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TBI Bank CEO: BaaS is the cherry on top of digital banking

TBI Bank CEO: BaaS is the cherry on top of digital banking

Bulgarian ‘phygital’ challenger TBI Bank recently became the first financial institution in Southeast Europe to partner with the Bank of Lithuania to launch Sepa instant payments.

Sepa instant payments was first proposed by the European Payments Council (EPC) in November 2015 and was established after rapid shifts in payments processing and in turn, payments innovation, welcoming digital solutions and real time payments.

The era of 24/7/365 begun. Sepa instant payments enabled instant, or next-to-instant transaction clearing, crediting and confirmation across Europe, regardless of the instrument - credit transfer, direct debit or payment card - used.

Today, new financial entrants are encroaching on the incumbents’ share of banking provision with banking-as-a-service (BaaS) which allows fintech companies to connect with the systems of traditional lenders in a transparent fashion and build bank-like services for their clients.

TBI Bank CEO Petr Baron highlights to Finextra Research that “we invest in digital infrastructure for our customers, and BaaS is the cherry on top as we can offer the same services to our partners.”

Baron continues to say that following a BaaS model will result in the need to change “a number of infrastructure components to ensure that true benefits can be derived from new projects, while also keeping costs low.”

With this “democratisation”, Baron adds that it makes sense for digital banks to utilise internal services, rather than turning to external providers. However, TBI Bank is still able to use the same technology and infrastructure to benefit the customer a la BaaS and therefore, Sepa instant payments.

TBI Bank customers are now able to send and receive up to €15000 within the European Union and EU Economic Area via Bank of Lithuania. The service will first be open to business partners, starting with digital consumer lending group 4Finance in four EU markets and later serve retail customers.

Baron says: “This is a move of major importance for us - it proves that our investments in cutting-edge digital solutions are beneficial for our business partners and customers. Our clients will have déjà vu: for them the new service will remind them of the switch from dial-up internet to broadband.”

Comments: (1)

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 07 February, 2020, 14:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

in 2015 when we looked to re-imagine the UKs agency banking model and ultimately disrupt the status quo regarding access to underlying payment and banking systems, we decided to make ClearBank a true Banking-as-a-Service provider (I think probably the first back then).

BaaS provides so many benefits to institutions that leverage BaaS, be those FinTechs or incumbents. Benefits include improved service levels, everything becoming real-time, access to ever more powerful capabilities, the ability to design and build out new customer experiences at pace and a far cheaper and more efficient operating model.

BaaS is actually how end customers enjoy better customer outcomes - because it enables greater levels of competition and innovation. BaaS is in my mind, far more important than opening up access to key centralised infrastructure, such as payment systems like SEPA or the ECB directly. BaaS enables banking to be a "feature" and that drives far greater change and customer benefit than any other option.

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