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The bolder, bigger and borderless third season of the Visa Innovation Program is running full steam ahead. The participants are actively working on their innovative solutions, and we continue to present them in more detail.  

In part 4 of our “Meet the fintechs” series we introduce two promising startups from Turkey – FineDine and SoliPAY. Continue reading and get to know them better!

At a glance:

The Problem

Restaurant business has a high failure rate due to inability to tap customer needs, customer data and feedback, low customer satisfaction, and inefficient ordering process. The failure rate accelerated during the pandemic. Operators had to digitize their operations and offer safer and smarter solutions.

The Solution

FineDine is a growing tech company that provides AI-driven digital ordering, payment and restaurant management solutions, by providing a data-driven digital tablet and mobile menus for a smarter and more profitable dining experience. It helps operators maximize their restaurant’s ordering revenue by AI-driven dine-in, pickup, and delivery ordering solutions.

Why is this important?

By using FineDine, restaurant owners can: 

  • Enhances the dining experience and increases customer satisfaction. 
  • Endorse data driven recommendations, which maximizes the restaurant’s revenue. 
  • Upsell and cross sell their items easily and quickly. 
  • Receive direct order and payment from the digital menu. 
  • Receive real-time feedback and ratings from the customers, thus ensure customer satisfaction.

Founder Blitz

In order to learn even more intriguing insights, our team met with FineDine’s founders for a  quick “founder blitz”. 

1. What inspired you to start FineDine?

We decided to found FineDine when we were on a business trip together. Burak already had the idea, and he was evaluating it with me. Being in a foreign country and lacking the local language, we got something totally different from what we ordered. We wished our menu was digital and had photos and product descriptions. This was the starting point for the company. 

Before finalizing the product, we interviewed hundreds of restaurants and asked for their needs. This approach led us to understand the critical problems in the industry and the opportunities. As a result, we created FineDine.

3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established FineDine? 

Like many other firms working for the hospitality industry, Covid-19 impacted our operations. While some of our customers had to close their business, others experienced financial difficulties. This was our greatest challenge and impacted our growth and expansion. 

2. What is your next big milestone?

Our next big milestone is to enhance artificial intelligence and introduce AI driven marketing and data management tools. We’ve already launched a beta version of this product and are testing it with our customers. Over the upcoming months, we want to fully enhance AI driven features and give instant access to our customers.

4. What does success look like for FineDine?

Our top priority is our customers. This has not changed from day 1. We are committed to digitize the menus of our customers and streamline their business with our solutions.

Especially after Covid-19, we realize how our mission helped hundreds of customers globally. Many of our customers had financial difficulties during this time. They also needed new products to adjust to the new normal. We took an agile approach and helped their business survive with our latest products and special discounts and promotions. For us, seeing our customers thriving and happy is the most significant success.

At a glance:

The Problem

New students at university are generally not acquainted with the banking ecosystem yet. Students who need to make payments at points such as the cafeteria, social facility, parking lot, public transportation, and library on the campus make their expenses by topping up their closed-loop school cards with cash. They also need to use a different application for all their needs such as money transfer, course grade and attendance tracking, bill payment, public transportation, event reservations, etc. In addition, they have to do most of them using traditional methods such as physical application, physical cards.

The Solution

SoliPAY offers many things that a university student may need in a single mobile application. With the SoliPAY mobile application, students can enter and exit the campus, make contactless payments at all spending points in the campus, manage banking instruments from a single screen by defining their agreed bank cards to their account, transfer money, pay bills, use public transport, buy event tickets, check lecture notes and attendance status, etc. It can manage all these features and much more with its smartphone without the need for a physical card.

Why is this important?

Many university students who have not yet met with the banking ecosystem can become bank customers with one click with the open banking infrastructure of SoliPAY mobile application. In this way, students can easily manage their financial lives from a single screen thanks to this mobile application, where they meet many of their needs in campus life. On the other hand, SoliPAY offers an excellent opportunity for new user acquisition for banks and electronic money institutions.

Founder Blitz

Meet SoliPAY’s founders and learn more about their vision and the next milestones for the company in our “founder blitz”.

1. What inspired you to start SoliPAY?

We have been in campuscard solution business since 2004 we started developing special campus card hardware and software. In this process, we have seen that students always have difficulties when it comes to payments. On the other hand, we find out that students like to use mobile world on campus. Also the management wants to use mobile system due to digital transformation. With these experiences, we wanted to offer an infrastructure where students can easily be included in the financial ecosystem with the mobile world.

3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established SoliPAY? 

The integration of banks has been the most challenging issue for us in presenting the open banking infrastructure to our individual users. This is because open banking is mostly offered to B2B customers in Turkey. We convinced banks to make some changes in their existing systems to move this infrastructure to an application that students can easily use.

2. What is your next big milestone?

Currently, more than 2.5 million university students and staff on 67 university campuses in Turkey use our infrastructure. In the next step, we want to carry this infrastructure to other countries. With the experience we have gained in Turkey, we want to create an ecosystem that integrates the university life and banking ecosystem all over the world.

4. What does success look like for SoliPAY?

We want to move our SoliPAY infrastructure, which is used in 67 university campuses in Turkey to other countries, especially Europe and EMEA. We aim to have 5+ countries, 200+ new university campuses and 10,000,000+ users become SoliPAY users in 5 years.

It's a wrap!

As part of the Visa Innovation Program, both startups are actively meeting with potential partners and clients, participating in various workshops, further developing their products… and exciting things are coming up! Follow our Blog, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels to stay up-to-date!

Apply now!

Apply here If you wish to enter the Program that is locally operated by Eleven Ventures in Bulgaria, Crowdpolicy in Greece or Hackquarters in Turkey.

We welcome fintechs from all over Europe!