The Paris Fintech Forum took place in Paris on 30th and 31st January at the Palais Brongniart. Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, the founder of IbanFirst (a Fintech company) and a Carte Financement customer, explains why he appreciates this sort of event. He started Cambiste.com, which became Saxo Banque France. He took the time to answer some questions for us:
IbanFirst is a foreign exchange payments solution for companies
IbanFirst is a payment institution. It is a member of Swift and enables SMEs to make international transfers to pay their suppliers in currencies other than euro. Transaction rates are transparent and much lower than the banks’ rates, with real-time exchange rates. Its customers can open IBAN accounts in multiple currencies also send and receive payments.
What is the evolution of Ibanfirst since it has been set up ?
We have been in business for two years. Today, over 1,000 customers put their trust in IbanFirst. In 2017, 22,000 customer payments worth more than €1.2 billion went through our platform. Our workforce grew from 20 to 65 in a year. The potential market is large, as 95% of SMEs’ currency transfers still go through the banks.
What can bring a forum like Paris Fintech to a company like IbanFirst?
The role of an event like Paris Tech Forum is to make CEO’s and finance departments aware that FinTechs are to take seriously. It also gives me the opportunity to discover great new technologies. In particular, we are following very closely innovations by RegTechs, which can make life easier for us.
Which new technology did catch your eye in particular?
Regulation of the financial sector is tight, especially the fight against money laundering. In this regard, we are very keen to get to know our customers better – it’s the famous KYC (Know Your Customer). One benefit that RegTechs are bringing in this domain is simplifying inspection procedures, making them paperless, to avoid losing customers. Banks are rather old-fashioned about this.
We are also interested in subjects like risk control and credit ratings. There are new tools that can give more detailed information about individuals’ credit ratings, like the number of friends they have on Facebook, their activity on social networks, the area they live in, or the floor that they live on.
IbanFirst does not do credit. But, as we move forward, it is good for us to know about these upstream systems that are a breakthrough with the traditional banking approach.
Some figures on the Paris Fintech Forum
- 2,600 attendees, with more than 70% senior executives
- 68 nationalities
- 240 CEOs speaking
- 4 finance ministers from 4 countries
- 180 FinTechs speaking and with stands