Out with the old, in with the new? Fintech for business today – Genome
In technology circles, we call them fintech companies, consumers might refer to them as upstart or new banks, and business types call them EMI, financial institutions. But these fintech institutions have been around a while. To be a disruptor in fintech in 2021, it’s more of a mindset and approach than providing brand new products or services. We sat down with Daumantas Barauskas, COO of Genome, to learn more.
Was Genome designed as a business financial institution, but now offers personal services? Or the other way round?
Yes, the main goal was based around the business approach, and Genome was designed for companies. We have great fintech experts with broad experience in the business area, particularly business owners who are aware of the specific needs of entrepreneurs. This market has great potential and volumes. Business owners need trusted financial institutions to open business accounts, IBAN accounts, handle companies’ funds, salaries, personal money, etc. Thus, we have embodied an idea to combine individual and business approaches in one ecosystem. Genome has started as a fintech solution for companies. But in two years, Genome has made remarkable evolution in transaction number, in its client base, and now we are on the edge of the new era. We are planning to issue a Debit Card, which is the first step in reaching the B2C segment.
What makes you a disruptive fintech? Do you even agree with that term?
Financial services have been on the market for a long time already, so we are not a new player offering something disruptive. It’s all about the Genome mindset, how we approach our customers, what kind of services we offer.
To us, fintechs are disruptive in a way that they bring services to clients – swiftly and conveniently. That’s the principle we follow as well – we provide our features online, and our clients can access them whenever they feel like – just by using the app or a web browser. Our perspective is set on how to make the fastest services for our clients, how to onboard business owners quickly so that they could move forward with their business development, instead of wasting time on the paperwork in the bank. We are focusing on customers; with that approach, success will surely follow.
What guarantees do I have that you won’t disappear tomorrow?
We have an example with Wirecard; even big trusted classical banks could disappear in one month. However, the market is frustrated with the latest events, a lot of businesses suffered from such circumstances. I understand this concern, but nobody is 100% sure that the company will not disappear in one moment, even a big one. We should consider customers’ needs, the safety of their funds to make instant services, and protect them from fraud. Trust is built through access, access to secure online banking, access to the business or merchant account in a safe technological way, and even the mindset of owners. That is the integral approach to be stable and earn the client’s trust. You should also consider that Genome is an electronic money institution that is supervised by the Bank of Lithuania. EMIs should keep clients’ and companies’ funds separately, according to regulations from Central Banks. So, in the case of bankruptcy client’s money is safe as Central banks regulate that. EMIs have advantages over classical banks in this situation.
Your business offering is definitely aimed at multinational trade (or so it seems). Why use Genome, not one of the older, traditional banks like Western Union, Wells Fargo, Santander, HSBC etc.? Aren’t the older players more reliable?
It depends on the specificity of business needs. If you are looking for crediting your business, you mostly go to traditional banks, and yes, they have advantages over EMI in this field. But if you are looking for financial services like transfers, IBAN, merchant accounts, currency exchange, even card issuing, fintech is more client-friendly. The customer can get 100 percent support from a fintech company, and in a more convenient way, without tedious branch visits. Each customer values more for a fintech startup. If your business is small, you probably won’t have a dedicated account manager in traditional banks. Even big companies are sometimes frustrated with lack of attention or lack of flexibility from their bank. Fintech companies can offer support for smaller businesses. If we are looking at onboarding procedures, old-school banks require a branch visit. Meanwhile, you can get an IBAN account, for example, online in a fintech company. Main advantages: focus on the client, online onboarding, fast reaction to the problems. Also, the Legacy IT systems. Banks built their IT system a while ago; any improvements or updates take time and cost a lot of money to the bank. At the same time, for fintech companies, IT systems, new technologies are in priority and are constantly updated.
Tell us a bit about the company’s background – history, backers, the founders’ stories, that sort of thing.
Genome was founded in 2018 when the company received EMI License from the Central Bank of Lithuania. There are fintech enthusiasts, including me, Artem Tymoshenko , who have excellent experience building financial business services. Our team created Genome, as we had an understanding that there was still a niche on the financial market, and there was an idea to combine all services on one platform: for personal, business, and merchant needs. The idea was to provide the full scope of the necessary financial services businessmen require: an IBAN, a merchant account to handle payments from business operations, business accounts to accept payments for colleagues, partners for example. Also, there are SEPA transfers, currency exchange for personal purposes as well. Our goal is to organize every feature in one place with instant access to it – to make the entrepreneur’s life easier. And that is not possible without a disruptive mindset and group of experts. That’s why we cherish all our Genome employees, who are true experts in their field.
Are you primarily interested in onboarding e-commerce setups? Or generally companies that operate internationally (like our parent company Hybrid, for example)?
We are not focusing on e-commerce or just international businesses. The diversity of our services allows us to focus on both at the same time. This is the best thing about us. It can be a small local business that just needs an account to do a couple of transfers a month or it can be a huge international company which besides the requirement to have traditional financial services will ask to support their e-commerce channel. Our team has custom approaches depending on the type of company that is interested in Genome services. Businesses can contact us and we will offer the most relevant features they require, and our team will help with setting them up, if necessary. That is what makes us different, we see people behind the business and numbers, so there’s no need for us to blindly push all our services upon clients. So no matter if you’re looking for an easy way to receive salary, or looking for a gateway to integrate on your website and accept payments — Genome has a solution for you.