How we plan to become the world’s biggest bank without holding a single dollar

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by Hristo Borisov

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The pace of innovation is limited by the pace at which a company spends money. And to spend money we rely on a technology invented 70 years ago by a person who forgot his wallet going to a dinner one night — the credit card.

 

We are in the 21st century, the century of the thinkers, visionaries, the dawn of AI, Machine Learning, IoT, AR/VR, and blockchain. The century in which there is a myriad of opportunities to innovate and disrupt existing markets. And while many companies are on the right track to boost innovation and increase focus on an organizational level using tools such as Lean Startup, Google Sprint, Design Thinking, OKRs, they fail to achieve this at scale. Why? Because startups and innovators slowly become the same type of slow organizations they try to disrupt. The inertia leads all these companies to adopt and rely on policies and technologies invented for a different age. Reality check — your internet banking portal.

 

It’s your credit card that stalls innovation, but it’s not how you pay with it, but what happens after you pay. For employees, it’s collecting receipts, invoices, expense reports, approvals, sign-offs. For accounting, it’s manual card statement reconciliations, matching of transactions, data entry of suppliers, VAT numbers, taxes, calculations of currency conversations. For finance, it’s cost centers, expense categories, budget vs. actual reports and so on. We are changing all of that.

Our vision for the future is a marketplace where businesses can discover, manage and use multiple payment instruments (debit cards, credit cards, bank account etc.) powered by a single banking experience regardless of where money is kept. An experience where money follows the way you do business.

Our plan

1. Payhawk  will become the world biggest bank without holding a single dollar. In short, we will:

2. Build the most intelligent software for managing company cards and cash

3. Build a marketplace for financial instruments

4. Enable banks to offer their financial instruments in our marketplace

5. Monetize on developers

 

Build the most intelligent software for managing company cards and cash

Our first step is to enter the company cards market. Our goal is to disrupt the conventional model of issuing cards with a local bank. We work with a selected set of technically savvy issuers to issue next-generation company cards with automated expense management. The product collects and analyzes receipts and invoices avoiding paperwork for employees. The extracted information is automatically exported to your accounting system with no need for monthly card statement reconciliations. Our tactics would be to compete directly with incumbents. And we will target poorly served segments such as software, IT, and hardware that tend to have frequently traveling employees, global teams, and overspend on subscriptions. Our second step is to help companies process, manage, digitalize and pay all due invoices directly integrated with a checking account.

 

Build a marketplace for financial instruments

Today, businesses are stuck to chose financial instruments offered by their local banks only, because the fragmented financial ecosystem limits the proliferation of financial instruments outside country limits. The complexity of multiple currencies, languages, the risk of compliance, country-specific regulations and trust all add up to the problem. We will use that to our advantage to onboard local banks for multiple key regions and penetrate the market. We will offer multiple financial instruments depending on the readiness of each partner institution: prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards and checking accounts in different currencies all integrated into a single banking experience for the businesses. One portal that manages all your financial instruments directly integrated with your enterprise systems.

 

Enable banks to offer their financial instruments in our marketplace

We will create APIs for banks, financial institutions and e-money institutions to integrate, offer and sell their financial products with a platform used by thousands of businesses without the need to invest in complex infrastructures and technology platforms. Our goal is to allow banks to offer credit and debit cards completely managed by Payhawk. In terms of checking accounts, Payhawk will become both Account Information Service Provider and Payment Initiation Service Provider in the long-term horizon of PSD2.

 

Monetize on developers

To maintain control of the innovation and to create value within the existing marketplace, we will monetize on the intellectual property we are creating. We will license our proprietary technology to be used by developers in the form of metered web services for analyzing invoices, receipts, emails, transactions and many more.

 

If you want to learn more, book a demo or sign up for our newsletter at https://payhawk.io.

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