May 19, 2021

Tink acquires open banking and data analytics provider

Tink
Fintech
openbanking
Acquisitions
3 min
The Swedish fintech bought FinTechSystems as part of its European expansion plan

The Stockholm-based fintech, Tink, has acquired its German equivalent, FinTechSystems, as part of its European expansion plan.

FinTech Systems is an open banking and data analytics platform that was founded in 2014, and provides services to more than 150 banks and fintechs across germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Europe's open banking startup 

Tink was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Sweden. It is one of the leading open banking platforms in western Europe.  It currently works with 3,400 banks and financial institutions that serve 250 million customers across Europe, and carries out 10 billion transactions a year. 

The company now aims to expand its operations throughout Europe using FinTechSystems as part of that plan. News of the acquisition follows on from Tink’s recent funding rounds that saw the company raise US$213.8m to enhance its connectivity and expand its offerings.

The cloud-based platform provides infrastructure and data products to enable the future of financial services and it offers a range of products including data enrichment, personal finance management. Its services can be used to develop standalone services or be integrated into existing banking applications. 

Tink current partners include ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas Fortis, Nordea, Klarna, and SEB and the fintech company doubled its market presence for payments in 2021.

Tink acquisition of FinTechSystems 

FinTechSystem’s  open banking platform has a robust local customer knowledge in payments, ecommerce, banking and lending. It also facilitates risk decisioning and open banking payments at the core of its services. 

The platform specialises in data analytics and digital account checks, account integration and open banking payments. Some of its customers include Santander, N26, Solarisbank and Check24. With a connectivity rate of 99% in the DACH region, the fintech company is a leading data services provider. 

According to reports, an estimated three in every four online credit decisions in Germany involves FinTechSystems. 

The company’s acquisition by Tink will further secure FinTechSystem’s position in the market as a leading open banking and data analytics provider as it will drive forward the fintech’s growth and capabilities in the DACH region. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Stefan Krautkrämer, co-founder and MD of FinTecSystems said, “By joining forces with Tink, there is a unique opportunity to further strengthen FinTecSystems’ position as the open banking leader in the region, and better support our clients to expand across Europe.”

Daniel Kjellén, co-founder and CEO, Tink,  Germany is a key market for Tink and that the move would be mutually beneficial to both parties. “We are excited to have acquired an innovative leader with a strong reputation for the quality of its bank connectivity and payments services. We have followed FinTecSystems for many years and are impressed by what they have achieved.”

He added, “Through this acquisition, we are taking a big step into the DACH region, and we look forward to supporting the FinTecSystems’ team to further accelerate their growth.”

 

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Jun 17, 2021

Zafin: Banking is now in the era of the tech ecosystem

Zafin
Banking
Technology
Digital
3 min
FinTech Magazine holds a Q&A session with John Smith, EVP Ecosystem at Zafin, on the evolution of banking and its future as an aspect of tech ecosystems

The development of tech ecosystems is placing the future of post-COVID banking in jeopardy. At a time when Big Tech can replicate the functions of traditional financial institutions, what can banks do to retain a grip on the market?

John Smith, EVP Ecosystem at Zafin, has a few ideas. A SaaS cloud-native product and pricing platform for financial institutions, Zafin is preparing the next generation of banks to cope with this precise challenge.

Smith is responsible for the strategic and tactical management of the company’s ecosystem, including the creation of new business models to support growth and differentiation. We asked him four questions:  

Q. Have the events of the pandemic caused an irreversible shift in the digitalisation of banks? If so, is COVID the sole cause or are there other factors?

It’s a great question and one that I am asked a lot. Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a significant shift in the acceleration of digital. In fact, I’ve seen some estimates show there to have been as much as four to six years of digital adoption growth since the initial lockdown started. 

While the pandemic may be the primary reason for this growth, two other drivers include fintech disruption and the high costs of operating a traditional retail bank. Both of these factors have caught the attention of banking executives as they set their minds on accelerating digital transformation with a focus on high return, low risk. 

Q. Some commentators believe banks must learn from Big Tech in order to survive. Do you agree? Please expand. 

I agree completely; we’re living in the era of the ‘ecosystem’. All the seismic shifts we’re seeing in technology, be it aggregation, embedded finance, DeFi or hyper-personalisation are all enabled by the foundation of an ecosystem.  

When financial institutions work with a strategic partner like Zafin, which has made the strategic investments in a best-in-class ecosystem, they’re able to capitalise on opportunities more quickly and safely, and will be better positioned for growth now and at the other side of the pandemic. 

Q. What are currently the obstacles to adopting Open Banking? Is it more likely to 'take off' in some regions rather than others?

I would argue that Open Banking has been in the US for some time and will only continue to grow there. By definition, Open Banking is about the secure sharing of financial information that customers are aware of and have authorised. Under that definition, we’re seeing aspects of this well underway even though its full potential remains to be seen.

Third-Party Providers are a natural outcome of Open Banking, whereby they can create propositions beyond what a bank normally does to enable banking functions such as payments, borrowing, saving and so on. Once again, some of these are already present through industry-led initiatives, whereas regions such as the EU have taken the pathway of regulation such as PSD2.  

The industry-led initiatives we’ve seen in the US have also had the added advantage of guard-rails that regulatory bodies like FFIEC and CFPB provide. There are also other technology-led initiatives such as API definitions that are set out through the FS-ISAC. 

I would argue the future of Open Banking in North America will be through the natural evolution of the guidelines and API definitions that have been published, as well as the natural progression of industry initiatives. 

Q. Are there any other bank tech trends you'd like to discuss? 

Coreless banking. Zafin has been pioneering some of the work around externalising functions out of the legacy core to drive a more ‘fintech nimble’ bank, while not having to deliver a ‘heart and lungs’ core bank replacement.  

 

 

Real life examples of this include moving some of the core functions of a banking system, such as product and pricing to a platform like Zafin. Origination, onboarding, KYC, risk, and compliance are all other examples of externalising banking functions for added agility.

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