By Andra Beltz
Smart Fintech launches SmartPay, the first alternative payment solution through Open Banking authorized by NBR in Romania. The fintech aims to execute in 2021 a number of several thousand payments per month through the SmartPay solution and expects the Open Banking competition to start in Romania.
The new Open Banking system brings significant changes to the traditional financial market. At the European level, the demand for Open Banking services is gaining momentum, and the growth potential for the companies operating in this industry is considerable. In Romania, Smart Fintech is the first and only authorized Third-Party supplier; in comparison, Germany has 35 such suppliers, and in the European Union, there are approximately 500 total licensed companies.
SmartPay is the first account-to-account payment initiation service that one can use as an alternative to any online card payment for purchases, invoices, or utilities. Also, it can be used as a payment accelerator – integrated into any application that manages financial resources in any form, such as electronic invoicing, accounting, ERP systems, payment platforms, or personal finance management. Smart Fintech created this service based on the European PSD2 payment services directive – which facilitates access in the financial sector to new players, different from banks and traditional services.
After NBR accreditation, Smart Fintech continued to develop SmartPay to provide the most efficient services and a completely secure process for users.
“Consumers’ and partners’ safety come first in the matter of developing financial services. SmartPay uses the IBAN-to-IBAN payment principle, offering the possibility for any user to initiate a payment from an electronically accessible bank account to another without associating a card, as in the case of traditional payments. This ensures greater security of online transactions”, stated Andrei Dumitru, Co-Founder and Technical Expert at Smart Fintech.
The advantages of SmartPay are multiple, from more friendly commissions compared to traditional card payments to shorter transfer time. An excellent benefit for SmartPay partners is that they no longer need an additional license from the NBR to initiate payment service as the product is already accredited. Also, by integrating their platforms with SmartPay, they do not need further integrations with each bank.
Smart Fintech’s strategy is to build a sustainable business. The company aims to offer a flexible business model to its partners, practicing the pay-per-use transactions commissioning model, enabling them to choose the package of services that best suits them and facilitates their development. The company also assumes the role of educating the local market.
“We don’t expect to see the same growth rate as in the leading countries in this area, but we do see the big picture, and the long-term potential is real. Being the first authorized Third Party Provider places us in a key position in the financial ecosystem, and we feel the responsibility to bring added value to end consumers. Market information and education are the basic elements, given that Romania is a little behind other European countries. Still, we also need the support of banks to move forward in this endeavor”, added Ana-Maria Georgescu, Co-Founder, Sales & Marketing Manager Smart Fintech.
The banks integrated so far with the SmartPay service are BRD, BCR, Banca Transilvania, ING Bank, CEC, and Raiffeisen Bank. The company is working to integrate 10 banks by the end of 2021, to offer additional flexibility to users and proposes its first partnerships with online merchants and service providers.
“In 2021, we want to consolidate the SmartPay image in the local market, and we hope to see the first Open Banking transactions in Romania and the first merchants. We aim to execute in 2021 a number of several thousand payments per month through the SmartPay solution through SmartPay. At the European level, we expect the trends to remain and the market to continue growing. Still, for Romania, we hope that 2021 will bring the beginning of the Open Banking competition”, concluded Ana-Maria Georgescu.
Smart Fintech is a Romania start-up created as an innovation lab in 2019, set to deliver innovative open banking solutions that emerge from the two words: Finance and Technology. It is a self-sustained start-up, co-founded by Mihaela Georgescu, Ana Maria Georgescu, Alexandru Cociu and Andrei Dumitru. They worked together for many years in different information technology projects, and all share the enthusiasm for the innovative playground started by Open Banking. Their ambition is to create value-added services in Romania based on the PSD2 directive and help develop the Romanian market so that EU TPPs or Banks are not the only players.
By Andra Beltz