UK challenger bank Griffin gears up for wholesale launch
London-based Griffin is preparing to unveil its new wholesale (“infrastructure”) challenger bank in the UK.
The “bank as a platform” or “API-first bank” will provide technology to fintechs that need custodial accounts and access to interbank payments.
For example, on its website it will charge £5 per open account belonging to a human being per year. It’s £20 per open account belonging to a company per year.
Griffin says all of its technical systems are built from scratch, “enabling us to move faster than existing banks burdened by legacy tech”.
It will also offer integrated compliance solutions for know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements in real time.
The bank, which was founded in 2017, is currently enjoying the delights of the regulatory process.
FinTech Futures contacted Griffin for more details on how this regulatory matter is progressing, its tech, and timetable.
In terms of the regulatory issue, the bank only says: “It’s very early days for us.”
For its tech, Griffin explains that it is “building almost everything in-house” – from core banking ledger to customer information system to payments integrations to API frontend. Its tech is written in Clojure (a general-purpose programming language) and uses Kafka (an open-source stream-processing software platform) to support its event-driven architecture.
Griffin is planning to launch in the summer of 2020. It is currently in the midst of fundraising – and may have news to share about that next month.
Its transatlantic founders are David Jarvis (CEO) in London and Allen Rohner (CTO) in Texas.
Jarvis was an early engineer at Standard Treasury (acquired by Silicon Valley Bank in 2015), where he was responsible for building out the company’s core banking system offering.
After leaving Standard Treasury he joined Airbnb, where he worked on infrastructure, scaling their in-house build and deployment systems “to thousands of builds per week”.
Rohner was the founder and CTO of software firm CircleCI. Along with Jarvis, he is the author of Learning ClojureScript, an introductory book to the ClojureScript language.
Griffin’s green/white logo may remind older readers of the UK’s Midland Bank and its griffin. That bank was acquired by HSBC in 1992.
Who’s who in the UK challenger bank space and what’s their tech? View our free and comprehensive list here.