Now in the fourth year of our media partnership, FinTech Forum was at Money2020 Europe, 3-5 June in Amsterdam. Apart from bumping into friends and acquaintances, FinTech Forum Co-Founder Samarth Shekhar talked to some of the participants to get a pulse of European FinTech and financial services trends, as well as tips and learnings for other founders.
Whether digital banking (Georg Ludviksson, Meniga), open banking (Dmitrii Barbasura, Salt Edge), developer portals (Steve Kirsch, Token), payments innovation (Jesper Poulsen, Nets), the intersection of digital health with financial services (Kim Oreskovic, Antler) or corporate payment processing (Mike Walter, Form3), we have you covered. Scroll down below or head directly to the playlist. Hope you enjoy the conversations!
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Georg Ludviksson, CEO of Meniga
A serial entrepreneur, Georg believes in starting up in an area you are passionate about, and in the importance of sales and business development. Meniga was one of the pioneers in “Personal Financial Management” in Europe when it was called as such, and is now looking to expand in Singapore and North America. Georg feels Digital Banking / Open Banking is a mega-trend that is hear to stay and expand globally.
His advice to founders: Now is an excellent time to start or be in the FinTech space- build something useful and stay focused!
Dmitrii Barbasura, CEO of Salt Edge
Salt Edge started in 2013 as an account aggregation solution, and now offers a full-fledged API-banking solution for banks and AISPs to connect via Open Banking APIs. Dmitriy expects to expand into Asia and South America next year, and is also awaiting US regulation around Open Banking as a big opportunity. When asked about European mega-trends with global “export potential”, Dmitrii feels Open Banking and APIs have triggered demand for strong solutions around customer authentication, cyberscurity, data ownership and GDPR that will likely scale globally. His tip to founders: try to solve a problem that is 3-5 years away. Five years ago bank said they “owned” customer data. PSD2 came in and the rest is history.
Steve Kirsch, CEO of Token
Token founder Steve is a serial entrepreneur, and Token is his seventh venture. Having launched Token in the US, when he heard about PSD2, he decided to focus on the European market. Token is helping banks setup developer portals and helping developers access bank APIs, and counts nearly 50 customers. According to Steve, US and Europe have had “Open Banking” – i.e. the ability to access bank accounts via a web browser – for the past 20 years but called it “Closed Banking”, whereas now Open Banking is all the rage but you can only access it via APIs. His advice to founders: be nimble, and sell into a market which will exist 6-12 months from now!
Jesper Kildegaard Poulsen, Head of Creation Lab, Innovation Hub at Nets
We kicked off with Jesper demonstrating a grocery checkout with facial recognition at the Nets stand. Nets has been in the Nordic payments business for over 20 years, and now expanding into Europe e.g. via a merger with Concardis in the German-speaking region. As key trends he is looking at new technologies from a consumer behaviour perspective: how do you make the experience fast, seamless, invisible but personalised? His team believes in a partnership approach and is keen to meet startups in payments space.
Kim Oreskovic, Partner & CFO of Antler
Antler is a global startup generator and early-stage VC “institutionalising the family & friends round” globally, with 40 startups in the current cohort. We talked to Kim about the intersection of financial services and digital health (finally, something other than Open Banking!) She sees massive opportunities to use technology at the intersection of insurers, healthcare providers and patients. Among the trends to watch, she mentioned GDPR, Crypto, Cybersecurity and the secondary market for startups (which Antler is trying to address).
Mike Walter, Chief Product Officer at Form3 Financial Cloud
Part of the founding team at Form3, Mike is a payments geek. The genesis of Form3 was in the frustration around payments for large regulated corporates. The legacy tech stack of large organisations are way behind the tech innovations available. Form3 was setup with team members with background in banking, payments and SWIFT to transform payments with a much more agile way of building payments services.