Eric Mouilleron, CEO, Bankable

By Michaël Renotte, Youneek

Bankable, the British FinTech whose Banking-as-a-Service platform is hosted in EBRC’s Tier IV Data Centres, recently entered into a strategic partnership with the giant of payment systems: Visa. Eric Mouilleron, founder and CEO of the company, explains the reasons for its success and reveals the company’s ambitions.

Bankable is a designer of innovative payment services and a supplier of Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) solutions. Its account and payment card management platform is available as a white-label product or via APIs (Application Programming Interface). It enables any organisation, whether or not it is regulated (i.e. having its own banking license), to rapidly deploy payment solutions: current accounts, virtual accounts and e-wallets, virtual and physical cards, money transfer or cash management services.

"Bankable was founded in 2010. At the time, we were pioneers in what has since become Banking-as-a-Service", said Eric Mouilleron. "In concrete terms, this means that we help financial institutions and others create digital banking activities. To this end, we rely on our clients’ IT systems and provide them with all the technology required to rapidly deploy their digital projects."

500,000 current accounts in record time

Bankable thus enabled MoneYou, a subsidiary of the Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO specialised in online savings, to provide current accounts to its 500,000 clients. The FinTech provided the bank with its account creation and management, payment processing, and card issuance and management capabilities. "As a result, six months after we were awarded the contract, MoneYou was able to deploy its new service in two European markets", said Bankable’s founder. "In the Netherlands, the bank was able to launch an account linked to a Maestro debit card. In Germany, a credit card was issued, as our platform is able to support various instruments."

With MoneYou, Bankable opted to use existing IT systems, in accordance with its own technological approach based on compliance with legacy environments. "Accordingly, we created an agile technical layer to complement the existing banking engine, our platform then becoming the account management system, the main account from which the real-time customer experience was built", said Eric Mouilleron. "Gradually, throughout the project, we updated the existing system to enable it to manage aspects such as regulation and accounting. However, the entire real-time customer experience well and truly relies on our platform and its processing, payment card management and digital banking capabilities."

It is also the company’s policy to work closely with its clients. "Bankable is neither a licence provider nor a consulting firm", said the company’s CEO. "We have developed a platform which we can configure to meet our clients’ specific needs. In this particular case, ABN AMRO’s teams developed the front-end of the solution, which enabled the bank to maintain control over aspects such as brand management and customer experience management."

Strict standards

This dual approach enables Bankable’s clients to focus on the commercial aspects of their project, as the FinTech manages the creation, launch and management of the product. "Our ability to manage the product throughout its lifecycle is an important consideration for our clients in the banking sector", said Eric Mouilleron. "We comply with very strict standards. Not only do we have SOC 2 certification, a banking standard, we also have PCI DSS, a data security standard applicable to the payment card industry, and ISO 27001 certification. Very few stakeholders in the market hold all of those certifications", he added. "Every year, we undergo penetration tests at the request of various banks. Our infrastructure and our applications are of strategic importance for those banks, because we process their clients’ critical data."

Serving a global client base from Luxembourg

Bankable has the particularity of counting many banks among its clients, with the corollary that the company must comply with the highest standards of security and quality. "This also benefits our non-banking clients, essentially other FinTechs and large accounts, which can therefore take advantage of a proven architecture that is used 24/7 by financial institutions with high requirements", said Eric Mouilleron. Bankable has developed a network of distributors for its platform. The distributors, of which there are currently 25, are banks and FinTechs which themselves have many clients. The only exceptions to this distribution method are a few very large companies active in the aviation or engineering sectors with which the company works directly.

"We serve many clients in Europe – in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries", said Eric Mouilleron. "Some of our clients have global operations. We mainly work with those companies through Corporate Expenses programmes that must be deployable in all the countries in which they operate. As a result, we serve some of our clients in over 40 countries from our infrastructures in Luxembourg", he explained.

Bankable and EBRC: a common culture of excellence

"When we opted for EBRC to host our infrastructures, the decision was especially based on the special place that the Data Centre industry occupies on the Luxembourg financial centre", said Bankable’s CEO. "In addition to the priority placed by government authorities on cutting-edge infrastructures and connectivity solutions, we have found in EBRC a partner able to meet our clients’ requirements. We have developed a perfect understanding with the EBRC teams, with which we share a culture of excellence and which are also able to meet all of our technical constraints. EBRC’s Tier IV Data Centres and our partner’s many certifications guarantee excellent quality of service combined with the highest levels of security and availability."

"In addition, the very nature of EBRC’s shareholding structure and the fact that the company is indirectly and wholly owned by the State is a guarantee of stability and sustainability for us and for our clients. Finally, although Bankable is an English company, it must be kept in mind that 85% of our income comes from international business. As a result of being hosted in Luxembourg, we enjoy a de facto Brexit-proof infrastructure", he said wryly.

A powerful catalyst for international development

In April 2019, Bankable received an investment from and entered into a global partnership with Visa. This partnership will enable the members of the Visa network around the world to access the Bankable platform and to deploy digital banking and real-time payment services. "Our common strategy involves relying on the 21,000 members of the Visa network to promote innovation in those banks", said the founder of Bankable. "Most of them use legacy architectures. Our platform enables them to launch new products in record time while preserving existing IT assets. We have already opened two subsidiaries on other continents, one in Dubai and the other in New York, to bring us closer to Visa’s customers and to enable us to better serve them."

A strong partner

"Our ambition is to serve increasingly important international clients in more and more countries through single contracts, using our unique ecosystem of turnkey solutions", said Eric Mouilleron. "It is therefore crucial for us to have been able to build a privileged relationship with a major stakeholder in the financial industry such as Visa. However, it is equally crucial to be able to rely on a strong technology partner that is able to support this growth. And that partner is EBRC."

1The SOC 2 certification standard makes it possible to give an opinion on the checks implemented on a service provider’s side, namely checks relating to the security, availability, integrity of processing, confidentiality and/or protection of data.