5 Minutes with… Mike Laven – CEO Currency Cloud

Get your Web Summit early bird ticket.

Mike Laven is CEO of Currency Cloud, a London-based Fintech startup whose payments engine processes over $10 billion annually.

Currency Cloud specialise in international transfers – charging considerably less than established banks – and announced an $18 million Series C this June.

Ahead of his Web Summit appearance in November, Mike spoke to us about trust and money transfers, why banks charge so much for international payments, and who he thinks is the greatest living American.

Mike, banks typically charge 2-4% commission on international payments; Currency Cloud charges 0.5%. Why do certain businesses persist with using banks?

Banks often bundle services making difficult for customers to optimise their own business within the different components. In the new economic world each service must stand on its own and not cross-subsidise the others.

Think of the unbundling of air fares, so that you now pay for the fare, check in priority, meals and entertainment separately.

Banks are coming late to this transition, being driven by consumers’ experience in other areas and by the offerings of new Fintech providers. As banks respond to these pressures, it will become easier for consumers and business to choose the right provider – including their bank – for each service.

If you were forced to choose to only listen to British or American music for the rest of your life, which would you go for? Why?

If I could only listen to one set of music, I’d stay with the blues – starting in the Delta, moving electric through Chicago and currently in some corners of hip-hop all over the USA. So, though there have been British diversions, I’ll stick with the USA.

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When it comes to processing payments, which is more important for consumers – price or trust?

Customers trust us with their money. They trust us to treat their funds securely, to deliver on time, to report accurately, and to be transparent in all of our interactions.

Pricing is important as wise consumers will always shop around – but there has to be trust that funds and data are secure.


Who’s the greatest living American? Why?

The greatest living American is my Mother. She’s 93 – the things she’s seen. Don’t ask her to cook for you, or drive for you: just listen.

Mike will speak at Web Summit’s Money Summit. Get your early bird ticket to hear him

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