This week I was honored to talk to Dirk Rudolf, COO & Co-Founder of FinTecSystems. A German Fintech startup empowers banks and other financial institutions with “Smart data” to make financing decisions easier and faster. Why “smart” you might be questioning…let us clear this up!
N: Tell us about your background
D: I studied Business Information Systems at the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen. Prior to FinTecSystems, most recently I was the CIO at SOFORT AG, heading the engineering and IT operations. As part of that role I was even responsible for establishing IT services for a newly regulated bank within our group. SOFORT Überweisung / Sofort Banking itself has subsequently become the market leader in ePayments and Banking space in Europe.
Why did you choose to become a Fintech entrepreneur?
In 2014, shortly after the acquisition of SOFORT by Swedish Fintech Klarna, I chose to leave in order to found my own business. My former colleague and friend Stefan Krautkrämer who was also in the core-team of SOFORT, became the CEO of FinTecSystems. A deep knowledge and expertise garnered at SOFORT shaped our vision for solving unique problems in the financial market. Our mission is to contribute to the financial well-being of every citizen through simplifying the borrower’s application process.
Can you pitch your company in 5 words?
Enabling loan decisions in real-time.
Make an overview of your business. What’s unique about the solution you provide?
FinTecSystems provides financial institutions with real-time financial data analysis gathered from the consumers’ online banking account. Empowered by this data, banks and financial service providers are able to make smart and fast loan decisions, minimizing credit and fraud risks. When we say fast, we imply that the loan application process can be reduced from days to minutes using FinTecSystems’ platform. Moreover, loan applications can be completed by consumers from any internet-enabled device and finally become fully digital.
What is the scale of the problem you are solving?
The online lending market is growing. According to Bankenfachverband (BFACH) in Germany, every fifth consumer loan is now being processed online.
Describe the competitive landscape for your company
Obviously we have a common “battleground” with other Banking API providers. But unlike our peers that often just deliver raw data, FinTecSystems adds value through analysis features such as data-enrichment, categorization, identification of financial behaviors to name a few. We would say: where others deliver Big Data, we provides Smart Data. Our in-house built technological stack enables us to be fully independent. In addition, we serve over 99,5% of the requesting consumers, hence almost reaching the full banking coverage.
Can you name some of your clients?
Tell us a bit about your experience of cooperating with traditional FIs
Sure, we have, for instance, quite a promising partnership with German SKG Bank (a brand of DKB AG). And we are working currently to secure more partnerships.
You have recently made an upgrade to the solution. Can you elaborate on that?
We have recently made a demo of the new version at Finovate. Our new product suite is called accourate. Accourate is a synthetic word and it includes “account” and “rate” and describes exactly what we do. In particular, the areas of categorization and analysis of transaction history have been enhanced: cash flow analysis, risk forecasts, digital budgeting, limit analysis and the aggregation of accounts are only some of the new features of accourate, which is modular in design and thus can be tailored to customer’s needs.
Can you list key milestones of the company?
Since the foundation of the company in 2014 we have being working from 2 locations – Munich and Linden (close to Frankfurt). In 2015 we entered the Austrian market, afterwards secured a footprint in Spain in 2016. Last year was also pivotal for us since we closed a series A funding round. In early 2017 we have started a new subsidiary in Hamburg.
What are your next big goals?
In 2017 we are planning to push for European expansion, further enhancing our technological leadership.
What is the anticipated impact of your solution to the Ecosystem?
We see ourselves as an enabler for the digitization process and a vital partner for banks. We empower financial industry with Smart Data and, hence, make everyday decisions, such as financing for millions of customers easier and faster.
Can you name top 3 Fintech startups that contributed to the ecosystem most (apart from your company)?
I am quite a big fan of an account switching service Finreach. A valuable impact to the digital authentication space has been brought by VideoIdent Services. And as a category, P2P Loan providers that serve underbanked consumers, deserve a separate praise.
What is your 1-2 years outlook for the Fintech/banking space?
It’s hard to comment upon the outlook since the things are changing very quickly. But I am pretty much sure that more and more banks will benefit from the opportunities offered by FinTech firms. United they will speed up the digitization of the financial industry.
About FinTecSystems: FinTecSystems was founded in March 2014 with the objective of reducing credit and fraud risk by utilizing information from accessing online bank accounts. In order to reach this goal, FinTecSystems created a platform that currently enables access to more than 100 million end user accounts in Germany, Austria and Spain.
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