Three board game pieces symbolizing German companies getting into fintech

5 German Companies Blossoming Into Fintech Players

We don’t only buy from them. We also pay with them. 

In contemporary e-commerce and digital service platforms, we observe a growing number of players who enter the realm of fintech. Those originally non-financial companies understand that offering embedded financial services has become a key success factor. And for some: A profitable side business (if they can sell their self-built payment or wallet systems to other companies).

Those companies realize their fintech ambitions in various forms: Some just rely on external partners and simply embed financial services, such as insurance or loans. Others have higher aspirations and aim at core payment processes. They want to run their own payment solutions. Perspectively, external enterprises or customers not associated with their primary business should use them, too.

If we had to guess: The former paragraphs had specific brands pop up before your mind’s eye. Apple, Amazon and Google. WeChat, perhaps. And of course, the term “Pay” attached to all of them. 

But besides the big names, non-financial companies from various industries have broken ground in fintech. 

And as we have a certain affinity to the German fintech scene, we want to take a look at 5 of new fintech players from Germany and where their ambitions lie. Here goes, from B to Z:

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A violet LEGO brick, symbolizing the platformization of fintech and Stripe's and Klarna's role in it

The Platformization of Fintech: What Stripe and Klarna Do Right

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
trimplement co-founder Matthias Gall shares his thoughts on the ongoing platformization of fintech.

In the financial industry, we are never shy to celebrate a good rivalry. Neobanks compete with banks who compete with fintechs who compete with Google, Amazon or Apple who compete with each other (and WeChat). Yet, the industry has also become known for promising partnerships. Technical providers, fintech platforms, merchants, telcos etc. combine their resources and expertise. 

I can relate: Where partners with different backgrounds support each other, it’s easier to create approach problems from different angles and overcome obstacles (shoutout to my co-founders here). Likewise, partnerships between fintech companies allow them to tackle new portions of the market and improve customer experience or services – and that’s often the goal. What’s more, where technological partners join forces, we can also see huge jumps in innovation regarding infrastructure. Those companies often lay the groundwork for other companies to utilize in their products and services. 

For me, the recent co-op of fintech platform Stripe and Buy Now, Pay Later provider Klarna stands as a prime example of this later case. The cooperation of those two effectively presents a straightforward route to BNPL for single online shops and platforms. Online businesses just have to tie in the Stripe integration and their BNPL is basically ready to go. 

However, this would not be as significant, if both Stripe and Klarna had not become known for their extensive service portfolio. Stripe acts as a payment facilitator for online marketplaces while, at the same time, being a fintech platform itself. It’s an expression of a trend some in the industry call the platformization of fintech

What do I mean by that?

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Two hands with medical gloves handing over a banknote, representing fintech during the corona year of 2020

How 2020 Changed the Fintech Industry – Trends and Developments

What a year… good thing, we have a new one in replacement. 

Last December, when putting together our annual industry recap articles (you can find some of them here if you are in for nostalgia), we could not have guessed that the fintech scene would be on the brink of profound change. Many predictions, fintech and banking experts had made for 2020, did not occur – or did not occur for the reasons that we assumed would provoke them. 

Everything considered, though, the financial industry got off cheaply in 2020, when compared to other industries. Some branches could even step up their game. 

The question now is, if the fintech trends of 2020 will continue in 2021 or if they will “return to form”, once the restrictions in worldwide trade, business and retail loosen again. A look in the rear-view mirror will give us some implications. 

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A close-up photo of a dollar note, representing the traditional financial system and its history

The History of the Financial System

Introduction

trimplement co-founder Natallia Martchouk
trimplement co-founder Natallia Martchouk looks into the history of centralized finance.

We all are used to living in the world of centralized banks and institutions that govern finance – also known as the old economy in the crypto and fintech scene. In fact, many people cannot imagine that the financial system could work differently. They simply take this existing system as the given and best option. 

But is this the case? Or are there good reasons why there is a need for new paradigms like the growing new area of decentralized finance? Let’s talk about some historical milestones in the development of the financial systems of the old economy, before examining its disadvantages.

The Old Economy: History, Status Quo and Risks

Money Makes the World Go Round

Let’s start at the very beginning and go through some basic concepts. The financial story of humankind starts with the invention of money.

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A picture of an app store, displaying the apple logo, symbolizing Apple's new credit card solution Apple Card

Opinion: Apple Plays Its Card Just Right

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
Matthias Gall is looking forward to the disruptive potential of the Apple Card. 

In the Apple Keynote in on March 25th, Apple announced its very own credit card. It will be using the Mastercard scheme and will be issued in cooperation with Goldman Sachs.

As of now, Apple is an established player in the payments space. Their payment solution Apple Pay serves more than 252 million estimated users globally.

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A flying rocket leaving the fintech year 2017 behind, thus symbolizing an end-of-year-review

Looking back: An End-of-Year Review for Fintech 2017

You know you had it coming.

Your calendar told you well beforehand: This year is going to end soon. Which means the symptomatical end-of-year reviews are springing up all over the place.

We’ll contribute. While waving farewell to the old year, we’re looking back on our last 12 months of business. What did we experience? What did we achieve? And, looking at the whole picture, how has the fintech industry been holding up in 2017?

It will be a fintech end-of-year review featuring balancr then. Here are our highlights of 2017:

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One of the stages of the Singapore Fintech Festival 2017.

All Eyes on Asia — The Singapore Fintech Festival 2017

The rise of Asia — that is one of the more cited prospects when it comes to finance and technology. It is well justified. In less than a decade many Eastern nations established themselves as counterpoints to Silicon Valley. Undoubtedly, they will play a major role in the future of fintech. And to display a prospect of said future, fintech conferences spring up all around the continent.

Aside from China, where conferences like the Hong Kong Fintech Week and next year’s Money 20/20 China take place, Singapore stands out as one of Asia’s biggest fintech hotspots. The city-state did not only issue a new innovation hub in the heart of its business district. It holds the Singapore Fintech Festival as well. Luckily, we had the chance to experience the event — and we returned highly impressed.

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The city of Las Vegas by night with writing stating balancr is going to Money20/20 US 2017.

balancr at the Money20/20 Conference

Please note: Money20/20 US 2017 is now over, the balancr team is back. Find our review of the event HERE.


The City of Lights becomes the world capital of fintech — and balancr will take part.

From October 22 to 25, the balanc team will attend the Money20/20 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. If you are involved with the financial industry, you likely will have marked that date already: The Money20/20 convention is the biggest event showcasing developments in financial and payment services. As such, it brings together more than 11,000 attendees, including CEOs and leading experts from 4,500 companies and 85 nations.

We will be right where the innovation is: Meet us in Startup City, at booth S31.

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