Tink acquires German open banking provider FinTecSystems
Tink, the Swedish open banking start-up, has acquired German provider FinTecSystems (FTS) as it pushes on with European expansion.
FTS is Germany’s third homegrown open banking firm to be acquired or merged in recent years.
In December 2018, German credit bureau Schufa acquired a majority stake in Munich-based FinAPI. Schufa’s owners include Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.
Then in March 2019, banking and API provider Figo joined forces with Finreach. Two players, Ndgit and BANKSapi, still operate as independent start-ups in the region.
Regtech and insurance
In the last year, international players including Yapily and Nuapay have expanded into the German open banking market ahead of latest Tink’s acquisition.
Ahead of its sale, FTS had grown its customer base to 150 banks spread across Austria and Switzerland, as well as Germany.
Products cover data analytics, digital account checks, account aggregation and open banking payments. Customers currently using these services include N26, Santander, and Solarisbank.
Stefan Krautkrämer, FTS’ co-founder, told The Paypers in December that insurance and regtech presented areas for open banking product expansion.
“Whereas more and more banks have started embracing the opportunities of open finance, insurances haven’t opened up in an equal fashion yet,” he explained.
“Regtech is also a really interesting field for open banking applications. Current regtech providers mostly focus on analysing databases filled with transactional data only.”
Krautkrämer said real-time KYC processes at the point of transaction also posed significant opportunities.
Why all the selling up?
Unlike other countries, which have seen open banking providers expand across borders, Germany’s homegrown fintech start-ups in the space have struggled to grow independently.
“The German banking market is very fragmented, [so it] required a lot of effort for more than 90% connectivity,” says Lars Markull, a banking lead at Weavr.io..
“Four [main open banking] players also meant strong competition and less resources to expand,” he adds.
“And with no strong push to go abroad, [these players were] caught in the big-but-not-massive home market, so less attractive for investors.”
FTS now claims connectivity to more than 99% of banks in the DACH region.
Founded in 2014, it has grown to 67 employees.
“Germany is a key market for Tink,” says Daniel Kjellén, Tink’s co-founder and CEO. “Through this acquisition, we are taking a big step into the DACH region.”