Vantaa is a small town fifteen kilometres north of Helsinki: the Myyrmanni shopping centre houses an ATM that sells and buys used smartphones installed by Swappie, a Finnish start-up listed among the Financial Times’ ‘Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies’. Swappie has grown by 477% by offering refurbished iPhones whose quality it guarantees. Now it has developed this ATM in collaboration with the Israeli company Cellomat. Currently only about 20 per cent of devices are recycled, so making it easier to buy refurbished and sell used ones is an important step in growing the circular economy. To buy, one chooses the model and condition from the list and pays with a credit card; to sell, on the other hand, takes longer: one has to provide a bank account, enter the iPhone’s Imei identification code, describe the general condition of the phone, unlock the screen and insert the smartphone into the ATM slot to get an estimate. The initial estimate is provided thanks to Cellomat’s cloud services analysing the images, the estimate will then be confirmed or corrected by Swappie’s employees the following day, depending on the actual state of the iPhone. If you agree, you receive the money or a voucher to buy another one, otherwise you can get your phone back. There is room for 200 refurbished models and can hold another 200 sold by customers. It also accepts some old Nokia models for which you receive small amounts of money or simply a guarantee that they will be recycled in the correct manner. In Finland there are two more Cellomat in Turku and Tampere: it is a pilot project and if it gives the desired results they will install several outside Finland as well. Cellomat is an evolved form of vending machine, linked to the booming refurbished device market and operated by one of the companies judged to be the most reliable: Swappie’s key difference from other companies in the same field lies in reliability and customer service. Purchased iPhones are screened through 52 different steps, and repaired if necessary, before being put back on sale. Sami Marttinen, founder of Swappie along with Jiri Heinonen, came up with the idea after a negative experience buying a used iPhone in the US: he soon realised that no one really guaranteed buyers. Now he is also trying to propose his formula through smartphone ATMs. Read more on