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A new fintech concept: a digital community

Ten years after issuing the banking license, Munich-based Fidor Bank draws an interim balance sheet. Developed in the context of the financial crisis, the FinTech bank wanted to oppose the established banking industry with a completely new concept: a digital community bank that uses social media to work hard with its clientele interacts and receives and implements their suggestions. That was the idea that was not always easy to implement and had to struggle with some resistance.

We are extremely happy about what we have achieved, because we had the first challenge when we were founded. A few weeks after we applied for our banking license, the financial crisis also began in Germany in autumn 2007. In fact, we have felt every major crisis: Russian partners wanted to introduce community banking for Russia with us. This was stopped by the Crimea crisis, just when we were technically done. But that’s not all: The Brexit referendum fell in the middle of price negotiations with BPCE and resulted in a price reduction.

Matthias Kröner, co-founder and CEO of the Fidor Group

Today, the Fidor Group consists of four assets: its own retail business, the Bank with focus on the Bank-as-a-Service business, the FZCO based in Dubai and Singapore and the “Efficient Scale” marketplace. After the strategic goals of today’s major shareholder BPCE 2018 have changed, FinTech-Bank is looking for interested investors.

The discussions with different partners bring with them a multitude of exciting options. There is no better environment than what is currently characterized, among other things, by reviews such as N26. We will be strengthened by this process and with a sharper positioning in the future go.

The process envisages that a decision will be taken in March 2019 for an investor.

Special features of the group

As different as the target group and the geographical orientation of these respective profit centers may be, they all share a fundamental philosophy: all are based on an open infrastructure, use the Fidor Operating System (fOS) and each of them enables an eco system.

Fidor “Banking as a Service” offer for banks and non-banks

Together with the technology subsidiaries, the bank offers banking-as-a-service – the usability of a digital banking infrastructure involving partner companies such as Mastercard, Apple Pay, Salesforce, FinnAI and others. The infrastructure of this B2B offer can be accessed and used via more than 200 API commands. Clients include the Dutch asset management bank van Lanschot and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Natixis (Algeria).

This proves that the fOS platform can be used internationally and can also be connected to different core banking systems

Ge Drossaert, Non-European Business of the Fidor Group

In 2018, the first Loan-as-a-Service customers joined in: These include O2 as well as the Hamburg-based company Finanzcheck. The number of Transaction-as-a-Service customers, including Bitcoin.de among others, is increasing. With Bitcoin.de, the five-year anniversary was celebrated last year. At the same time, the acceptance of smartphones is rapidly increasing, so that there are many market opportunities for digital banking software such as the Fidor Operating System.

Milestones of development

Crypto-wave: The Fidor Bank also has a five-year partnership with Bitcoin.de this year. The bank was the first financial institution to introduce a transaction fee for crypto-related Euro transactions. These transactions are initiated and executed on an API basis.

Cooperation with Apple Pay: The mobile payment with Apple Pay was excellent started and is enthusiastically accepted by the customers. O2 Banking also introduced this offer.

Open Banking: Six years ago, the first fOS API was published and offered to external partners as a connection option. 80 percent of the functionalities are based on APIs. The front-end applications are based on over 200 API endpoints.

PSD2: As a company you meet the standards of the Berlin Group as far as possible. “Using the example of India, we can see how regulatory framework conditions are changing competition and thus the market. We also expect this from the implementation of the PSD II regulatory system” says dr. Michael Maier, CTO Fidor Group.

The journey up to here was unique and exciting. But I would have gladly given up some of the excitement.

Published inFintech

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