Offering banking services is a risky business. The potential for fraud, for money laundering etc. is high. Therefore, you generally need a license to offer these services. Swan has an e-money license overseen by the Banque de France, which is valid across the European Economic Area (EEA).
Getting a financial institution's license is a very tedious process. It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money. Believe us, we've been through it! This is why we got our own license so you don't have to, and we designed our product in a way that does not require you to become regulated (e.g. no need to become an agent). To make this possible, we had to make sure that we never delegate any risky/sensitive banking operations to you. We take on all of the risk for you.
In practice, to ensure that we do not delegate any risk to you, we must have a direct relationship with your customers (the end-users of the banking product). Amongst other things, this direct relationship (Swan↔your customers) will be used for the KYC process and for the Strong Customer Authentication process.
Your customers have a relationship with you, obviously. They will use your product to access their Swan accounts. Swan will regularly audit your behavior in this relationship, to make sure the rules are being respected.
You are allowed to make your customers pay for access to your platform. On top of this, if you are Registered as Swan Intermediary, you are allowed to make customers pay for the banking services themselves. Learn more here.
When your customer opens an account with Swan they must accept Swan's Terms and Conditions. In addition to the T&C, your customer will receive a link to Swan's Web Banking platform where they can manage their account. They'll also receive a contact person they can reach out to for support. Feel free to offer this Web Banking platform to your customers if you don't want to develop one yourself. Otherwise, keep in mind Swan doesn't market the Web Banking platform to your customer; it is only mentioned in the T&C.
In addition, your customer allows some tasks to be delegated to you, as defined in the Terms and Conditions:
Consultation of the Account and the Electronic Money Account;
Transmission of information to Swan for the opening of the Account or Electronic Money Account;
Preparation of Card orders;
Preparation of transfer orders;
Preparation of internal direct debits for which the creditor is the End Customer and for which the debtors are other end customers of Swan;
Invalidation of transfers, direct debits, or Card payments;
Preparation of electronic money loading by credit card;
Preparation of the reimbursement of the balance of the Electronic Money Account;
Transmission of requests to contest payment transactions;
Swan charges your customers directly for the extraordinary events related to their accounts (e.g. lost card). More details here.
Now let's talk about Swan's direct relationship with you. While you offer Swan's banking services to your customers, Swan will handle the most sensitive banking operations. We don't delegate them to you. At the same time, we enable you to display Swan accounts on your own platform, prepare transfers, etc. (see above)
In this relationship, Swan charges you a flat base fee, as well as fees per account and per card. See our standard pricing.
There are two possible legal statuses for a company offering banking services via Swan: You can be Unregistered or Registered. We talk more about this in the next article.