The Origin of CashSwap

The Origin of CashSwap

We tend to think of CashSwap as travel’s Currency Exchange Superhero. Like all good superhero stories, there’s an evil syndicate out there wanting nothing more than to control the public however they can. A need arises for someone to step up and fight for the people. That’s where CashSwap comes in.

In our story, the role of the syndicate will be played by the large, global currency exchange corporations. These companies have a stranglehold on travelers needing to change one currency to another while they travel. In most cases, these corporations act as a localized monopoly where only one can operate in any airport, hotel, mall etc. This means that customers have no choice and simply need to pay whatever is charged which can be as much as 30% of their money. It might as well be Gru with his shrink ray behind the counter, reducing the size of the cash in their wallets.

Gru Shrinking Currency
Gru & His Shrink Ray – “Despicable Me”

This leads to the cornerstone of any good superhero tale: the origin story. Back in 2016, serial entrepreneur Ben Diallo was traveling through Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. He needed to exchange some US Dollars into Japanese Yen and joined the line for the currency exchange counter. He waited on line for a good while behind a woman from Japan. They never spoke, but when it was her turn he noted that she was changing yen into dollars, the exact opposite of what he was doing. When he stepped up to the counter and made his request to change dollars into yen, Ben noticed that he was being handed the currency originally belonging to the woman that was in front of him. In fact, it hadn’t even been put away yet.

As Ben walked away, he was hit by a eureka moment. Like being struck by lightning or being bitten by a radioactive spider, he knew instantly what he had to do. Ben realized that he had to create a new way for travelers to connect with each other to exchange currency without the long waits and high fees of the existing corporations. The idea for CashSwap was born.

From Left: Nigel Riggins, Kameelah Saheed-Diallo, Ben Diallo

It took a little over 2 years for Ben to assemble the team of CashSwap Founders (Nigel Riggens and Kameela Shaheed-Diallo), get the initial website and apps launched and start delivering on the promise of that day in 2016. Since CashSwap went live, there have been successes and trials just the same. One day the team is being recognized as an up and coming travel startup in Indianapolis. The next day we’re being chased out of JFK airport by the syndicate (true story).

Through it all, Ben, Nigel, and Kameelah have persevered. There have been podcast appearances, trade show sponsorships, and even a meetup with a very enthusiastic MC Hammer at the airport. Travelers around the world are finally starting to learn about the benefits of skipping the high priced currency exchange counters.

As CashSwap continues to grow and our superpowers become more well know, it’s likely that we’ll face more obstacles and villains over time. There are billion dollar corporations out there trying to protect hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits. That’s a very big incentive to do battle with CashSwap.

With your support, and the support of travelers worldwide, we can be victorious over the syndicate. CashSwap can put an end to reduced exchange rates and high fees on currency at the airport. We can bring transparency and convenience to a marketplace controlled by a handful of masterminds.

It’s up to you now. Are you ready to become a travel superhero?

Download the app on Google Play now and see the savings in less than 60 seconds. There’s no need to sign up to check the rates!

More questions? Visit our website at, send an e-mail to, or ping us on social media and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

Mike McDowell

Mike McDowell is the Vice President of Marketing for CashSwap. A 22 year travel industry veteran, Mike actually joined CashSwap after reading a short blip about the company and excitedly reaching out to CEO, Ben Diallo for a conversation about his enthusiasm for the brand. Mike says, "CashSwap is the future of currency exchange!"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − 2 =