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Irish-Czech FinTech, Leveris, has built a core banking and lending platform that aims to provide a cost-effective, flexible and quick-to-market solution for challenger brands and new customer propositions

IBS Journal: Tell us about yourself.

We are Leveris. We deliver full-stack, standalone, Software as a Service, core bank and lending platforms for traditional banks, challenger banks and consumer brands. Born in 2014 with offices in Dublin and Prague, we have been working in relative secrecy on a next generation banking platform.

IBS Journal: What’s your business model?

Our business model has two elements: SaaS (per transaction/account pricing); Revenue share (loans, third party integrations, data monetisation).

IBS Journal: What sets you apart?

Traditional banking software providers will offer you a full end-to-end solution for all your needs, as do we. However, our platform has six distinct differences:

  • Lower cost: Core banking implementations are characterised by high CapEx entry costs, followed by costly ongoing OpEx. Our cloud-based platform dramatically reduces both.
  • Cloud native: Unlike our some of our competitors, who just moved old core banking technology to the cloud, taking all the legacy problems with it, we have built our banking platform specifically for the cloud using modern architecture, open source components and micro-services.
  • Speed to market: Launching a challenger banks/products can take years. We do them in months/weeks.
  • Marketplace banking: Our modular and extensible platform runs on micro-services and open APIs meaning our clients can implement only the services they want, while also building profitable partnerships with market innovators.
  • Lending: The Leveris platform is conceived, designed and built for revenue-positive or cost-neutral operation. Our unique, multi-purpose lending solution is already fully integrated into a new bank. This means the Leveris platform can start making money from day one, unlike the majority of neo-banks and/or transaction only banking service providers.
  • Data monetisation: We monetise data for the bank and for the end consumer. Internet companies such as Facebook and Google make billions of dollars by selling their users’ data. We want customers to be able to share their own data securely with third parties and earn money from it. After all, it’s their data.

IBS Journal: Who or what inspired you to set the company up?

Our founder and CEO Conor Fennelly (pictured) has been at the forefront of enterprise software development for financial services industry since 1995. He has engineered innovative solutions for banks, blue chips, and governments including but not limited to HP, Indonesian banks, e-filing and e-taxation system for Indonesia and tier 1 European banks.

He watched industries like retail, music, transport and accommodation cleverly use platform technology to transform their industries within a rapidly evolving world. He saw how we have moved from a ‘product and solution’ economy to a relationship or marketplace economy.

Banking, however, remains stuck in the past. Traditional banks rely on 1970s technology and legacy systems that are complex, risky and expensive to modernise. These 20th century monolith systems were squeezed onto smaller screens and dubbed ‘mobile banking’. It simply wasn’t good enough.

So he decided to build a platform that would enable a bank to launch and operate at a fraction of the cost of traditional software systems, enable them to access their data and also help them to integrate third party products and services that ultimately make a bank future proofed.

IBS Journal: What has been your smartest move?

In early 2014, we contacted the CTO and team that built AirBank in the Czech Republic (one of the most successful digital banks in Europe) and asked them if they wanted to join the Leveris team to do something similar but on a global scale. They gladly accepted. So overnight Leveris went from a startup with a great vision, to a startup with a vision and also the experience to make it a reality.

IBS Journal: What was your biggest challenge/setback?

Changes in customer expectations, low interest rates, increased requirements on capital and net margins, new sources of competition, not to mention the relentless march of technology, are all combining to threaten the banking status quo.

How a bank reacts will determine its future. For those who act fast, there is a world of opportunity. It’s about educating C-suite bankers that the antidote to all of this change is a modular cloud-based banking platform. This is not a functional change, but a complete cultural change for a bank. Changing culture in huge corporations is a massive undertaking. It takes a true visionary to transform a bank. It takes balls. We are slowly but surely getting that message across.

IBS Journal: Where do you want to be in five years?

We are a SaaS company after all. Albeit one delivering financial solutions. We would like to be in a position to offer our platform to any company, banking or otherwise, no matter their size. Where they can sign up for a 30/60 day trial, slap their logo on the front-end and start running a bank in a sandbox environment. If they like it, we sign them up on a monthly/yearly basis. Simply put, try before you buy banking as a service (BaaS).

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by Scott Thompson
Scott is Senior Editor at IBS Intelligence. You can follow him on Twitter and contact him at: Scott.Thompson@ibsintelligence.com
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