Company digitalizes foreign currency exchange in PolandBusiness Solutions & Consumer Services
Originally Published in June 2017
Currency One provides online currency exchange services to more than 400,000 users, making it one of the biggest companies in the Polish market. The company’s two websites, Walutomat.pl and Internetowykantor.pl, ensure quick, secure, convenient transactions without having to physically go to the bank or exchange office to exchange foreign currency and transfer funds into an account. Every month, Currency One users exchange tens of millions of euros, dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs and other currencies. The company accounts for 50 percent of the revenue of the Polish online currency exchange market.
Cofounder Michał Czekalski launched Internetowykantor.pl in 2010 after he was about to leave for his honeymoon and was searching for an exchange office that offered the best rate for foreign currency. Frustrated with the high prices, he wondered why there weren’t any online services in Poland. With a degree from the Poznań University of Economics, Czekalski teamed up with his cousin, Łukasz Olek, who worked at the Poznań University of Technology as a researcher. In 2013, Internetowykantor.pl merged with Walutomat.pl, a currency peer-to-peer platform, to form Currency One—the biggest online currency exchange company in Poland.
With Internetowykantor.pl, users make bank transfers in more than 20 different foreign currencies. The website works with more than 15 Polish banks and accepts transfers from 40 countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. Exchange rates are updated every few seconds and transactions are carried out with more favorable rates than the ones available through banks and traditional exchange bureaus.
The company accounts for 50 percent of the revenue of the Polish online currency exchange market.
Thomasz Dudziak launched Walutomat.pl in 2009 – it was the first website in Poland allowing users to exchange currencies in a peer-to-peer marketplace. Users create a profile and list the currency they are interested in buying or selling. Once users mutually agree on an exchange rate, they make a deal.
In addition to more favorable rates and no hidden fees, Currency One ensures convenience and security. The founders were weary of carrying large sums of money in their pockets to go to the bank or exchange bureau for fear of losing it or trying to locate a reliable exchange office in a foreign country. “Today, you have to utilize technology,” said Dawid Gałat, Currency One’s spokesperson. “If you have a smartphone, you can exchange money and transfer it right into your account. This is the power of the internet.”
Inc.com ranked Currency One 436th out of 5,000 European enterprises for its fast growth and innovativeness. In 2014, the firm won the “Poznan Enterprise Leader” contest in the small business category. The competition was organized by Poznań City Hall and the Poznań District Office. That same year, the company won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE 2014 ranking as the fastest-growing technology company in Central Europe. The company wants to focus on the Polish market at the moment, but is open to expanding abroad.