Interview Nishan Shetty

Conversation with Nishan Shetty, TRASTRA CMO


What is TRASTRA, and what are the problems your team is trying to solve?

We are creating a product that makes managing crypto as easy, if not easier, as managing cash. Today crypto is beyond a quick money-making scheme; it is changing the definition of money as we know for the better, and TRASTRA is at the helm of this transition.

Contrary to the opinion most marketers in our space try very hard to cultivate, crypto isn’t easy. So we are driving mass adoption of crypto by providing a product that every adult is familiar with. A debit card is one of the first products that most adults interact with when managing their finances.

There are far more powerful players in this space – neobanks and crypto platforms – that offer seemingly the same service. What makes you think TRASTRA can compete with Revolut, Monzo and many other well-established platforms?

Rather than considering some of the well-established platforms as competition, we look at them as guides. We learn from them and improve what they are creating. We have a solid team with decades of experience in traditional banking and crypto. Our tight collective regularly analyses the existing products in the market and improves them.

For example, we are not the first to launch an IBAN account with a crypto card, but with TRASTRA, personal IBAN is directly connected to the card. TRASTRA cardholders can receive EUR and use it for purchases, withdraw cash from ATM or buy cryptocurrencies – all inside our mobile app without the need to visit the bank. Imagine the possibilities for managing both crypto and cash with one app and without the need for a bank!

What can marketers do in 2021 to attract new customers and retain the old ones? 

We can do an entire book or two to answer this question, but at the core, I believe that marketers must treat users as individuals and not just as ‘Target Audience.’ We have to listen to their requirements and formulate our message clearly and concisely. This approach is the cornerstone of every activity we undertake within the Trastra marketing department. We do not believe in marketing services that we would not use ourselves.

Personalisation is the key to marketing a great product to your users successfully.

Are you planning on adding new products or services to your already impressive portfolio?

We are on the constant lookout to improve what we’ve built over the years. We’ve recently added USDC to the Trastra wallet, which opens up a world of opportunities. Coupled with IBAN, a Trastra account can now perform as a payroll operation helping SMEs, freelancers, and digital nomads receive remittances and other types of wages in stablecoins or EUR or both. We intend to push the limits in this direction and turn the TRASTRA card into a feature-packed universal payroll tool for any EEA-based business.

Answering our users’ request, we’ve also recently translated our App. The Trastra App is now available in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian. We plan to add support for more languages soon.

Sometimes great beginnings disappear into oblivion because of the overadvertising frenzy. How do you draw the line when you say to yourself, “that’s enough, we’ve done everything in our power to present our product to the public, now the only thing left to do is sit back, relax, and watch the numbers go up”?

Right now, we are far away from the over-advertising frenzy. If anything, we may be spending the least amount of advertising euros in the crypto space. We’ve focused on building a solid community of loyal users who are proud of the product that we offer. It’s our users that contribute to propelling Trastra to greater heights.

And how do you reward them?

Among other things, we have a lucrative referral program. It’s not that we do not advertise at all, but there’s every attempt made to create campaigns that will benefit the end-users or our affiliates, which in turn will act as an additional motivation for them to spread the word about Trastra.

How big a role do referral programs and word of mouth in general play in furthering TRASTRA’s cause and driving mass adoption of crypto?

Referral programs are key drivers of growth because they help spread the word and reward users directly. A third party advertising platform benefits the advertiser, but the purchaser is often sidelined in terms of targeted monetary rewards. The key to a referral program is not a hefty payout but a good product, and the majority of the users are capable of spotting the difference. Think about it: you wouldn’t recommend a bad product to your friends even if it gets you a few extra euros for the effort, would you? You would much rather take less money for recommending a reputable product because in the end, more people will enjoy it, and your rewards will increase exponentially. Also, crypto-advertising on giant ad platforms like Google, Facebook, etc., remains a challenge, so a robust referral program is a great way of furthering the reach of our product.

TRASTRA Nishan Shetty cryptocurrency

A significant part of TRASTRA’s value proposition is the ability to exchange crypto into EUR inside the app and get cash payouts anywhere Visa is accepted. Why have you decided to focus on the needs of freelancers, digital nomads and other tech-savvy individuals who want to get paid in crypto? Surely, crafting software for a large financial institution is more lucrative, wouldn’t you agree?

Well, I would say Trastra is a product for non-techies. We’ve taken great pains to minimise the learning curve and ensure that our user experience is familiar to anyone who has ever used a money-managing app, a personal finances calculator or any other popular consumer finance app. So much so that the transition to an app that involves not only fiat but also crypto is as seamless as possible. There is absolutely nothing different that a user has to do.

Do you think TRASTRA will become even more beneficial in post-pandemic times?

Because of the pandemic, working remotely, working from home is the new normal. There are enough online tools that allow businesses to hire talent internationally and track their performance. However, wages payouts remain a challenge because the pandemic, though transformative of our current notion of the global workforce and its relationship with employers, hasn’t affected the legacy financial sector enough to simply dismiss traditional banking in favour of stablecoins or cryptocurrencies. Most international payments are still made through traditional banks and intermediaries. Millions of euros can be saved if companies adopt products like Trastra that allow for easy transfer of cryptocurrencies and offer a familiar product like a debit card for managing crypto and withdrawing cash with the same ease.

Where do you see TRASTRA in 3 years?

That’s a tricky one. Keeping the growth pace in the continuously evolving crypto space is dizzyingly exciting but wholly unpredictable. But we are already working on adding support for new coins. We are definitely shooting for global reach, and we will launch more products that will make life easier for millions of people who would adopt cryptocurrencies as a part of their daily lives.

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