The bolder, bigger and borderless third 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 – Rilla and Finqware.
Rilla is a Bulgarian company, developing a mobile application for personal finance management, which aims to make the latest fintech achievements accessible to all. The second company we are excited to introduce is the Romanian Finqware – a real-time multi-banking cash management solution powered by open banking. Continue reading and get to know them better!
Said only with one word, the problem Rilla is solving is accessibility. The team behind the startup believes that everyone should have access to everything they need, fairly and at every stage of their life. However, they have come against the following challenges:
Rilla provides a customer-centric, one-stop solution for all lifestyle needs. Their mobile application is available for both iOS and Android and offers financial services such as bank transfers, in-app transfers, debit cards, credit cards, overdraft, early salary, investments, utility bills, and others. It is an all-in-one platform combining everything that a client needs in their daily routine.
Why is this important?
Rilla is the first Bulgarian digital platform encompassing all banking services in one solution in a fully digital way. They make the daily lives of their customers easier and more enjoyable as they can use any service, any time, from any place. Rilla’s team believes that the easy management of personal finance leads to financial literacy, which leads to a better life. Rilla’s platform is personalized so it can offer tailored products based on the client’s profile to promote financial inclusion. Their priority is to give excellent 24/7 available support and friendly customer service.
In order to learn even more intriguing insights, our team met with Rilla’s founders for a quick “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Rilla?
We are inspired by ease and simplicity by all means – not only in technology or in finance but in life. We believe that this would lead us to a better and higher quality of life, and this is what we want to bring to society. This is why we decided to start the creation of the “super-app for super-life”. Through technology we aim to provide inclusion and accessibility – not only to financial services but also to any kind of product or service that will make people’s life easier.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Rilla?
We face challenges on a daily basis related to the complexity of the project. But the biggest challenge is time. The sector is changing constantly, and the players maintain high velocity. To be competitive, we are constantly pressured by pressing deadlines.
2. What is your next big milestone?
Currently we are laying the foundation with fintech services. Our next big milestone will be adding lifestyle services in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, we are looking towards our expansion in the European Union.
4. What does success look like for Rilla?
Smoothly working mobile app that is loved by its clients and used daily by them.
Finqware is tackling challenges, which the small and mid-sized enterprises are facing on a daily basis. These include:
Finqware is the first open banking fintech to connect, fully test, and put in production in real-life PSD2 APIs from banks in Croatia and Romania. It provides a single place for all bank accounts and payments, can be integrated with accounting vendors or softwares, for operational efficiency, and provides one single place for all FX operations.
Why is this important?
Finqware empowers banks to sell value-added cash management solutions to their business customers. The FinqTreasury makes it easy to replace spreadsheets and banking apps with an automation solution connecting a multitude of account information and payment initiation open APIs.
It provides a single pipe of normalized, real-time banking data for companies to feed into any of their financial processes and a light dashboard app for any type of device, on top of this data, to be used for: aggregated liquidity, historical trends, alerts, currencies, transactions.
Meet Finqware’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 Finqware?
As ex-bankers, we have been observing for a long time the informational asymmetry between banks and their customers, which leads to so many inefficiencies. We strongly believe that this needs to be changed. The bank customers tend to be captive and the big paper bureaucracy creates a lot of frustration for both the bank employees and their customers. The new technologies are the way to make the financial life of people and companies simpler and smoother. When we learned about the Open Banking mega trend and PSD2 implementation in Europe, we understood that this is a clear pathway for important steps forward to be made in solving this inefficient rapport between banks and customers. And we betted on it, we are all in.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Finqware?
The biggest challenge is the inertia of the banking system. The incumbent banks, the regulators and most of the other financial ecosystem players in CEE countries are speaking a lot about the innovation that will come and change things. However, when we go directly with the doer attitude to banks and with the proposal to start changing the world, very few are able to take action. Nevertheless, we believe that open banking is a huge opportunity for banks, not only a regulatory constraint and we give a lot of kudos to the players that started to work with us already.
2. What is your next big milestone?
Our milestone after bringing to life the Open Banking in some countries from Central and Eastern Europe, is to go further and establish a stronghold in the region. We are already considered as an innovation partner for banks in leveraging the opportunities of Open Banking and we keep rolling out our development in the area. The next milestone is related to covering the countries in the region one by one during next year.
4. What does success look like for Finqware?
We want to make open banking an invisible technology layer that enables better financial interactions between customers, either business or individuals, and their financial providers. A technology like ours should stay discreet behind the scenes and make life better. If Finqware will actively contribute to this change through our technology, with end customers not even knowing about it in most of the cases, this can be envisioned as a success of our venture.