Andrew Anastasiou is a British born entrepreneur, specifically in the banking and payments industry. He has been actively involved in a wide variety of fintech projects and he is the Founder of StasiCapital, a bespoke corporate services provider which focuses on licensing and banking, SagaPay, a turnkey payments consulting company providing access to over 100 different PSP’s, and WireWallet, an EU licensed banking platform which offers virtual IBAN solutions to B2B and C2B users.
For this interview, we talked with Andrew Anastasiou, who shared with us how he got interested in the fintech industry.
1.How did you come up with WireWallet?
We originally came up with the concept of WireWallet to facilitate our vast numbers of Merchants who use our acquiring and payment services. These Merchants needed to have a safe place to receive their funds and stable banking was always a big issue for them. The challenges for us and our Merchants was that we were able to acquire their funds for them via various payment solutions, but we had nowhere to settle the money in order for the Merchant to run their business effectively.
2.What Services do you offer through WireWallet?
We are a larger group in general, but specifically, through WireWallet we offer virtual IBAN solutions to all types of sectors. Our main focus is on the “high risk” sector, where banking is historically difficult to obtain. We offer virtual IBANs in the Merchants name to send and receive payments, just like any traditional online banking system.
3.How big is the team behind WireWallet?
The team at WireWallet is currently at 6, with 2 new members joining us shortly which will bring the guys up to 8 at the office. By the end of 2020, we expect to have 10-12 employees in the team.
4.In how many countries do you offer your WireWallet services?
WireWallet offers its services globally, in line with FATCA and EU acceptable jurisdictions requirements. However, most of our Merchants are non-EU and in the Forex, Gaming, and Crypto industries.
5.How do you think further technology advances will impact the Fintech Industry?
My opinion is that the new technology hitting the market constantly will have an extremely positive effect on the Fintech industry. More and more solutions for ID verification and compliance are coming out continuously and this makes the onboarding and compliance checks much more efficient. As well as this, with more payment streams becoming digital and with the influx of acquiring services coming out, I believe that an advancement in the Fintech industry is well overdue.
6.Where do you place Cyprus in the world race of Fintech technologies?
This is a difficult question to answer because although Cyprus is climbing the ladder in terms of its market share in the Fintech industry, it is still well behind countries such as Israel and Estonia which base a large part of their growth on Fintech projects. Cyprus is still a trusted jurisdiction when it comes to operating your business, however, and in time I feel that more and more start-ups in the Fintech industry will be born in Cyprus.
7.Do you plan on providing payment systems that support cryptocurrencies?
We do, but it is something that needs to be carefully reviewed to ensure that no company in the group steps out of line with any regulatory requirements. We are in the process of reviewing a start-up project in Estonia which would allow us to accept cryptocurrencies via eWallets, and then make payouts in FIAT or crypto, but it will be a little while until that project comes to life.
8.What should we expect from you and your projects in the near future?
Currently, a lot is going on, and the pipeline is full of exciting and original projects. Most notably is a project being launched in Africa which will be providing a cash-to-voucher system, enabling citizens in the region who do not have access to online or digital banking, to make online payments using a voucher eWallet system.
9.How do you see the Fintech future in general?
The potential for growth in the Fintech industry is unimaginable, and with the continuous need for digitalization, it would seem that there is near infinite opportunities for the next big idea to just pop out. I feel there needs to be more focus on the digitization of verification in the industry, as well as more solutions that enable back office and platform services under white label solutions as this seems to be a position in the market that lacks products.