FINQ, a Romanian fintech company, is looking to expand in Loxembourg as a holding due to its central position in Europe. FINQ is a free mobile app that replaces the financial application folder on your phone and helps you manage your money more easily in one place through a simple and friendly multi-bank experience.
“Even if we have more financial needs – to keep the money we earn, safe in the banks, to control what we spend on” not jumping the horse “, to pay easier and to save, I do not know why everything should be so complicated. Credit to one bank, wage to another, insurance to another company, a pile of cards in your pocket. Technology needs to help us here. Together with the FINQ team, we think about how things can be simpler, and that money and their use are a tool for a better life, not a stress,” says Cosmin Cosma, one of FINQware co-founders.
Cosmin is not at the first entrepreneurial experience. Although he started his telecom experience, he entered the banking field at 26, as an entrepreneur. In 2005, he opened an ING Bank banking franchise, the first bank of bank branches owned by him, and he built it from scratch and after two years he sold it with about 3,000 customers in portfolio. Prior to the crisis, without knowing what would happen, he returned to employee status as a manager in various financial institutions, such as GE Money, Garantibank and Volksbank. Although, the salesman, the crisis has made him move from the shopping area to the debt collection area when he struck down on the lack of people’s financial education.
He then had contact with many people who were unable to manage all their financial products. He was astonished to see highly trained people who did not have enough financial education, or tools to cope with their finances. As early as 2011, when he was a bank manager, he tried to imagine how the bank can be more friendly, so that people become more efficient. He did not have a very clear vision then, but things became real in 2017 when he created the FINQ application, along with the other three co-founders.
How FINQ works
The first discussions between the founders came with the European regulation PSD2, a regulation that provides banking users with the ability to manage their account information and the ability to initiate payments safely and efficiently through providers other than the banks they have open the accounts.
“We realized it was an opportunity, not because it would allow us access to banking data, but rather the user, as in GDPR, has the right to do what he wants with his data. This creates the place of players interconnecting the relationship between the end-user and the banking service provider,” said Cosma.
FINQ gives the user a multibank experience, a greater freedom than any other banker because he can manage, manage, and optimize his budget. The user will be able to make all payments from the FINQ application, regardless of which bank has opened his account. It will also be able to resolve new financial needs by opening a new savings account or by taking a personal loan. Practically, he can make “cherry pick” of financial products, because he will be able to select the most appropriate financial services and products on the market for his specific needs and situation. FINQ addresses both people who are outdated by the financial products they use, who fail to manage their financial resources and those who want more convenience.
“I go on the idea of convenience. I mean, everything has to be a click away. We, as a family, are very active in dealing with banks, together we have accounts at about 10 banks. Having three children with many different activities, we had a situation where we did not remember paying a fee for one of the activities. Taking 10 banks in a row and starting looking for extracts is crazy. Only connect to so many banks for a long time. Perhaps the situation as a family is the client of 10 banks is rarer, but financial life is complicated even if the banks are fewer. An aggregator that gives you all the information in one place is extraordinary, and that’s why I joined the team without hesitation,” said Danut Covalciuc, co-founder of FINQware.
“We are working very hard on product development, we want to come up with innovations in the payment area and introduce new banking services that users can access through FINQ. We have already built a series of partnerships around the project, most of them in the area of confidentiality at this time, but giving us opportunities to create innovative products that we are looking forward to launching from 2019,” said Cosma.
FINQ has already attracted the attention of investment funds, being selected by an accelerator where he received a financing offer from GapMinder, the Romanian investment fund. Founders of FINQware then decided that it was not a timely investment period, focusing on crystallizing the strategy for product development and international expansion.
The FINQ project has participated in the Elevator Lab, the finest Fintech accelerator in Central and Eastern Europe, where it has been selected as “Local Hero” and where it has received a EUR 2,000 prize to support the project.
The FINQware founders team has a solid banking experience, consisting of two former bankers, Cosmin Cosma and Danut Covalciuc, and two programmers, Dumitru Taraianu and Alex Bejan, with experience in banking infrastructure and mobile application design.
In the coming period, FINQ is preparing for a commercial launch, and meanwhile awaits the transposition of PSD2 regulation into Romanian legislation to obtain a PSD2 service provider license. The strategic plan of the four founders of FINQ is to create a pan-European player in the European single market for financial services. Practically, within the platform and through the FINQ application, the Romanian user will be able to get a loan from a Finnish financier and a German will be able to deposit his money at a bank in Greece. Directly, digitally and without moving to that country, to any bank branch. That’s why FINQware plans to create a holding company in Luxembourg, this country being the heart of Europe.