Contis is a European leader in Banking-as-a-Service provision, servicing some 250 B2B clients with end-to-end regulated core banking and card payments solutions. Contis owns the full suite of technology and licences, so can offer total accountability and guarantee peace of mind.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
In 2008 new E-money legislation in the world of prepaid cards showed a way to democratise payments. Non-bank actors could suddenly challenge the delivery of financial services to the public. This dynamic spurred me, as a veteran in the payments space, to form and fund Contis as a venture – and give all companies the power to provide financial products. It also helped lay the foundations for the fintech revolution.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Covid gave me great concerns for the industry as a whole. There was serious uncertainty about generating new business in the economic climate, and whether fintech investment would dry up killing our clients’ ambitions. We didn’t know if payments transaction volumes might also suffer.
At the start of our financial year 2020, we threw away our super ambitious budget and took a conservative approach instead, aiming to protect our employees and investment interests. But after an initial 20% reduction in volumes, we started to see growth as people switched to using digital payments and new client sales began to sky-rocket. Contis mainly supports life-style accounts that service customers’ day-to-day spending. As shopping moved online, so digital payments saw an uptick.
Our high-risk commitment from 2019 to support the crypto sector also paid off. We launched contracts with leading companies like Swipe, Binance and most recently Bitpanda. Global interest in crypto during the pandemic has created great demand for payments products, like the recently launched Bitpanda card.
So in the end, Covid led to 80% transaction growth as people went online, which allowed us to focus on rapid expansion whilst remaining profitable. This has been a rare outcome in the fintech sector which we do not take for granted.
What can we hope to see from Contis in the future?
Today Contis is a pan-European player, predominantly supplying regulated solutions to brands looking to offer financial services.
But moving forward we’re focusing on geographical expansion and launching managed services, such as Banking-as-a-Service and standalone processing. Contis is a significant card scheme processor, so it makes sense to offer our world class capabilities to Visa and Mastercard issuers globally. Contis’ core banking skills are relevant to many geographies, and with our in-house knowledge of digital payments we also plan to consult and assist international companies.
As part of the Contis strategy we have created 3 distinct divisions for the future.
- Regulated, selling banking and payments solutions using our licences
- Technology Infrastructure, our pure technology play
- Engage Financial Inclusion, assisting the Credit Union and Community banking sector to solve the massive issues around financial exclusion and the potential major debt crisis following Covid
So, Contis is moving into major expansion mode, with our internal funding capability, a desire for growth and an eye on industry consolidation and acquisition opportunities.
I look forward to the post-Covid sector growth and continuing to deliver security and trust to our clients and end-users alike.