Fintech makes the world go around

January 24, 2020  10:22 AM

Cash will survive beyond demise of plastic cards, says Deutsche Bank

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Deutsche has published the first part of its report on the future of payments this week and it is no surprise that cash appeared in the headline.

But Deutsche’s report rather than the usual claims that cash is all but history in the developed world, the bank has put a different spin on it. Cash is not about to be wiped out by the rapid growth of digital payments, but plastic cards are.

The report follows a survey of 3,600 customers across the US, UK, China, Germany, France and Italy and predicts what is in store for cash, online, mobile, crypto, and blockchain payments.

In part one of Deutsche’s Future of Payments report: Cash: the Dinosaur Will Survive … For Now

“While we believe cash will stay, the coming decade will see digital payments grow at light speed, leading to the extinction of the plastic card,” said the report.

Even in Sweden, a country often touted as likely to be the first to go cashless, had recognized that cash is likely to remain for a while. Last year the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB, has distributed literature to all households with instructions on how to prepare for digital monetary emergencies. It advised Swedes to keep enough cash at home to last a week in case of problems such as online banking crashes.

But plastic cards could have no such stay of execution if digital payment technology continue its rapid ascent.

Deutsche Bank’s report predicted that over the next five years mobile payments to comprise two-fifths of in-store purchases in the US, which is four times the current level. “Similar growth is expected in other developed countries, however, different countries will see different levels of shrinkage in cash and plastic cards.”

The report said that developing countries might skip plastic cards altogether. “Many customers in these countries are transitioning directly from cash to mobile payments without ever owning a plastic card.”

The mobile phone and mobile payments are helping more and more people in emerging economies take part on the economy. Basic mobile phones are allowing people to make and receive payments, which they previously could only do using cash in person.

Not for profit organisations such as the Gates’ Foundation as well as government in Africa and Asia are building mobile payments systems to bank millions of unbanked people.

November 26, 2019  12:01 PM

Tandem and TrueLayer partnership shows how fintech can support fintech

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

One of the reasons many of the large traditional banks have such clunky IT is the fact that for years they preferred to do most of the development themselves.

Proprietary legacy systems were seen as a way to differentiate. But it was actually very costly and ended up holding banks back. How things have changed?

The same mistake won’t be happen in the challenger banking space, where fintech and collaboration rule.

This brings me on to the deal between Tandem bank and Application Programming Interface (API) supplier TrueLayer.

I have covered Tandem and TrueLayer in fintech interviews. Tandem is a challenger bank while TrueLayer is a company that puts the tech into fintech, with its open banking APIs.

Tandem is using a TrueLayer APIs to enable its 800,000 customers to aggregate all account information from all their banks on its app. So Tandem customers will be able to see all their accounts in one place, without leaving the Tandem app.

Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-Founder of TrueLayer, said the partnership is an important milestone in the growth of the Open Banking economy. “By working together we’re delivering on a critical aspect of Open Banking – delivering more choice, innovation and better financial services for consumers and businesses.”

Tandem Bank is a digital challenger bank which currently offers customers a credit card account and savings products, as well as an account aggregation app. It also has plans for a current account. It is striving to use artificial intelligence (AI) to offer customers information and support in managing their finances.

Paul Clark, Chief Technology Officer at Tandem, said: “We differentiate ourselves with our with a unique user experience, digitising personal banking. With TrueLayer we can strengthen our accounts aggregation, opening up opportunities for more customer insights and in the end helping them manage their money every day. That is what Tandem is all about.”

Both companies are UK founded and expanding internationally.

Tandem recently announced its international expansion by announcing plans to open in Hong Kong, its first location outside the UK.

TrueLayer is also expanding internationally and is establishing its services, currently only available in the UK, across Europe and Australia.

It recently announced that it has become a fintech partner with Visa which will enable it to serve global businesses with its open banking APIs via Visa’s network.

It was set up in London in 2016 and provides an API that enables software developers at fintechs to create services that use information from banks. It enables them to be “a secure conduit between the banks and third party applications,” according to Simoneschi.

November 21, 2019  12:24 PM

Has Amazon dropped its plan for a bank account?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

According to reports last year Amazon was talking to JPMorgan about potentially setting up checking accounts – the US equivalent of current accounts – for younger people or the unbanked.

With Google now planning to do just that with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union, Amazon’s plans spring to mind. Or lack of plans might be more apt as again, according to reports, it has abandoned these plans. A report in The Information said so anyway.

I asked Amazon if this was the case and a spokesperson told me: “Amazon does not comment on rumours or speculation.”

At one point it looked like Amazon was going to even beat Google in becoming Google Bank, as it were. The term Google Bank is often bandied around to describe one of the internet giants launching bank accounts rather than just services on the periphery of existing bank accounts.

But it emerged last week that Google will probably be first to create a Google bank after all.

That is unless some of the traditional banks become like Google before it manages to get a banking operation off the ground. I wrote an article last year, Don’t bank on Google Bank, bank on banks becoming Google-like, which described how banks with the regulatory approval and expertise could adopt the latest technologies to become a Google-like bank.

It is telling that according to reports Google will use traditional financial services companies, Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit, to underpin a checking account. Similarly to Apple Card, which uses Goldman Sachs to provide the credit, it seems tech companies don’t really want to be banks, but want to be the favoured means of accessing banking services.

Back in 2014, analyst Forrester suggested as much. It said the tech firms partnering banks model is the best way forward. In its report Why Google bank won’t happen, Forrester said the high costs and strict regulation of setting up a traditional bank – alongside advertising revenue coming from banks – would push internet firms into roles that supported the relationship between banks and their customers.

But fintech has come on a long way since 2014 so what role will internet firms play and will they go beyond support a relationship between banks and their customers, as Forrester suggested?

November 19, 2019  12:54 PM

Azimo opens doors at Brexit-proof Dutch arm

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

UK fintech Azimo has launched its Dutch subsidiary, which was inspired to shield the money transfer company from the damaging effects of Brexit.

All cross border transfers made from outside the UK will now go through Azimo’s Amsterdam based operation.

The cross border money transfer fintech started looking for a location for its European operation after the UK referendum on  EU membership leading to a small minority of those that voted preferring to leave. This caused uncertainty for businesses in the UK that operate across Europe.

In an interview with Computer Weekly earlier this year Azimo’s co-founder Michael Kent  said the company looked at many jurisdictions but decided the best place to expand its European operations was the Netherlands. “Outside the UK, it’s the best place to grow a fintech company in Europe.  It offers a welcoming culture open to innovation, access to talent, a thriving banking sector and a strong regulator.”

Richard Ambrose, CEO of Azimo, said: “It also guarantees that we can continue to benefit from EU passporting rights to offer our service across Europe.”

In May Azimo was given a license to operate by the Dutch central bank.

The company enables people to make cross border transactions in seconds via a smart phone app at a considerably lower cost than traditional high street money transfer shops. In the 7 to 15 seconds it typically takes for a transfer to go through the Azimo time and complexity is removed by automating a number of steps. Put simply these are: initiate the payment – take the money – trade the money – check the compliance – terminate the payment.

Traditional money transfer suppliers have retail branches on high streets, which customers need to visit and go through manual processes. The costs are much higher. After all high street money transfer companies need expensive high street premises and people. Nor can they compete with a sub 15 second transfer journey, where the sender can even do it from the comfort of wherever they want to be.

The service is heavily used by migrant workers sending money home to families., migrants account for 21% of the Dutch population, according to recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the World Bank estimates that over £4bn was sent from the Netherlands to other countries in 2018.

Since launching in 2012, Azimo has served more than a million sending customers, and handled €2.3bn in transfers.

November 13, 2019  1:38 PM

Wagestream gives staff alternative to payday lenders: Fintech interview 30

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Fintech Wagestream, which was founded last year, offers businesses a service where they can pay staff some of their earnings in advance of payday.

It gives workers access to the money they have earned straight away rather than at the end of the month

This is an employee benefit businesses offer so staff don’t need to go to payday lenders, for example, where they face high interest rates. On the other side it helps businesses retain staff is sectors like catering, where they typically struggle to do so.

Wagestream was founded in January 2018 and had its platform ready and its first client by June that year.

The platform currently has over 150,000 employees at 60 different companies signed up to the service.  The contract is between Wagestream and the businesses customers, which include Casual Dining Group, Rentokil Initial, Hackney Council and Roadchef.

Its early focus is on the hospitality. The driver for this is the need to improve staff retention in the sector. The hospitality industry helped Wagestream get a foothold when the pizza shop below Wagestream’s first office was its first customer. “Retaining staff is a real problem in most restaurant or pub chains and that is where we found our first customers,” said CEO and co-founder Peter Briffett. It also targets the retail, healthcare and facilities sectors. All of its customers currently are either in the UK or Ireland.

Wagestream does some of its business through partnerships, an example of which is its work with workforce management tool Workday. “If a business uses the Workday software we have an integration with that, which they can use,” added Briffet.

The platform links to workforce management and payroll systems with an app and management system in the middle. “When somebody takes out pay outside the pay cycle it is automatically deducted. “It is quite a lightweight platform that sits on top of everything,” said Briffet. “Every worker that voluntarily joins can download the app and see their earnings live.”

When a user requests payment the money is paid by Wagestream via its banking partner and it automatically recoups the money on the next pay cycle.

The bank makes money through charging interest and Wagestream makes money in two ways. Every time an employee makes a withdrawal of any size it costs them £1.75, while the business customer is charged a monthly software as a service fee of about £1 per employee per month.

Briffett, who comes from a background in the high growth tech startup sector, said in November 2017 he read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how Walmart was looking into flexible payment and its effects on staff. The article described how Walmart was looking at whether offering flexible pay would improve staff retention and productivity. “We thought what an amazing idea an realised that nowadays workforce management data or earnings data is cloud based, rather than on servers in the HQ, so it can be accessed and we can understand people’s earning every second of every day, and give them access to that.”

He said the UK was a good place to start. “In the US everybody is paid every two weeks, whereas in the UK 85% of people are paid monthly, so the financial stress is greater. As a result the use of payday loans and overdrafts is much higher in the UK,” Briffet explained.

The usage of the system and customer base that has developed surprised Briffet. “At the beginning it was about looking to give people this financial cushion but we found of you give people this link between pay and work the incentive to do more shifts increases.”

Another surprise was winning customers like Hackney Council. “We thought it would be more useful that businesses that pay staff by the hour but some of our customers now have salaried staff and it works in the same way.”

When I first read about the business model I thought it seemed a bit dangerous, with the opportunity for staff getting themselves into financial trouble by spending too much too early. But the fact that the average use is about twice a month per employee with the average amount taken just over £80, proves that people understand its purpose. Briffet said employees are not overdoing it because “they see it as borrowing from themselves.”

It also has controls on both sides with the employer able to set limits such as the percentage of earnings that can be accessed early or the number of times payments can be made. The employees can also set self controls.

Wagestream currently has about 45 staff which is a mix of commercial, onboarding and technology staff. Going forward the company is planning new services for employees that are signed up. This might include a savings product. Because pay goes through the Wagestream system for staff that have signed up features like automatically saving a certain amount a month could be added.

Read the previous fintech interviews

Part 29 Inbotiqa, Part 28 MambuPart 27 Evolution AIPart 26 Funding OptionsPart 25 FutureBricksPart 24 EsmePart 23 The ID CoPart 22 CurrencycloudPart 21 TandemPart 20 TinkPart 19 Goldex,  Part 18 AzimoPart 17 YoyoPart 16 BudPart 15 PrevisePart 14 FinastraPart 13 InstaReMPart 12 EucapsPart 11 AimBrainPart 10 MenigaPart 9 TrueLayerPart 8 InvestCloudPart 7 ClauseMatchPart 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 HonchoPart 4 AkoniPart 3 WriskPart 2 CreditLadderPart 1 Taina Technology

November 7, 2019  10:20 AM

Tandem Bank embarks on international expansion

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Digital challenger bank Tandem has made will start its international expansion with plans to open in Hong Kong before the year is out.

Tandem Bank is going to adopt the same approach to when it started in the UK with thousands of early customers, known as co-founders helping them shape their offering. In the UK there were 11,000 co-founders.

Tandem CEO Ricky Knox, told me in an interview early this year that the scheme meant that if you were an early customer you could help build the bank. This way, because customer demand will be different in Hong Kong to the UK, the bank will want to ensure it builds appropriately

According to Knox, Hong Kong is underserved in terms of digital banks.

In the UK it offers a credit card, mortgages, savings, personal loans and it plans to launch a current account. It uses open banking features and technologies like artificial intelligence to help customers manage their money. It has about 700,000 customers.

Speaking at Hong Kong fintech Week Knox said: “This is an extremely exciting step for Tandem and our first move into international markets. Our innovative products and services are perfectly suited to the market here in Hong Kong and we can’t wait to be able to share Tandem with the Hong Kong consumer.”

In Hong Kong Tandem is partnering with Hong Kong based finanacial advisor firm Convoy Global Holdings.


Read more about Tandem Bank

UK digital challenger bank Tandem migrated from its initial IT infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud over just one weekend in November without a hitch.

News that Tandem Bank has reached 500,000 customers is good for fintechs in that it shows consumers are looking at alternatives to traditional banks.

Tandem Bank’s chief technology officer had a close encounter with legacy banking when he left his previous job to pursue a career in fintech

Tandem Bank is accelerating the training of its artificial intelligence technology to offer customers tailored banking services with the appointment of a seasoned expert to train its artificial intelligence (AI) engine.

October 31, 2019  10:14 AM

TrueLayer set to expand its services through Visa network

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

It is almost a year ago when I first spoke with fintech TrueLayer as part of my Fintech interview series, and the company is making significant progress.

A $35m round of funding round, led by Temasek and Tencent and a partnership with Visa are recent achievements.

The company puts the tech into fintech as it provides Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that enable finance providers and fintechs to offer services to customers.

Set up in London in 2016. It is a child of the EU’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) rules for open banking in the UK. These mean banks must be able to give third-party financial services suppliers access to customer data, if the customer agrees, through APIs. It currently offers two APIs, one for payments and another for data.

TrueLayer is currently expanding internationally and is establishing its services, currently only available in the UK, across Europe and Australia.

It could expand quickly through its latest partnership which is with credit card giant Visa. TrueLayer has just announced that it has become a fintech partner with Visa which will enable it to serve global businesses with its open banking APIs via Visa’s network.

Shefali Roy, chief operating officer at TrueLayer told me the company’s open banking products, a data API and payments API will be available on Visa’s platform. “There are loads of fintechs and collaborative businesses that work with Visa to serve their customers and we will now be on that platform.”

She gave the example of a business using it in their ecommerce system to enable them to use bank to bank payments rather than credit card accounts to make payments. “This would enable corporates to offer not only a credit card rail to pay but also a bank to bank option.”

It will be immediately possible in the UK for Visa customers to access the APIs because they are already integrated with the major UK banks. But this will eventually help TrueLayer expand globally through Visa’s huge customer base. TrueLayer will have work to do to integrate with banks outside the UK first, but this is already happening.

“We need to connect the APIs into the banks in new regions before we offer our services,” said Roy. The fact that the company is on the Visa network means it could have a ready-made customer base once this integration is done.

It will have integrated with other banks in Europe by the end of the year.

In Australia TrueLayer is testing and integrating with banks in preparation for launching in February 2020.

“As we build it Visa will turn on the options for customers,” said Roy.

Roy was previously the European chief compliance officer at payments fintech Stripe.

October 17, 2019  9:49 AM

The demise of Lehman Brothers sparked Inbotiqa’s flame: Fintech interview 29

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

When an email was missed at Lehman Brothers and a hefty fine was triggered by regulators a pair from the corporate actions team were asked to build a technology that would prevent it happening again.

Large corporates have numerous high volume shared inboxes where every email is an action to complete a task which is business critical and has to be done by a deadline. But while email is attractive because it is universally used, can include attachments, and is an official communications tool, it can be very difficult to track and manage.

Missing a deadline in most jobs, because someone overlooked an email, is pretty common. But if it happens once at finance firms that are highly regulated it can be very costly, as the Lehman Brothers fine demonstrates.

It was the death of the investment bank, during the global financial services meltdown in 2008 that made the whole concept of email workflow management tech startup Inbotiqa possible.

When the email was missed at Lehman Brothers, which was unrelated to the company’s collapse in 2008, Vishal Shanbhag and Ludre Stevens were set working on the technology. Some years later, after Lehman Brothers was no more, they started building the technology themselves and launched a company in 2011, originally named YUDO.

The company became Inbotiqa after a rebrand in 2018. It offers a workflow technology platform that overlays existing email. According to co-founder Stevens it aims to take away the pain points of email such as ownership and management reporting but doesn’t take away the benefits. Aimed at back office operational teams the technology helps users manage what they have to do and enables them and managers to keep track of progress. It is most effective when businesses have high volume shared inboxes

And it is not a huge enterprise system with massive upfront licensing costs, but in the spirit of the digital world it is charged per user per month.  “The idea itself isn’t original: overlaying workflow onto email has been done many times, from most CRM and ERP systems, to workflow tools and even event management applications.” Nor were there any copyright issues with Lehman Brothers, as YUDO was designed from scratch and coded in different software language. So no Lehmans documentation or code was or could be used, said Stevens.

Initially the team worked on a proof of concept with an investment bank. After this proved successful the bank decided to look at building something in-house. It is at this point that the co-founders  tweaked the product, after taking on feedback, and built the next version.

Stevens said the founders were lucky that they had worked on the product at a real bank, whose former staff had now spread across the sector. “We were also fortunate due to the unfortunate demise of Lehman Brothers because most of our users have been scattered across the industry so we have a ready base of potential customers that had already used the technology.”

Inbotiqa, which is based in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) innovation hub in London, was part of Barclays’ Rise accelerator programme run by Techstars, which it graduated earlier this year. It was its time at Barclay’s Rise which accelerated its growth and put it on its current path. It is understanding where the product fits was the big challenge to the founders that were focused on the technology.

The company was rebranded last year and increased its small team up to ten people. It has its tech team of five people in India and is looking to add another ten IT staff. But these will not be in India because, according to CEO Liza Russell staff in India move around too much and the company “wants staff that want to go on a journey with us.”

Russell was brought in as CEO prior to the Barclays programme to get the company moving. “I am not a techie but I have worked in areas where these workflows are used. I come at it from a banking background with an understanding of how useful it can be,” she said.

She said traditional email doesn’t offer automated services to ensure emails are actioned and tracked. “The people using our technology are teams where almost every email is an instruction to do something. It all has to be done in a certain timeframe and people need to know it has been done.”

She said email continues to be an essential communications tool so businesses are always looking to improve its usability. “While there are lots of tech services aimed at finance firms that are alternatives to email, the communication channel is still preferred.” Russell said one of the customers recently had 125,000 emails going through its system in a single month. “We are an enterprise industrial technology. These large banking customers have hundreds of share inboxes.

But traditionally keeping track has to be done manually on spreadsheets to allocate work to a team.

Inbotiqa’s technology enables people to manage and track every item. It provides an onscreen dashboard for users about what they are working on and deadlines etc. “Nothing can be missed as the que has to be cleared at the end of the day,” said Russell.

The technology also helps businesses automatically organise emails into groups and remove duplication. This reduces the number of cases being worked by automatically linking emails that are about the same thing. Email chains will be consolidated under a single ID. It also helps managers remove emails that are not relevant. Russell said: “Using analytics with one customer we were able to identify a lot of noise coming out of the traders, who were taking the scattergun approach when it comes to emailing in the hope that someone will answer.” The technology can automatically close cases if the analytics identifies it as not requiring action.

The next stage of development of Inbotiqa will see it work with machine learning technology to integrate into its next versions.

Read the previous fintech interviews

Part 28 Mambu, Part 27 Evolution AIPart 26 Funding OptionsPart 25 FutureBricksPart 24 EsmePart 23 The ID CoPart 22 CurrencycloudPart 21 TandemPart 20 TinkPart 19 Goldex,  Part 18 AzimoPart 17 YoyoPart 16 BudPart 15 PrevisePart 14 FinastraPart 13 InstaReMPart 12 EucapsPart 11 AimBrainPart 10 MenigaPart 9 TrueLayerPart 8 InvestCloudPart 7 ClauseMatchPart 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 HonchoPart 4 AkoniPart 3 WriskPart 2 CreditLadderPart 1 Taina Technology

October 16, 2019  11:06 AM

Financial services firms reveal their fintech status in major study

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

While traditional financial services firms are waxing lyrical about the benefits of fintech only a third (34%) have a C-suite executive leading technology/digital strategies.

This is according to a survey of 248 finance firms, of which 73% have annual revenue over $1bn. The Crossing the Lines survey report from PwC said that UK financial services firms were lagging the rest of the world in putting a C-Level executive in charge of technology. I the rest of the world 41% of financial services firms have already done so, revealed the survey.

This needs to be addressed if traditional firms are going to close the tech gap between them and digital native challengers, according to Rav Hayer, UK fintech leader at PwC. “Increased C-Suite involvement will pave the way for more investment and bring a more attractive environment for real innovation and partnership with fintechs, helping to bridge the gap with challenger banks for example,” he said.

These individuals will have to approach the challenge on two fronts with technology needed for operational efficiency as well as customer services. According to the PwC survey 44% of UK finance firms have already embedded fintech into their strategic operating model and over a quarter have incorporated emerging tech into the products and services they sell.

“The focus to date has been on incorporating emerging tech across payments, personal finance and insurance where 49%, 37% and 32% of respondents reporting emerging tech as already being incorporated,” said Hayer.

He added that the next two years will see asset and wealth management businesses will focus heavily on fintech.

But there are major challenges for large firms, when they adopt fintech. According to the survey findings the biggest challenges for traditional finance firms adopting fintech were: Security, compliance and data-privacy risks; too many legacy systems with new systems risking adding complexity; and regulation.

Another challenge facing firms,con the back of fintech adoption,  is the need for new skills to support fintech based business models. As a result of the adoption of the latest technologies financial services firms are creating new jobs. In fact, according to the survey, 63% of UK financial services firms said they are creating more jobs as a result of fintech. But 46% of UK firms are struggling to fill the roles created.

The survey revealed that those leading technology at financial services firms are currently engaged in cloud, big data and robotic process automation (RPA) projects. “Our research suggests that priority areas of focus over the next 12 months will be cloud, big data, and RPA, which aligns to the increasing focus on the power of data and the need for scalable computing, data storage and network capabilities to unlock this.”

Globally, artificial intelligence technology is expected to transform the industry in the next two years according to 56% of financial services firms. The next most likely is big data with 44% expecting this, closely followed by cloud computing with 43%. Blockchain 40%, 5G 39% and IoT 36% were also cited as transformational technologies for the finance sector.


October 2, 2019  9:28 AM

From university lab to mainstream Mambu provides cloud ERP system for banks: Fintech interview 28

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

A project at a US university looking at microfinancing proved to be the spark for software as a service banking platform supplier Mambu.

The company, which was launched in 2010, today describes itself as a cloud based ERP system for banks, which can complete all the customer facing accounting.

“But we offer this with an experience as a service that is like using gmail or Office 365,” said CTO Ben Goldin.

After initially targeting microfinancing service providers in developing countries Mambu’s main customer base is now made up of challenger banks building a business or large traditional banks launching digital spin-offs. It has customers across the world today, including UK challenger bank OakNorth and Dutch banking giant ABM Amro..

Goldin, who has been at the company since 2017, said co-founders Eugene Danilkis and Frederik Pfisterer were carrying out a computer science project at Carnegie Mellon University in the US and as part of their studies carried out project was focused on microfinancing companies in Madiera, part of Portugal.

After their university project was complete the founders continued to develop the platform, which was cloud based from day one, initially targeting a customer base of companies offering micro financing services in developing countries, in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

The Mambu cloud based banking platform as a service was designed to enable its components to plug into other providers through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Customers can use the Mambu API to access its products via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud

Goldin said the company initially targeted microfinancing in the developing world to give it room to try products out. “The developing world is good for developing a banking product because on the one hand banking products in these countries are sophisticated despite what you may think and at the same time regulation is more relaxed.”

He said this was particularly the case when it came to hosting applications in the cloud. “At the time big banks would not think about hosting core business in the cloud but for microfinancing companies this was the best way to do business, as they couldn’t usually afford on premise banking systems.”

Goldin has worked in financial services technology for over 20 years with experience within traditional banks and suppliers of technology to banks.

Today Mambu works with a variety of financial and non-financial organisations that offer some financial services, such as retailers or telecoms suppliers. There are over 200 instances of Mambu being used globally at over 150 oragnisations.


The bulk of Mambu’s customer base is made up of traditional banks creating spin off organisations and new challenger banks. The former includes ABM Amro spin off New10 in the Netherlands and the latter includes banking challengers N26 and OakNorth.

It continues to win customers and grow globally. Nordea backed PFC (Personal Finance Co), a digital challenger bank based in Stockholm recently went live with Mambu.  PFC offers a personal finance app with debit card which through automation and data insights encouraged customers to meet financial goals.

In Asia it recently signed up Singapore-based fintech Cheers Paytech as a customer. It will provide the core banking technology to then startup.

Mambu is headquartered in Berlin and currently has about 200 staff worldwide. About half of these are at its main engineering operation is in Romania. It has a small office in London.


While €30m investment was recently been secured going forward Goldin said access to the right staff is one of its challenges. The company needs people to support its work on developing the architecture needed to support larger organisations and faster development, he said.


Read the previous fintech interviews

Part 27 Evolution AI, Part 26 Funding OptionsPart 25 FutureBricksPart 24 EsmePart 23 The ID CoPart 22 CurrencycloudPart 21 TandemPart 20 TinkPart 19 Goldex,  Part 18 AzimoPart 17 YoyoPart 16 BudPart 15 PrevisePart 14 FinastraPart 13 InstaReMPart 12 EucapsPart 11 AimBrainPart 10 MenigaPart 9 TrueLayerPart 8 InvestCloudPart 7 ClauseMatchPart 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 HonchoPart 4 AkoniPart 3 WriskPart 2 CreditLadderPart 1 Taina Technology

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