FinTech, the darling of the UK technology industry, has transformed how we access banking services since the 2008-9 economic crash.

However AAZZUR CEO Philipp Buschmann believes its next iteration – embedded finance – has far bigger potential than even that. 

We’re talking internet-level disruption, he says. “We are on the cusp of change in the financial sector and I’m sure we are about to see major disruption to the banking space. Embedded finance has the potential to be as big of a disruption to our lives as the internet was back in the 1990s,” he tells BusinessCloud.

Buschmann is a tech entrepreneur with extensive experience working in financial services, FinTech and challenger banking across the world.

His embedded finance startup AAZZUR, founded in Berlin and now headquartered in the UK, enables any business to embed services such as banking, wealth management, lending and sustainability investments into their proposition. 

The likes of Wise, railsr, treezor, Bsurance, W2, Contis and Openpayd are available through its platform – meaning non-FinTechs can access compliance-ready techstacks with just one API integration.

Human touch

Most of the FinTech world delivers APIs, but the human touch is missing,” he says. “Where most of FinTech stops, we are the last mile of delivery. 

“Previously, everyone built front end or used white label: we have taken the system apart and rebuilt it in a scalable and deliverable way.  The result is 10x cheaper and 4x faster than a company choosing to build in-house.”

He likens the impending change – made possible through regulation which allows any company to provide banking services – to the transition made by car manufacturers since the 1970s.

“We are not app builders or a service company: we don’t produce products, we re-bundle and improve other people’s products and services,” he says. “Back in the 1970s, most car manufacturers built around 70% of the car and all component parts in-house. This is the same as banking today: most products and services are built in-house. 

“Looking at car manufacturing now, most parts and systems are made by specialists and brought into the car factory to be assembled into the finished model. The FinTech world is moving banking towards this idea of products and services being produced by specialists and then brought together under a provider. 

“Similar to how cars are manufactured today – where there are many different services and providers, leading to increased choice for the consumer and a much-improved product – the same is being done in FinTech.”

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Plug and Play Silicon Valley accelerator

AAZZUR, which employs 14 staff, has raised €2.4 million euros to date and is currently raising a further €2m.

The company is to join global innovation platform Plug and Play’s 12-week accelerator programme in Silicon Valley after it was selected from more than 1,000 startups.

For banks, we are a one-stop shop for FinTech services, an integration layer solving multiple problems and integrating services such as insurance, sustainability and accounts,” says Buschmann, who says founders should choose love, not fear when it comes to embedding culture into their organisations.

“We are also a gateway for banks to become a service to suppliers. We offer unique and easy ways for banks to enter the Banking as a Service (BaaS) sector, but don’t want to set up the infrastructure themselves.

“For the consumer, we offer a more joined-up banking solution where products and services are recommended in real-time. Once people understand these services are available, uptake will be swift, especially in the younger generations who like digital offerings and convenience. 

“The FinTech sector is predicted to grow exponentially over the next 10 years, which could result in the doubling or tripling of the banking space – and AAZZUR will be a major player in this rapid growth.”

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