20 Apr 2017
The State of Polish Fintech 2017
Looking back, it’s hard to even recall the times when fintech was a foreign foreign word in the dictionary of Polish financial institutions and software companies. Today, Poland is the biggest fintech market in the Central and Eastern Europe region with more and more Polish companies gaining worldwide recognition. The market is expected to grow even faster in the future. But what exactly causes it? Let’s take a look at the state of Polish fintech in 2017.
From zero to fintech hero in 5 years
“When we entered the market back in 2012, hardly anyone knew what fintech is. The world of finances (in Poland) was divided into banks and IT providers. Only two years later, a CEO of one of the largest banks announced he would like it to become a technological company with a banking license,” said Loukas Notopoulos, the CEO of a Polish fintech company Vivus Finance.
It’s hard to find better words to express the change of mindset that has occurred in Poland in the past half a decade when it comes to financial technology. According to a 2016 report on the state of fintech in the Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is now the biggest fintech market in this region with an estimated value of € 856 million
It’s hardly surprising when even major financial institutions such as mBank are not afraid of a mobile-first approach to consumer banking and are recognized for their online-centric strategy on a regular basis. At the same time, innovative companies such as Ailleron are successfully introducing their ideas beyond the borders of Poland. Ailleron’s brainchild, the Livebank system, allows customers to video chat with their banks and complete the most complex tasks, including loan submissions, remotely – an approach different than typical banking mobile apps that usually emulate only the most basic functions of financial institutions.
Fertile ground and quality tools
What caused the Polish financial sector to turn to technological innovations on such a large scale? Why did the progress occur in such a short time? That’s because the two main factors that have enabled it have already been there:
- customers who are not afraid of innovations in the financial sector – both research and practice shows that Polish customers love convenience and security that fintech innovations entail.
- quality software companies that have the ability to bring even the most innovative of fintech ventures into reality – both large financial institutions and startups rely on local Polish software developers that are skilled and agile enough to create quality fintech products in the iterative and fast changing world of financial innovations.
Let’s take a closer look at some other Polish companies that are influencing the world of financial services as we speak.
Lending made easy (and safe)
Akredo – this mobile financial service is the first of its kind in Poland that allows you to create one loan application and automatically send it to many lenders. Debt consolidation deals can also be handled in a similar manner. The advantage of this solution is not just speed or convenience, but also a fighting chance to significantly lower your rates by finding the best deal out of those carefully selected and explained by Akredo.
Data, data everywhere
Nowadays, large volumes of data and advanced analytics are virtually omnipresent in every technological sector. In this aspect, fintech is no different as many fintech companies largely focus on numerical and behavioral analyses. Despite of how many of them there are, the Polish startup FriendlyScore immediately draws attention as it attempts to calculate your credit score based on your… social media activity. All you have to is link your account to get a free credit score. FriendlyScore uses a total of over 820 variables than can be found across social media profiles.
Advanced financial knowhow available to all
The year 2016 was pretty incredibly for Atsora – an ambitious Polish fintech startup that attempts to provide advanced financial capabilities to small and medium companies that do not have a financial director and struggle to maintain financial liquidity. Its flagship product, the Momentum platform, is a collection of tools for companies to monitor their financial performance in a world where business plans change all the time. Atsora won the international FinTech Challenge contest organized by Emirates NBD Group and Emirates Islamic Bank in April 2016. Two months later, it triumphed again at the BNP Paribas International Hackathon.
Polish fintech going global
Since money is a language almost the entire world speaks fluently, Polish fintech companies have no qualms about going global with their ventures. Cinkciarz.pl, the popular online currency exchange office, entered the U.S. market as Conotoxia and even signed a sponsorship deal with the famous basketball team Chicago Bulls. Some representatives of the Polish fintech are so global that… hardly anyone ever heard of them in Poland. One of them is Paylane.pl – an online payment gateway for SaaS and Ecommerce.
Rock-solid foundation for fintech growth
While the state of Polish fintech in 2017 surely is a positive and promising sight, it still has a long way to go before it can be mentioned in the same breath with the world’s biggest fintech centers. But we have no doubt it’s going to get there. You can’t go wrong with customers that welcome innovations, financial companies that understand the importance of technology and Polish software companies willing and able to turn their ideas into quality products. With the advent of the Payment Services Directive 2 of the European Parliament the line between financial and technological companies will be even more blurred, with innovative companies such as those mentioned above officially recognized as part of the financial world (so called third party provides), right beside banks and other financial institutions.
One thing is for sure – competing with Polish financial companies is not going to be easy. The good news is that you don’t have to be Polish to leverage the potential of Polish software houses to develop your own fintech project. Contact us and make use of software development outsourcing in Poland to get the best possible return on investment.