‘The friendliest FinTech’: Bankable fosters innovation through banking as a service

December 16, 2019 | Banking

Written by FinTech Alliance

‘The friendliest FinTech’: Bankable fosters innovation through banking as a service

Founded in 2010, Bankable offers a modular approach to the architecture banks need to innovate at scale.

The secure middleware platform enables turnkey and bespoke solutions that can be easily developed and deployed. Working with financial institutions, corporates, marketplaces and FinTechs, Bankable facilitates virtual or physical card programmes, real time payments, cross border payments, e-ledgers and account solutions.

“We provide a banking-as-a-service platform that can serve different needs, from regulated entities like banks to non-regulated entities,” says Eric Mouilleron, Founder and CEO. The platform uses white label or API solutions, so it’s totally agnostic to the client’s use case. It can therefore work with existing geographic footprints and IT landscapes and Bankable works in partnership with clients to achieve their long term business goals through digital transformation.

In April 2019, Bankable entered into a strategic partnership with global payments giant Visa. Visa’s investment in the business will support the deployment of Bankable solutions to its clients and partners, helping financial institutions and banks to access real-time modular banking architecture around the world. This will help businesses to offer digital solutions and real time payments no matter where they are in the world.

With Bankable providing the platform for innovation and “everything you need to build a bank”, clients can then focus on things like brand and distribution – arguably, the exciting parts. “We’re the one stop shop,” says Mouilleron. “Usually when you want to start something you have to engage with multiple companies; it’s like a puzzle. We deal with the puzzle.”

The banking-as-a-service business is able to displace legacy solutions and can go live within a bank in just six months. “We’re one system where banks usually have thousands of systems, and never know which systems they have. In 10 years’ time, we’ll still have one system,” says Mouilleron.

The banking-as-a-service business has been known as the ‘friendliest FinTech’ since 2012. “We are the pioneer. We were the first in the world, I believe, to promote collaboration with banks. At the time, it was just ‘banks are bad’ and ‘we want to change banks’. We are more pragmatic than that,” Mouilleron clarifies, adding that banks must adapt but aren’t likely to be left behind any time soon.

“If an organisation is over 100 years old, they’ve always had to adapt,” he argues. “Take one of our UK clients that started 300 years ago doing banking with a candle – then came electricity, then the mobile phone. This is just another change. Large organisations adapt even if it’s slow.” Mouilleron adds that he’s seeing the top six banks take an even larger share of the market in the past 20 years despite the advent of challengers. “The concentration is still going up,” he adds. “So a lot of companies are challenging the status quo, but it’s growing at the same time with the incumbents.”

Based on his interaction with banks over the last 18 months, Mouilleron says Bankable’s clients ask about three key opportunities: either to be a Revolut or a Monzo – “which we can do for them” – or to create an offering for SMEs, or to create a banking product for children. Bankable helps its clients to become more competitive through providing a platform for them to innovate and develop these new offerings.

“They need to be closer to the client,” says Mouilleron. “In the past banks sold products. Most clients don’t need all these products. They want something else: real-time solutions, interactions that are similar to their private life on Facebook or other social tools. Banks need to adapt to the new world, but their systems can’t always cope with that. That’s why we exist.”

Bankable helps its clients achieve their business goals by being a true partner, which Mouilleron points out is totally different from a supplier who simply sells a product or solution. “It’s a different mindset. If I’m a supplier from a big vendor, I will try my best to find any loophole where I can maximise the revenues of my firm. We’re here to maximise the customer experience with something we can do together, and it’s a business transaction as well. The success of our client is our success. We don’t have big license fees. It’s all about transparency. We’re extremely direct: we always start with the bad news if there is any!”

Looking to the future, Mouilleron says Bankable’s Visa partnership will be crucial in deploying this architecture for innovation across the world. The aim is to reach more and more banks, which means more and more distributors. “We connect global accounts with the help of Visa, so if you’re a company in 40 countries we can issue one contract globally,” he comments.

“For us, the priority is to go global. You can be small and global these days: it’s not like before when you had to be 1,000 people to start opening a branch,” Mouilleron adds. At the moment, the organisation is headquartered in London but also has main offices in Dubai and New York, with another opening in Toronto soon to ensure the business is “domestic everywhere”. “All the FinTechs want to go global one day and will be able to go global on day one with us.”

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