Banks and Fintechs: A Match Made in Heaven?

Identiyum team

Identyum is a Croatian company specializing in fast and reliable digital onboarding of new clients to companies, providing GDPR-aligned e-usability of personal identity information, digital certificates and consent management. Their solution aims to resolve a growing need for online identity verification, where end users must have various credentials to prove their identity.

Taking into account that existing identification systems are not always flexible and that there are still concerns about privacy and data sharing without consent, Identyum created an Identity Provider and Digital Onboarding Platform, which helps solve these issues.

Robert Iliaš, the founder of Identyum, reports on the next steps in his company’s development, how he sees the future of his company, and whether banks and fintechs are made to be friends

We believe that the essence of successful digitalization for society as a whole is precisely the identity digitalization we’re dealing with.

How long has Identyum been around and how did it come about?

The company was founded at the end of 2018, but from the middle of 2017 I sensed that “something was wrong” in the overall story of the digital transformation of society and especially with regard to identification services. However, it was only at the end of 2018 that things come into alignment, practically overnight, when I realised that all conceptual analyses had been missing the key element of externalised digital identity. It was then that I started to form a circle of likeminded people, the ones I believed would recognise the power of the concept and help me to create something great. At the beginning of 2019, Tomislav Bošnjaković joined me as COO, and a bit later also Zvonimir Popovčić as CTO. This created the core for further growth and development of the company.

Could you please elaborate on what your company is specialized in?

At Identyum, we have deep knowledge of remote identification technologies, authentication levels, digital certificates and signing, as well as detailed understanding of GDPR, the fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (AML5) and the electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation. We are building a digital identities platform that currently doesn’t exist in this form or is impossible to pin on a single area of specialisation. We are experts for digital identity, a concept we strongly believe will truly, digitally transform society.

What is Identyum’s market entry strategy?

The plan was to start with B2B for smaller banks in Croatia and other financial industry companies, and attempt to open up other markets simultaneously (telecoms, event industry, tourism industry, etc.) Although we knew that the financial industry has a slow sales cycle, we were still somewhat negatively surprised when we saw in practice that it takes 2 years or more to sell Identyum solutions to a financial institution. Nevertheless, our sales pipeline is slowly being filled, and we will soon be launching our direct B2C service for citizens of Croatia, which will raise our general market visibility. Leads and opportunities outside of the financial industry are slowly picking up speed, too. We believe that 2022 will be the first year of our stronger market expansion, first in Croatia and then throughout the EU.

What are your future plans? Are you planning to expand?

In the meantime, we have also developed our initial direct B2C (more precisely, C2C) products, which will be launched in Croatia soon. Through these products, Croatian citizens will finally be able to feel the first practical benefits from the Identyum profile and our digital services linked to it. Of course, Croatia is not only our home market, but also the initial testing ground for examining how the market reacts, so that we can learn how to develop the strategy of opening the doors to other EU markets. Our PSD2 AISP (Account Information Service Provider) licence, which gives us authorisation to retrieve account data provided by banks and financial institutions, is already in the passporting process for all EU countries, and we are already expanding our partnership with FINA Financial Agency, the leading Croatian company for the provision of financial and electronic services), to issue the eIDAS certificate to all EU citizens. The eIDAS certificate is an EU regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the European Single Market.

Do you believe in rivalry or in synergy between banks and fintech companies?

In most cases, yes, there really is rivalry between banks and fintechs (e.g. Revolut or N26 will never be partners, but will continue to attack mainstream banks), but specifically in the case of Identyum, we present no rivalry for banks. Quite the opposite, actually – we are a neutral technology with which banks can considerably speed up their process of digital transformation and thus engage in an equal fight with fintech challengers. We believe that the essence of successful digitalization for society as a whole is precisely the identity digitalization we’re dealing with. Those banks that fail to adjust to the new digital times will slowly fade from the market, especially in the retail segment.