In a conversation with Digfin’s James DiBiasio, CardUp Chief Executive Officer Nicki Ramsay gave a roundup on how the evolution in tech companies is bolstering credit-card usage and what’s next for CardUp in the fintech space.
You can watch the interview here, or read the excerpts below:
Current trends in fintech
“Fintech is an exciting space to be in at this time. The sector is hot across the region with its pace of transformation and speed. For the first time, innovation is coming from Asia and perhaps being adopted by the U.S. or Europe, which is quite different from what we saw from ten years ago”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a huge uptick in SME digitisation and an increase in willingness to adapt to digital or technical solutions. This is one of the biggest shifts the fintech market has seen in the past couple of years.
"There is a great drive to move towards card-based solutions, automate and digitise from business owners, therefore CardUp as a company is at the right time and right place to provide those solutions,” says Nicki.
CardUp’s partnerships with banks
The solutions that fintech companies are offering to the banks have evolved a lot in the past couple of years. Nicki notes that the structure of these collaborations is designed in such a way that both parties benefit from each other. It is not only about the exclusivity of partnerships but also about how the fintech industry enhances user experience and speeds up the process that financial institutions are unable to implement by themselves.
“The partnership does look different with different banks because some banks are much further ahead in terms of being able to offer some of the SME digital services themselves and since banks overlap with a lot of fintech companies in the market,” says Nicki. She also adds that ultimately, it boils down to understanding the requirements and structure these partnerships in a mutually beneficial way.
CardUp’s evolution over the years
When CardUp began, it focused on providing payment solutions to consumers. The company gradually started exploring the B2B domain and started seeing bigger opportunities in the space to provide its services to small - medium-sized enterprises.
“Our vision is to simplify the lives of business owners by creating a one-stop-shop solution with three key value propositions of automation, cash-flow management and rewards,” says Nicki. "Every effort that we as a company make is to deepen the effect of these values."
Nicki says as CardUp grows, it will be able to deepen its impact on cash flow management through its products and services. However, it will not directly venture into a total lending space, noting the recent trend of 'Buy now, pay later' solutions. This model bridges the gap between payments and lending, and may be a better fit for CarUp in the future. Nicki looks at this prospect as a natural progression in terms of the value that the company delivers.