Interview: Global payment account and interest income for SMEs

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In the banking sector, FinTechs are bringing in fresh perspectives. amnis stands as one of the pioneers – offering flexible and user-friendly services. In the following interview, Michael Wüst, CEO and Co-Founder of amnis, provides an exciting insight into the innovations planned for 2024 and how the global payment account for SMEs enables cost savings while generating interest income.

Note: The interview was commissioned by amnis at Handelsblatt.com. It is not an editorial contribution. You can access the interview in German on Handelsblatt.com via the following link.

Mr. Wüst, how did the idea for amnis come about?

The three of us founders previously worked at various large corporations, holding leading positions in their respective in-house banks. Large companies often collaborate with global transaction banks due to the high volumes involved in international payments. Apart from very low fees for payments and currency exchanges, these companies also have access to various opportunities that are inaccessible to small and medium-sized businesses. We founded amnis with the goal of providing companies engaged in international business activities with the capabilities of large corporations at very low costs and highly automated processes.

What are the central advantages of the amnis WebApp compared to traditional offerings from banks and other payment platforms?

Our global payment account helps companies engaged in international business activities to reduce transaction costs, efficiently manage team expenses, and save time on daily accounting tasks. With just one click, individual IBANs/accounts can be opened for free in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, and soon in Switzerland. Currencies can be exchanged at any time, and payments are available in more than 30 currencies. Employees have access to free Multi-currency Business Debit Mastercards. The digital card management, API interfaces, and an integrated expense solution enable smooth expense management in accounting. And the best part: companies save up to 5% on fees for international transactions and 1-2% margin on currency exchange with amnis!

An amnis payment account can be conveniently opened online at any time thanks to the completely digital onboarding process.

How many companies are already using amnis tools, and in how many countries is the service available?

More than 2,000 companies are already using amnis. Our main markets are currently the DACH region as well as the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Thanks to the ability to make peer-to-peer payments between companies around the clock, companies from more than 35 countries now use amnis. In 2023, the number of active customers increased by about 50%, and the processed payment volume increased by 73% to CHF 2 billion. Expansion into two more European countries is planned for 2024.

«At banks, companies often receive little or no interest on current or business accounts. Moreover, most banks do not offer interest on foreign currency accounts. In contrast, amnis forwards interest income on different currency accounts.» – Michael Wüst, CEO und Co-Founder

What major innovations are you and your team currently working on?

We are currently launching a very exciting innovation called EARN: EARN allows companies to earn interest income in various currencies.

As a regulated payment institution, we always secure customer funds on bankruptcy-protected trust accounts with institutions of high creditworthiness (minimum Standard & Poor’s rating of “A”). Based on this, EARN is a cashback service: Due to the rise in interest rates in recent quarters, amnis earns interest income on these funds. Since these are interest on customer deposits, we believe it is only right to pass on these interest earnings directly. Thanks to our expertise in the currency area, we can do this in several currencies at once. Currently, companies receive about 2% interest on EUR balances and around 2.5% on GBP and USD balances as cashback.

What sets EARN apart from conventional interest rates offered by some banks to business customers?

With amnis, there are no limits – neither blocking periods nor maximum amounts. The money is available to customers at any time in the payment account. Balances in EUR, USD, GBP, and CZK earn interest. Banks often offer little or no interest on current or business accounts. Additionally, most banks do not offer interest on foreign currency accounts. Thus, with our solution, we enable companies not only to save transaction costs but also to earn income on their balances.

What further expectations do you have for this year? What other developments and expansions can your business customers expect?

We aim to strengthen our presence in our core markets in 2024. Based on recent developments, we anticipate growth of 80-100% for the year. Another major step will be the introduction of Swiss IBANs – in addition to GBP, EUR, USD, and CAD accounts – in the first quarter. To my knowledge, we will be the only fintech company able to provide companies with IBANs in Swiss Francs, in Europe, and accounts in the USA. Furthermore, we will continue to improve our expense solution and launch a mobile app for our card users. So, businesses can expect a lot from amnis in 2024 as well.

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Nina Wyler
As a content & digital marketing specialist at amnis I provide SMEs with fx market, international business and news updates on our blog & FAQ page.
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