7 Questions

7 Questions with Jan Wendenburg, CEO FinTech Labs, FinTech Group AG

1.     Who are you?

The FinTech Group AG is a leading provider of financial technology solutions. We have around 500 employees in seven German locations and are listed at Frankfurt stock exchange. We provide a fully licensed and compliant white-label-banking platform through biw BANK (Banking as a Platform / BaaP), a cutting-edge technology stack & API and the leading German independent stock trading platform flatex. As such, we service both 200 B2B clients and around 200,000 B2C customers. It is our passion to support FinTech start-ups through our FinTech Labs in Berlin & Frankfurt. We work with them at almost any stage and do support them to learn, build and support their core business each day.

2.     How did you get started in the FinTech space?

At FinTech Group, innovation is part of the DNA: Our unit XCOM, founded in the late 1980s, has developed and operates a cutting-edge mobile P2P payment ecosystem, including apps and backend. Our unit flatex boasts a ten-year track record of disruption in the online brokerage market.

3.     What are your focus or interest areas, overall and within FinTech (geography, domain, technology stage etc.)?

Within the FinTech space, we are not limited in terms of geography, technology or sub-sectors, however, we focus on Europe and scalable FinTechs, which complement our business model.

4.     Any investments or collaboration with FinTech firms you would like to talk about?

Aside from many successful partnerships, like AUXMONEY, CROSSLEND, OPTIOPAY, SAVEDO and others we would like to mention our most recent technical and operational integration of ZINSPILOT into our large FLATEX asset trading platform. This integration grants ZINSPILOT access to the vast customer base of FLATEX – at very low integration efforts. Additionally, together with Peter Thiel, our associated Venture Capital Fund FinLab, invested into ZINSPILOT to provide some required growth capital.

5.     Which way do you see the financial services industry going? Who would be the likely winners?

Today, we are talking about FinTech eating banks, but there is are no guarantees for FinTechs to succeed. They have to stay fast and smart, otherwise it is likely that “the empire strikes back”. The winners will be the faster ones – the ones who will be able to adopt, modify and transform themselves to the ever changing market requirements.

6.     What opportunities or challenges do you see for the FinTech scene in Continental Europe, and how can FinTech Forum help?

Today, FinTech in Europe is very much London focused. There is a great opportunity using the enormous financial ecosystem in Frankfurt to build a second FinTech hub in continental Europe. The challenge will be doing it together faster, bigger and more efficiently. Collaboration on a local level is key.

7.     What tip(s) would you like to give FinTech start-ups in the region?

We are true believers in the Frankfurt region for financial services. The existing ecosystem of financial institutions and ecosystem in and around Frankfurt will provide one of the best European regions for future FinTech startups. There are many initiatives in Frankfurt, that provide best-of-class support, network and funding for smart start-ups and scalable business growth. Our advice for faster growth is partnering with smart high-tech banks, leverage their knowledge, and use their expertise to expand and grow faster.