CEO Mike Laven
CEO Mike Laven

Currencycloud strives to make complex payments seamless

All money transfers are not created equal, Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said.

Currencycloud connects businesses to the global economy via a suite of currency conversion and APIs. Since 2012 Currencycloud has handled more than $25 billion of transactions to more than 200 countries.

Mr. Laven said Currencycloud clients are other payment firms or other institutions needing to make payments. Those payments are a lot more complex than most consumer transactions where someone sends $100 to mom and gets a text back saying the transaction is complete.

CEO Mike Laven
CEO Mike Laven

“The world of business is different,” Mr. Laven said. “Paying clients becomes key.”

Companies need to send money for all kinds of reasons, whether it be payroll, trade finance or other functions. That requires data and a platform with the ability to integrate all those different functions an efficient system. Those systems have complex requirements, especially in an era of global commerce where a company has to both accept and make payments in dozens of currencies.

Depending on the industry those systems have to ensure compliance with different regulations, Mr. Laven said. And for all the talk of what the federal government might or might not do to regulate fin-tech companies.

“In the U.S., from my perspective, they are making very little progress. To go beyond there are 50 states to deal with. National banking regulation is stifled by the states.”

Mr. Laven said he is watching Ripple’s battle with Swift, the blockchain-enabled system versus a 50-year-old protocol.

“Reconciliation through a distributed ledger address was a smart move,” Mr. Laven said. “The blockchain increases the efficiency of moving money around the world and improves trust and security.”

In late June Currencycloud announced an exclusive agreement with Hyundai Card to facilitate South Korea’s first mobile remittance service provided by a credit company. Users can wire money overseas in fewer steps with lower fees than many competing services.

“It’s a controlled currency yet it’s connected to the rest of the world,” Mr. Laven said. “Hyundai was looking for a partner for their money transfer system inside South Korea to help small business customers move their money out of South Korea.

“They wanted a partner to provide the technology. They have the bank and consumer contacts but not the technology linked to the world. All of those things in our platform is what Hyundai was looking for.”

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