Events - EIC Corporate Day with Caixabank Payments and Consumer: when fintech innovators meet with banking leaders
2 and 3 December 2020 marked the 10th EIC Corporate Day of the year. Together with Caixabank Payments and Consumer we dived into the world of fintech, inviting 24 EIC-innovators from 12 different countries to pitch their innovations and help Spain‘s leading financial group to define the future of banking.
CaixaBank Payments & Consumer, a wholly owned subsidiary of CaixaBank, is Spain's leading company in consumer financing and payment methods. The company's mission focuses on developing solutions to offer the best payment experience and to facilitate the financing of the aspirations and projects of customers in an easy, streamlined and responsible way, using their own channels and agreements with large commercial distributors.
The CaixaBank Payments & Consumer corporate social responsibility empowers individuals and businesses to achieve their goals, co-creating comprehensive, disruptive and internationally focused payment and financing solutions. With more than 15 million customers in Spain and Portugal, it works to accelerate the company's digital transformation and technological capabilities and focuses on meeting its profitability targets. To this end, Caixabank Payments & Consumer teamed up with the EIC to see some of Europe’s best and brightest startups in the fintech-sector. One of these innovators was Signicat , a Norwegian company. We got together with Marie Austenaa, VP Market Development, to discuss their company, the importance of the EIC-funding and what they got out of the Corporate Day.
A rapidly changing environment
The financial services industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in its long history due to stricter legislation on online transactions, prevention of identity theft, and money laundering. The electronic identity landscape is quite fragmented, creating barriers for people and companies to online access to national and cross-border financial services, hindering as well the development of the FS industry in Europe as a digital single market. To this end, Signicat is the first identity assurance as a service provider to the financial industry in the Nordic countries. Their main innovation is the integration of different tools for identity assurance to help financial institutions to comply with legislation while simplifying user’s online onboarding through one-stop-shop.
Signicat has been part of the EIC since 2016, obtaining both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2 funding. Talking about the impact of the EIC-funding, Marie highlighted the different aspects: “The EIC-funding is quite multi-faceted. On the one hand there are the monetary contributions, which helped us to expand in new markets. We used it for expansion into Germany, but also to fund some activities in Spain. Now we have the opportunity to work closely with customers in these countries and develop specific products. Every European market has a slightly different flavour, so it’s good we get the time to adapt.”
“The second aspect are of course the networking events like the EIC Corporate Days. We are not based in Spain, so the opportunity to meet with key people from Caixabank has been fantastic, to say the least”, she said. Marie was particularly impressed with some of the unique aspects of the EIC Corporate Days, like the in-depth preparation: “The guidance and feedback on the pitch deck, as well as the preparational call with Caixabank a week before was invaluable. I haven’t seen this level of preparation and finetuning in other events.” After Signicat’s pitching session, they attended several pre-arranged one-to-ones. “Having the opportunity to spend two days with Caixabank representatives was great. During our meeting the Director of Compliance joined us, he was intrigued after our pitch. For me that really demonstrated the flexibility as well as the support that the EIC had from Caixabank”, Marie noted.
As to what would make this day an absolute success, Marie commented that: “we work with other banking customers, we know we are doing something relevant. We already benefitted from all the conversations these two days. Without the EIC we wouldn’t have developed this specific relationship. But for us it would be a real success if we can manage to set up a pilot, that is what we are looking for.”
Want to deepen your relationship with Europe’s top corporates? The EIC regularly hosts Corporate Days, for the moment fully online, with applications running through the EIC Community. Those wishing to meet with Europe’s largest corporates and fellow EIC-beneficiaries, please keep an eye on our calendar. Check out our Corporate Day Highlight report and video for more impressions.