Greek fintech Viva Wallet officially becomes a bank
Viva Wallet, the Greek payments fintech which bought a bank in January, officially obtained its banking licence.
The Attica-based start-up acquired Praxia Bank’s banking licence on 3 August, completing its acquisition with shareholder AMC Oak.
Formed out of the ashes of Credicom Consumer Finance Bank – a specialist Greek automotive lender – Praxia was once hailed as Greece’s first digital bank.
But overly ambitious targets led to worries the neobank would dissolve due to a lack of sufficient funds, eventually leading to its acquisition.
Bob Diamond, formerly a chief executive at Barclays, helped build Praxia. He has invested €100 million into the challenger since it was founded, according to Kathimerini.
Viva’s plan now it has a banking licence
The fintech says its banking licence will allow it to serve “a broader set of its customers”, including services such as loans and savings products.
Last month, Viva selected ClearBank as its UK banking provider, which means it will take on the likes of Starling Bank, Monzo, and Revolut.
Makis Antypas, Viva Wallet’s co-founder, will lead the new bank as CEO, whilst Vassilis Trapezanoglou will serve as non-executive president.
Due to be announced by the end of 2020, Viva’s new savings and loan offerings will add to its payments-focused capabilities.
These include offering merchants local IBAN accounts, cards and online acquiring services.
It also offers next day settlement, and 0% card acceptance fees for customers who utilise both issuing and acquiring services.
Viva is already a licensed e-money institution for the whole European Economic Area (EEA). The fintech has offices in Warsaw, Athens and Helsinki.