French Startup has no bank license, but it’s got a million PINs
French startup Linxo is showing you don’t need a banking license to win over almost 1 million customers — and gain
access to their bank accounts. The company’s app aggregates information such as transactions and balances from several
accounts onto a single screen to help people manage a budget. It has gathered 900,000 users in
France and is weighing up an expansion to the U.K., Germany and Spain, co-founder Bruno Van Haetsdaele said.
Linxo raised 2 million euros ($2.3 million) in December and may seek a “much bigger” round as soon as this year, he said. “So far we’ve been out of the regulators’ view because we don’t move money around,” Van Haetsdaele said in an interview in Paris. “We’re out to help users manage a budget in just a few clicks. We don’t need a banking license.”
The EU at the end of 2015 set new rules for payments, claiming they would foster financial innovation and increase
consumer protection in areas such as bank account aggregation. France and other European countries have until
early 2018 to adopt the EU guidelines, under which players like Linxo will be audited on criteria such as
In the U.K., Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne wants to make Britain “the global center for fintech.” The government has been encouraging new entrants, in part by simplifying and speeding up the process for applying to become a bank.
Linxo integrates bank accounts, offers extra services like spending forecasts and it’s also testing PayPal integration and monitoring of stock investments. “Our long-term vision is to handhold people through financing their projects, from budget planning to retirement,” Van Haetsdaele said.
While Linxo doesn’t sell banking products for now, the app is likely to go into distribution down the line, as well as include services like transferring money from one account to another, Van Haetsdaele said. Created six years ago in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, the company is backed by minority shareholders Credit Agricole SA and Credit Mutuel Arkea SA.
Lire l’article sur le site Bloomberg.