Q&A- Startups

7 Questions with Thomas K. Koch, Co-Founder / CFO of xWare42 GmbH

1. Who are you?

David Lais and I, Thomas Koch, are the founders of xWare42™ GmbH and have taken on the task of using current technology to catapult the classic system of payment transactions into the 21st century, as well as of establishing a new user experience in online banking.

2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?

The xWare42 product xPay (pronounced “cross pay”) platform is one of the first of its kind to significantly simplify the process for managing income, expenditure and dealing with payment transactions for business and private customers. xPay also offers a range of new features that are not currently available with traditional online banking.

Our xPay platform extends payment information to addresses, opening hours, service numbers and much more details from and about retailers. This gives customers a much more detailed picture of their purchases. Moreover, the customer has the option of adding information to their revenues in the form of keywords (hashtags) and individual revenue descriptions. Customers are also supported by automatic categorisation that provides a completely new perspective on personal financial management.

xPay has already evolved to be a great setup for xWare being looked at as a business enabler for financial institutions offering unique services a) to businesses and b) to end-customers. xPay offers a variety of new business models.

 Competitors are: Simple, Dwolla, Movenbank.

3. How did you get your startup idea and how did you finance your startup?

David and I are working together for almost 11 years now. In the beginning he was working as a Developer for several finance projects and got annoyed by the IT systems and “old school” technologies. He asked me thousand of times if and how we could get more information about payment transactions. Over the time we developed the idea of “transaction enrichment” and decided 2011 it’s time to give it a try, the result is xWare42.

We bootstrapped! David and I did what we have done all the years and financed xWare with consulting and IT projects / jobs. Additonally we got a client on board which was keen to see the results and helped us to finance “bad times”.

4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?

The European and country specific banking regulations as well as the challenges of financing a startup.

5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?

Due to the changing regulations there is a permanent learning curve you’ll have to accept being able to develop products and services within the FinTech space.

6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech startups in the D-A-CH region and how can we help to accelerate?

It still remains exciting in which spaces FinTech start-ups will be able to provide products to the industry being adopted by banks and other major industries accelerating processes that are a hassle today, e.g. KYC procedures to provide faster access to financial products or much better customer experience.

Acceleration can be through more pilots with established banks, insurance companies and large retailers.

7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs?

Always keep an eye on the regulation and be sure your product will solve an existing problem.