The fourth season of the Visa Innovation Program is steadily moving ahead and all participants are vigorously working on their innovative solutions. Now that Borderless Day is behind us, it is time to present in more detail the new additions to the Visa Innovation Program family. In case you missed it, Borderless Day brought together startups, banks, financial institutions, investors, and other supporters from Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey and was the big day for the fintechs’ founders, who presented their innovative solutions. Today, we are excited to present two of the startups – Flow and Identyum.
Although enjoying independence, freelancers have to deal with tasks that are traditionally handled by employers – invoicing, balancing cash flows, bookkeeping, paying taxes, arranging insurance, etc. The average time estimated for doing these administrative tasks is 43 hours per week for Europe. Staying on top of their personal finances and dedicating time for money management is critical for the success of the freelancers’ business. However, they often lack the time and overview to manage their financial future properly.
Flow is a money management app that automatically distributes incoming money flows across budgets, savings accounts, and investments based on “triggers” that users set themselves. It helps them manage their money by using smart rules to set up a money system that automatically budgets and prioritizes income. This way, money flows directly into “jars” or different accounts, so that users have an overview of their income and expenditure.
Why is this important?
Globally, there is a growing population of freelancers, gig-workers, and self-employed that represent the evolving concept of the future of work and are viewed as the power users of fintech. More and more people are seeing freelancing as a long-term career path and the field is expected to continue to grow as a younger generation enters the workforce. A research commissioned by Upwork found that in 2020, freelancers represented 36% of the US workforce, adding approx. $1 trillion to the economy. In Europe, over 22 million workers are classified as self-employed.
In order to learn even more intriguing insights, our team met with Flow’s founders, Daan, Niels, and Danny, for a quick “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Flow?
After university, Niels and I joined forces and became a product duo (after being “rivals in our design education). Business plans and dreams were made during the carpool rides to Amsterdam. What can we still make, what do we want to do ourselves? There was one missing category in the App store, for which we had never made an app before: the financial category.
To gain experience at a financial firm, we went freelancing at a bank. During our freelance period, we met many freelancers who were earning really well, but had no idea how they were doing financially. During a hackathon weekend, we pitched Flow – after two sleepless nights, the result was there: a name, an iOS app, a website, a logo, and a brand. Then things went fast.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Flow?
Our biggest challenge is the PSD2 license / Open Banking. It’s both a blessing and a curse. With the licenses we obtained, we can create our product: a bank-agnostic cashflow automation platform. At the same time we have to invest a lot in KYC, KYB, AML, while keeping it all user-friendly.
2. What is your next big milestone?
We аre paving the way for Self Driving Money at Flow. Fully autonomous decision making about paying bills, investing, making down payments on loans. This will let customers focus on their lives, while their money grows. Our next version of Flow will include AI profiling. This way we can optimize, giving our users the right tools to build a sustainable financial future. Flow will be able to profile users per business type, their revenue and their personal context, i.e. homeowners, young family. Flow will automatically detect income and predict bills. AI-driven Flows will support our users in reaching their savings goals and a financially sustainable future. We’re on a mission to build the Self Driving Money App!
4. What does success look like for Flow?
For many people, money is messy. People live from paycheck to paycheck, have debts, cannot save and feel like their money disappears as the month progresses. It’s the number one reason for stress in the world. We want to change this. We aim to show the world how money can be an enabler in achieving goals. If we can reduce financial stress for a significant part of the world, we are successful.
Mutual trust in identity is an essential precondition for achieving a quality relationship between two parties, especially in the age of Internet fraud, misuse, and theft of other people’s personal data, as well as frequent hacker attacks. Without a credible identity, there is no trust. Identyum is helping companies to transform their businesses into the new digital era by providing the platform for frictionless and legally compliant customer digital onboarding, authentication, data sharing and document signing.
IDENTYUM solves the needs for frictionless customer identification, authentication, onboarding, basic and financial data sharing & legally valid document signing – all based on cutting-edge web and mobile components and backend platform.
Why is this important?
The ID wallet includes everything needed for a person to get a service quickly. On the other side companies can onboard new customers really fast and without friction since users do not have to go through the KYC process all over again each time. Also B2B personal data exchange is possible among different legal entities with explicit consent of the data owner.
All this can greatly improve speed and customer journey experience with significantly lower cost than if a company would try to do it by themselves.
Meet Identyum’s co-founder, Tomislav Bosnjakovic, and learn more about the vision and the next milestones for the company in our “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Identyum?
From our previous experience at a company we worked for, we learned that organizations are spending a lot of time and resources on KYC and digital transformation in general. We thought that there must be other more simple way for companies identify persons online, while on the other side, people should not be forced to go through complex onboarding process again and again each time they want some service. A person should have one identity under his control.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Identyum?
Transforming society. Most of the people in our part of Europe are used to doing things the old (traditional) way. Both government and businesses are partially digitally transformed, however, a lot of processes are still manual. For a startup to reach to the right people, to start paradigm shift in the way we are doing business, is a big challenge.
2. What is your next big milestone?
To become EU recognized ID Wallet compliant with eIDAS2.0.
4. What does success look like for Identyum?
Seeing organic growth of our ID Wallet usage among people. Seeing more and more companies integrated with Identyum. Accepting e-signing in society as preferred way of signing documents. Building Identyum as brand that can be trusted for its security and data protection.