A Chat with Wojciech Sobieraj, CEO at Banking-As-A-Service Provider: Vodeno

Vodeno is a European Banking-as-a-Service provider, and our belief is that everyone should have access to the best banking products. Today, through embedded banking, brands are able to offer innovative financial products directly to their customers. We make this possible with our technology and tools, access to a European banking licence, as well as regulatory and compliance expertise.

Our API-based, cloud native platform is one of the most comprehensive Retail and SME banking platforms on the market, and our offering is fully modular allowing for innovation and implementation at speed.

Our clients are diverse across multiple industries and sectors, financial and non-financial alike, and our ambition is to become the number one BaaS provider in Europe across the next three years.
Vodeno Case Study | Google Cloud

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The concept for Vodeno was to build a financial services technology company with the latest cloud technologies. A fully cloud-native banking platform did not exist at the time in 2018, so we built the VODENO Cloud Platform (VCP) from the ground up with proprietary software that covers all aspects of Retail and SME banking via hundreds of open APIs.

We also knew that we needed to tap into fast-moving fintech innovation, so VCP also serves as a ‘360’ ecosystem with nearly 90 of the best fintechs integrated into the platform.

The platform was first used to transform Banca Monte Paschi Belgio into the fully digital, mobile-first Aion Bank. Our team executed the migration to a new IT platform, completed a comprehensive reorganisation of the bank’s operations and created a completely new banking offering based on the latest technologies.

With the cloud infrastructure of our platform, we were able to complete the project in five months instead of the traditional 18 – 24 month timeline. This laid the foundation of a partnership with Aion Bank to offer a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) solution, which is second to none in terms of range and reach.

We can cover the full spectrum of banking services, from ‘smart contract enabled’ core banking to accounts, cards, payments, lending and investments, and both for retail and corporate end users.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The pandemic accelerated existing digital trends, and demand for embedded financial services has increased exponentially, particularly within the retail and eCommerce space. Modern retail businesses understand they need to innovate their checkout experience in order to win online.

For retailers, the benefits of offering embedded solutions extend beyond satisfying their customers’ needs – they can drive new commercial streams, provide valuable customer insights that can lead to product innovation, as well as open new market opportunities. BaaS and embedded banking offer brands the ability to fully control their checkout journey, and therefore, their customer relationship.

Today, we see tremendous interest from non-regulated companies who are looking to do just this in order to keep up with competitors and grow their business, and we are doubling down in our efforts to service this client segment.

What can we hope to see from Vodeno in the future?

We are reaching significant milestones in 2022 with many of our first clients going live in Q1.

We recently conducted a piece of research, surveying over 750 senior decision-makers across European retail and eCommerce businesses, which revealed that more than half (54%) plan to roll out more embedded banking solutions in the coming year. This signals to us that there is tremendous opportunity to grow our business even further with this segment.

We see innovation in BaaS credit products making a big breakthrough this year. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has already changed the landscape in consumer lending, and we see Merchant Financing as the BNPL for SMEs.

Merchant financing is a lending solution that offers up-front capital that can be used to produce or buy goods, with repayments drawn from the revenues of those goods once they are sold. The ability to easily access credit combined with the flexibility to repay through revenues is invaluable to SME retailers.

Another innovative product we offer is called Decoupled Debit. This is a branded, white-labelled payment card that a retailer can offer its customers. Through Open Banking and PSD2, the card can be linked to the user’s bank account of choice in order to process payments, meaning the card can be used instantly without needing to be manually topped up with funds. Purchases made with the card could yield rewards and cashback that strengthen customer loyalty.

We plan to offer these exciting products alongside the rest of our portfolio to more clients across Europe, as well as launch into new territories over the next several months.