Ibanfirst aims to take the complexity out of a certain number of banking services. Due to their structure and increasing regulatory constraints, banks are not able to offer the best service standards to SMEs for many financial services: their offering is often expensive and complex. This is particularly the case with international payments, as the foreign exchange then the payment are handled by two separate parts of the bank (one by the trading room of the investment banking arm and the other by the retail bank). IbanFirst has gathered these two activities in one location. Generally, SMEs complain about banks charging them high additional costs and demanding heavy guarantees.
In this context IbanFirst has chosen to favour the platform and the Bank as a Service (BaaS) model: instead of paying for a bundle of services, the client chooses the service(s) he needs, and only pays for those he uses. This model relies on what theoreticians Geoffrey G Parker, Marshall W Van Alstyne and Sangeet Paul Choudary call positive network effects (Platform Revolution). It refers to the ability of a community to create value for each user of the platform. Instead of managing internal resources and building entry barriers, the company’s strategy is based on the orchestration of external resources and the engagement of a community. It is the community that constitutes most of the value of the platform.
IbanFirst has taken this on board and is intends to propose, in addition to its own services, those of the best financial service providers in all areas necessary for SMEs: credit, advice, information... In addition to these external services, IbanFirst has a unique proposition: it is to date the only non-bank provider to create IBAN accounts.
Pierre Antoine Dusoulier founded IbanFirst in 2013 while he was the CEO of Saxo Banque. Having founded and invested in several companies he is well aware of the difficulties that SMEs face in order to operate efficiently. His conclusion when he created FX4Biz, now IbanFirst, is clear: banks overcharge their customers on international payments by concealing fees. In addition to the cost, SMEs suffer from the complexity and opacity of this type of operation. In reaction to this, the IbanFirst team took advantage from the 2009 European directive allowing other payment institutions than banks to operate on this market. The platform invoices transactions with full transparency: IbanFirst has made the entrepreneur's cause its own by offering them a service at competitive and transparent rates.
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