’ve met with other companies who tried to develop similar credit card gateway services but they failed enormously. It’s not so hard to find acquiring banks, develop a payment gateway, get a KYC provider, blacklist some countries etc. and expect things to go smoothly. Everything may look fine at first, but after few months of operations, companies will start getting notifications of chargebacks and at some point, they realize that they need to pay over $50’000 in refunds for example.
This is the main obstacle — that hackers can easily pass KYC and get large amounts of money from stolen credit cards. We have developed a strong anti-fraud system which is continuously being improved and requires us to have a full department that is totally focused on it. In case our system has doubts about the reliability of a transaction, our anti-fraud team will call the user and make a short interview in order to determine if the transaction is fraudulent.
Overall, there are many complicated and costly obstacles for new entrants and it can take years of development and hard work in order to be fully operational and be trusted by individuals and institutions.
We managed to overcome all these obstacles because our team is full of extremely motivated and talented individuals who managed to make Indacoin the top provider of fraud-free banking cards processing.
ChangeHero: So the main obstacles are about fraud, bank’s trust, but what about competitors? Do you have many?
Guilherme: Yes, we do have some competitors. I receive this question a lot from our partners, sometimes they mention that others offer lower fees. But there are questions about the legitimacy of these “low fees” that should be taken into account.
There are many competitors who offer similar fiat-to-crypto services, but most of them don’t take responsibility for chargebacks, rolling reserves and KYC. So, at first sight, it might seem like an easy and cheap option but then it usually turns out to be extremely expensive because there are hidden fees and charges applied as well. Also, you have to bear all the risks by yourself — in case of a chargeback, you will have to take full responsibility.
I’d say that we only have one direct competitor. We respect our competitors and I won’t mention the exact names. They are the only ones who cover the risks like we do, yet they claim their fees are between 3,5% to 4%. But after that, they add extra/hidden fees as well. For example, $10 is the minimum transaction fee. Meaning, that a user who only wants to buy $50 of BTC, for example, will pay about 20% fee to one of our competitors. As well they already add their own markup on crypto price which makes it very tricky for partners and users. In the end, the claimed rate of 3,5% is hardly achieved.
At Indacoin we value transparency as one of the most important values in our business model. We don’t find it ethical to add hidden and extra fees, as most people won’t be aware of that and may be tricked.
In addition, we offer more than 100 altcoins for sale, while our competitors usually offer only 5 or 6 options.
Regarding the advantages for partners, we don’t require placing our logo everywhere on their websites. Thus, our solution is a fully white-label and the transactions will occur very smoothly for our partner’s users.
ChangeHero: As far as I know, most of the exchanges prefer to integrate your API, so why do they pick you, apart from the transparent fees and flexible marketing policy?
Guilherme: Our API is technically quite simple to integrate. I’ve had situations when the partner’s development team was skilled enough to integrate the solution within 1 hour. We don’t have much bureaucracies to start if a partner is interested, he can even start the same day we receive the request. We make it very easy both in a technical and also in a legal way. We don’t want to waste time and we aim to provide a quick and easy solution by delivering it fast and effectively. Furthermore, we are open to working with smaller projects as well, not only with big established companies.
ChangeHero: Do we get it right, a service which wants to integrate your API just needs to contact someone on your team? How is it done?
Guilherme: Actually, we get lots of partnership requests daily, we have a form where potential partners can tell us what they’re looking for and we’ll get in touch with them. Another way is to contact our support so they will connect you to someone on our team who can help.
ChangeHero: In your opinion how crypto processing on Indacoin or partners like ChangeHero is better than a traditional exchange? What are the real advantages?
Guilherme: I think the main advantage is speed. For instance, in other exchanges, you need to make a bank transfer which can take several weeks in some countries. The rates will obviously change during that period — as a result, users will not get the same amount as was displayed first. Sometimes the rate may change so abruptly that the person would prefer not to buy anymore.
The second advantage is simplicity. Users are not required to create an account or to upload proofs like utility bills or something else. We allow users to basically do the transaction at that moment without any requirements of registration and additional documentation. As long as the user complies with all the details we are asking for, then the transaction can be done very quickly. Compared to traditional exchanges, that is our main advantage.
And, of course, since VISA and MasterCard are the most popular ways of making online purchases. This facilitates the way of buying crypto for new users — especially for someone who has never purchased crypto assets before, it’s like booking a flight online, anyone can do it.
ChangeHero: Actually, some users say that Indacoin KYC is quite tough. What is really required to confirm your identity?
Guilherme: Actually, in my personal experience, most of the time people don’t pass the confirmation because they don’t pick up their phones. This is, in fact, a funny reason. We make a phone call and give them a code number which needs to be inserted. But many people get scared or maybe give fake phone numbers, or they just don’t pick up, which is strange. Although all the documents may be okay, they can’t complete the process without providing the code from the phone call.
The KYC itself is quite easy, one just needs to upload a selfie with a valid ID and write a small handwritten text on a piece of paper, that’s all.
ChangeHero: You said that you cover the risk of losing money, but for example, if something goes wrong, how do I get the funds? What is your refund process like?
Guilherme: First of all, if you made a transaction that wasn’t accepted for some reason, the money will not be taken from your account. But sometimes the transaction is accepted but the bank of the user holds it unfortunately, some banks are still not crypto-friendly so they might hold the operation for a while. The best solution, in this case, is for the user is to call his/her bank.
In any case, whatever happens, we always make a refund to the user if he didn’t receive the crypto for some reason. The way to be sure is to contact our team via email, phone or website chat and let us know what happened. Our support team is available 24/7 for any kind of inquiries.
ChangeHero: We’ve talked about the transparent fees a few minutes ago, but some still think that they’re just too clouded. How much do you actually charge? And how can it change depending on different countries or payment systems on your platform?
Guilherme: It’s true, the fees on our exchange platform may vary. It mainly depends on the country and type of card, whether it’s Visa or MasterCard. But I’d say that the average fee will be around 7% or 8% and sometimes it can go up to 14%.
However, once you insert the amount in FIAT, you will automatically see the amount of crypto that you will receive. Thus, there is nothing clouded about it, it’s crystal clear.
And please note that for our partners who want to integrate our white-label API, we offer a 5% fixed rate.
ChangeHero: The pricing is clear — what about time? How long does it take on average to make a transaction?
Guilherme: it’d say it takes 20 minutes approximately. But it can be less — down to 5 minutes from the second transaction. Once we’ve already got the user’s details, there is no need to make the KYC again, it saves a lot of time. Unless the user wants to use another card, then the KYC procedure is required. In any case, it actually all depends on the user and how fast he uploads his documents.
ChangeHero: I’d like to ask you about your plans for the next several years. What is your company currently working on?
Guilherme: We actually have our IEO coming at the end of August, where we will release INDA tokens. The main goal is to boost our affiliate program and offer rewards to our users and affiliates in the form of cashback with INDA tokens. We find that this will be a great way to promote our community and also give them more motivation to continue working with us. We will start our initial offering in Waves Platform since they have been one of our oldest partners and we enjoy working together.
And other plans for the next several years include obtaining licenses for the USA and Japanese markets. Moreover, develop an instant crypto-to-fiat gateway through Visa and MasterCard. We want to give users the ability to withdraw their funds instantly.
ChangeHero: Since we’ve started talking about the crypto world and the future, how do you see the crypto world during the next years?
Guilherme: I have joined the crypto world about half a year ago- and I’ve already seen a lot of changes. Since I started until now, there is an increased adoption, by analyzing the bitcoin price you can verify this: a few months ago, Bitcoin price was $3000 now it’s about $11000 and it keeps increasing. It’s not just about the price of bitcoin, which is just one indicator that the market is growing. Another indicator is that several big corporations are entering the market. For instance: Starbucks, Nike, Walmart, and, of course, Facebook with its Libra project among many other corporations. We can see that these big players understood the value of crypto and blockchain technologies, and want to apply it to their businesses. At this point, not even strong Government restrictions have the power of stopping this progress. Anyone can have access to crypto anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crypto regulations. Even in China, it is “illegal” but now, it’s already legal to hold crypto assets. So, I believe during the next few years, this market will become even more attractive with new projects popping up, big corporations entering and massive world adoption.
It also doesn’t make sense to me that in the 21st century where there are drones, robots, advanced AI technologies and people are still using paper money.
For me, it’s not acceptable that we give governments and banks full power of controlling our money and its value. I think people should hold that responsibility and they should be able to transfer money peer to peer without paying any fees and long waits. Of course, at the moment we do not have the infrastructure to replace the current FIAT currencies fully. However, having a balance between FIAT and CRYPTO has become common. Many hold crypto as a way of storing value and using it as a security. Especially in countries with weak currencies, Bitcoin has become a major success.
I see a bright future for crypto, and I believe that one day there won’t be paper money anymore, and crypto will be used as a global currency.
ChangeHero: It sounds great! As we are finishing, is there anything else you’d like to tell us so we can share that?
Guilherme: Right now, I think I’ve shared pretty much everything that I can think of. My last remark is that we want to focus on new strategic partnerships and enable other businesses to start offering credit card payment options easily and free of risks & fraud.
We are inspired by the ideas of secure, private and decentralized money and our vision is to open the doors of the crypto world to a new user.
Buy crypto with your credit card only with the trusted services. ChangeHero in collaboration with Indacoin is ready to provide it — visit ChangeHero.io and give it a try!