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Smart Deposits: grow your surplus business cash flow

How Swan empowered Smart Deposits to build an investment platform that lets European companies monetize their surplus cash.

Sarah Wachter
April 7, 2022

Opportunity

Allowing companies to invest surplus cashflow with guaranteed returns.

Solution

Smart Deposits built their investment solution by integrating Swan’s Banking-as-a-Service technology. With Swan, they did not have to go through the lengthy process of securing a banking license.

Impact

Smart Deposits now offers a simple and safe investment experience to European companies that want to optimize cash management – with a great UX and access to the best term accounts available in Europe.

Smart Deposits built a platform that lets any company place cash surplus in EU banks with guaranteed returns.

After years in banking, founders Grégoire de Haldat and Alexandre Nee knew there were certain user subjects that were never modernized and just didn’t work as well as they should. Short-term cash flow investments was one of those things.

So, they built Smart Deposits as a full online broker for companies’ short-term cashflow. Smart Deposits lets companies place cash surplus at a multitude of EU partner banks, short or medium term. Via their platform, companies can follow investments and simulate potential, with guaranteed capital and returns.

After building their product together with Swan, Smart Deposits has just launched their smooth investment platform:

“The Smart Deposit project depends entirely on our partnership with Swan: the accounts, history, investments, the reimbursement part that generates a transfer...that’s all Swan.
Swan is present everywhere.”

They knew BaaS. They picked Swan for its agility.

Let’s zoom back. How do you go about building a platform like Smart Deposits, if you already have years of banking behind you? First off, you know how tough building banking features is. Founders Grégoire and Alexandre knew that BaaS was the only way to achieve it. But they were reluctant to go with an old-school option:

"Naturally, we discussed with some of the incumbent BaaS, but they had been bought by big banks, and that brings a lot of heaviness to fintech. There were meetings upon meetings, and a lot of rigidity. Notably, they weren’t adapted to going international — it would have been too complicated, working with multiple banks. And our use-case is a bit atypical. They couldn’t adapt their pricing to our needs, setup was attached to enormous fees."

They realized it would be best to look for an agile fintech player. Swan delivered:

"We were looking for agility and flexibility from the beginning. After benchmarking, Swan stood out. Swan knew how to adapt quickly, they understood the specificities of our use case. We were able to discuss all our needs and figure out how to launch, in just one week with just a couple of people. Swan really fulfills business and tech expectations."

Easy launch, rapid integration.

Although Swan offers a nocode option, Smart Deposits did their integration exclusively by API. Their tech team, which is 12 strong, built the entire product from scratch. Integrating Swan at the core of their platform, Smart Deposits was especially happy with the utility of Swan’s API documentation and sandbox. It features an event simulator to test all scenarios you can think of:

"The development of Smart Deposits is based on integrating Banking-as-a-Service functions proposed by Swan via its API. This integration was facilitated by thorough API documentation and a fully operational sandbox. The possibility to simulate all possible operations allowed us to validate the full functioning of our product throughout its development."

The availability of sandbox users was a game-changer for Smart Deposits. At first, they thought they’d have to do SCA 50 times a day, with tons of different phone numbers. But with Sandbox users, a dev can create as many fake accounts as they want and link them all to their one phone number. It makes testing different scenarios with tons and tons of accounts a lot easier. And the SCA was smooth, too: “SCA works very well. With Touch ID and Face ID, Swan’s response is very quick and automatic.”

While Smart Deposits had few questions during integration about the APIs, whenever they did need to reach out to fill in any gaps, they found the team super available for support:

"We especially appreciated the agility of Swan’s team, both in the way they handled the specificities of our use case and in their operational accompaniment, especially for Benjamin’s advice. We thank the team for their support, which determined the success of our project."

Plans to internationalize, with localized features from Swan

After launching on the French market, Smart Deposits has plans to internationalize. The demand for treasury placement services is pronounced across Europe. Needless to say, their product fills a real gap in the market.

They’ll be integrating even more features with Swan, and look forward especially to integrating local IBANs. This is exactly the kind of localised feature Swan is building up to support the internationalization of our partners:

"To be able to provide a Spanish IBAN to a Spanish client — those small details make all the difference in our customer journey."

Smart Deposits bigger ambition is to offer clients, who today expect to manage all operations online and from anywhere in the world, a European deposit marketplace. They want to offer a wider range of choices than what a company would get from all their banks combined, and with more attractive returns.

Ready to embed banking services into your own product? Have a chat with our team to explore what you could build.

Sarah Wachter
April 7, 2022
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