Lunchr becomes Swile to expand beyond corporate lunch cards

Lunchr has rebranded to Swile in order to expand its product offering beyond meal vouchers. The company wants to focus on everything that happens at work but that isn’t technically work — money pots for a birthday, paying back your co-workers, creating team-building events and more.

At heart, Swile provides a payment card for your lunch. French companies of a certain size have to support employees in one way or another when it comes to their lunch break. Big companies usually build out a cafeteria, while small companies hand out meal vouchers.

Companies can sign up to Swile so their employees all get a payment card for their meal vouchers. The company tops up everyone’s card every month. Just like challenger banks, Swile wants to provide a better user experience. For instance, you can associate a debit card with your account so that your debit card is used if you pay for an expensive lunch above your daily limit.

Currently 200,000 employees across 7,500 companies use a Swile card to pay for lunch.

But paying for lunch is just one of the financial transaction types that you do at work. And Swile wants to capture a bigger chunk of that market.

It starts with two simple features. First, you can pay back your co-workers when they lend you some money. It isn’t limited to lunch money; you can basically associate a debit card with your account, send money and hold money.

Old habits die hard, so it’s going to be hard to convince people to switch from Lydia to Swile. People already use Lydia to send money to their friends, and the company has managed to attract millions of users in France.

Second, many companies need to collect money from the team. It could be for a gift when somebody is leaving the company, it could be in order to buy beers or grab a drink after work on a Friday evening.

Employees can create money pots and invite the team. Given that everybody in your company has already created a Swile account, you don’t need to manually add your co-workers to the app — you just have to find their name in the directory. Swile doesn’t charge any fee on those money pots when you transfer the money to a Swile account or a bank account.

In addition to payment, Swile wants to help you connect more easily with your team. You can create and join events in the app. It could be useful for a birthday party at work, a soccer match, etc.

In the future, Swile also wants to add the ability to message your friends directly in the app — at some point, all apps become messaging apps. Also coming soon, Swile will help you bookmark places and share with your co-workers a map of your favorite places around the office.

Starting in June, even if your company doesn’t use Swile’s meal vouchers, you’ll be able to create an account for your team in order to use events, money pots, etc. Basic features will be free and Swile will introduce a premium tier later this year.