Swaper allows to invest mostly in short-term (one month) individual loans. Loans used to yield 12% for a long time, but the interest rates were increased to 14% in March 2020. All loans are covered by a buyback guarantee. For very large portfolios (€ 5,000 or more), the interest rate is increased to a very nice 16%.
My opinion on Swaper
It has always been hard for me to choose between Robocash and Swaper. For a long time, Swaper’s much better ergonomics has incited me to prefer this platform, in spite of the cash drags which used to occur regularly.
However, what finally tipped the scale in favor of Robocash is this platform’s transparency and financial solidity. Indeed, Swaper and its parent company Wandoo Finance Group are mostly blackboxes. In contrast, Robocash Group provides audited financial statements which show that the group has been consistently profitable for several years.
Swaper’s pros & cons
- Auto-invest is very easy to configure, even for beginner investors
- Opportunity to invest for a very short duration
- High interest rate
- Additional 2% interest rate for large portfolios
- Lack of information regarding the platform’s financial solidity
- The platform used to suffer from cash drags
Overview of Swaper’s loans
For most investors, the loans offer a uniform 14% interest rate for a 1-month duration; there are also a few longer-term loans on the platform. Currently, borrowers are located in the following European countries :
Swaper also used to provide loans in Georgia and Russia, but these aren’t available as of Summer 2020.
Investors with a large portfolio will enjoy increased interest rates. Indeed, when investing more than € 5,000 for more than 30 days, an additional 2% will be granted. This bumps the interest rate to a rather record-setting 16% !
This makes Swaper a very interesting platform for investors with large sums available. However, it remains to be seen whether the available loans volume will be enough for them to invest all their funds.
Indeed, for a while, Swaper had troubles handling the amount of money deposited on the portal, thus I often found myself with a large idle account balance. That was my main concern about this company, and the reason why the sum I invested there is rather low.
Fortunately, the situation has improved gradually; as I’m updating this article in summer 2020, all my funds are invested.
The delay for buyback guarantee used to depend on the loan duration; now, it’s 30 days for all loans. This is a shorter delay than most competitors.
Both principal and accrued interest are covered by the guarantee.
Platform’s transparency and reliability
Swaper’s greatest flaw is the lack of financial disclosure by the platform’s parent group, which also owns originators on the platform.
Swaper’s background and team
Swaper was founded in 2016. Their office is located in Tallinn, Estonia.
Part of Swaper’s team is introduced on the platform’s website. Swaper’s LinkedIn page seems rather empty, though.
Many P2P platform provide details about the borrowers. It’s not the case at Swaper; however, it’s not a bit deal. Indeed, as an investor, this is rather useless information.
Loan originators reliability
Swaper’s loan originators are also part of Wandoo Finance Group. Unfortunately, Wandoo Finance Group doesn’t disclose annual reports. We thus can’t assert their reliability, or even the financial health of the group as a whole.
This is a large negative, when many competitors provide make their financial statements available :
- Their direct competitor Robocash is a subsidiary of Robocash Group, which provides financial statements audited by KPMG. They show that Robocash Group has been profitable for three years.
- Lendermarket provides loans from Creditstar; although no financial statement is available for the platform itself, CreditStar published annual financial reports and is financially very solid.
- Placet Group issues loans at Moncera. Their financial reports are audited by Ernst & Young, and show that this loan originator is consistently profitable.
- ViaInvest provides reports audited by BDO, and is also a profitable entity.
In a communication from Spring 2020, Swaper announced its intention to publish audited financial data. Moreover, in late May, they confirmed being “very close” to publishing them. They even provided an excerpt, which shows that the platform was profitable in 2019, as well as during the first quarter of 2020.
Unfortunately, three months later, we’re still waiting for the report to be published. It’s however totally plausible that the audit took longer than expected. Indeed, the audited report for Robocash Group was published in late August 2020.
Reporting & statistics availability
Swaper publicly displays figures such as the number of investors or the total investments amount. Although the strong growth which took place during most of 2019 has been stopped, the portfolio’s size keeps on increasing. Overall, loans were issued for a total value of more than 160 million euros.
Until now, Swaper’s track record is great. Unlike marketplaces such as Mintos or Viventor, no loan originator has defaulted or got suspended. As a result, investors didn’t lose any money, even during the Covid-19 epidemics.
Communication & support
Swaper will send a weekly account summary, as well as a monthly newsletter.
There’s a live chat available, and it’s possible to get in touch with Swaper by e-mail. I sent them questions several times and their answers were always both prompt and precise.
Impact of Covid-19 outbreak on Swaper
Swaper used to communicate a lot during the outbreak of the Covid-19. These informative e-mails explained in detail the consequences of the crisis.
Manual investing at Swaper
For a long time, investing manually at Swaper was impossible. Indeed, although the feature existed, there was simply no loan available to invest in; all new loans immediately got bought by auto-investors.
However, using the auto-invest is so simple to use that there’s little point in picking up loans by hand.
The auto-invest feature is really easy to configure.
One minor annoyance though, actually also found in ViaInvest‘s website is the color scheme used for toggles. Surprisingly, a red toggle actually means “on”. I really can’t figure why they don’t use more classical checkboxes instead !
Apart from that, this screen is extremely readable, as you can see in this screenshot :
While the short-term nature of most loans make it rather unnecessary, there’s a secondary market available, should you want to resell your loans. There’s no fee involved.
Website’s ease of use
Swaper’s registration process
Signing up at Swaper is quick an easy. I’m a bit surprised that there’s no third-party KYC KYC (Know Your Customer) checks are procedures used by financial businesses
in order to verify the identity of their clients. Most Crowdlending platforms will require
a copy of an identification document (identity card, passport, driving licence); an utility bill
or bank statement may be necessary as well. process using services such as Veriff or Onfido. Indeed, prospective investors only need to upload an identity document and a utility bill.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
The initial account funding has to be made via SEPA transfer. The next transfers can be made via TransferWise if needed.
Website’s design and ergonomics
Swaper‘s website is pleasant to use and works well, thanks to a limited set of features.
Available languages & translations quality
Swaper’s English translation is great.
The website offers common reporting features such as investments list or account statement. Some of this data is downloadable as an Excel file.
The FAQ is rather complete, and seems to have been expanded recently.
Swaper provides an app, which is available for both Android and iPhone.
In terms of reporting, it provides an overview of your portfolio. A detailed transactions list as well as the open and closed loans list are also available.
In addition, it’s also possible to :
- Create a new auto-invest scheme, as well as edit, pause or delete an existing one.
- Invest manually
- Display the bank account used to fund your account
- Withdraw money
Overall, the app is well designed and provides an alternative way to follow your portfolio.
Actual performance of my Swaper portfolio
At the end of August 2020, the XIRR for my Swaper portfolio was 12,35%.
My actual performance is lower than the current interest rates, as these have increased in Spring 2020. Returns are overall in line with my expectations, although past cash drags have decreased them slightly.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
Portfolio creation date
I created my Swaper portfolio in February 2017.
Swaper's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Swaper's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of August 2020
Who can invest at Swaper
To become an investor you need to be at least 18 years old, be a resident of a European Economic Area (EEA) country and have a bank account in a bank situated in an EEA country. An individual is recognized as a resident if he or she is a citizen, has a residence permit or is registered as a tax payer in an EEA country.
If Swaper's parent company Wandoo Finance group published audited financial reports, it would be a great step forward. This would allow investors to assert the platform's financial solidity.
For now, more reliable alternatives exist. There's of course Robocash, which has been competing with Swaper for years. Unfortunately, it suffers from poor ergonomics.
Another better alternative to Swaper is Lendermarket. It offers similar interest rates and also provides a flawless ergonomics. In addition, loans on this platform are provided by the large financial group CreditStar, which is financially solid.
Please note that this review may contain affiliate links. It means that I will earn a commission if you decide to invest after clicking through the link – at no additional cost to you, of course -. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to invest through my links.