Fintech credi2 and Visa, a world leader in digital payments, have entered a strategic cooperation as part of the Visa Fintech Partner Connect program. Together they are developing a product that can be used flexibly and that will in future facilitate “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) payments with Visa credentials in the Central European markets. Providers who integrate this white-label solution into their card apps gain access to a billion-dollar market that is still largely untapped.
The new white-label offer for card-issuing banks, developed by credi2 in cooperation with Visa, will enable cardholders to make flexible installment payments via Visa credentials in future. This gives consumers the opportunity to opt for a flexible partial payment before and after the online or POS purchase. With the seamlessly integrated BNPL option, banks can benefit from a rapidly growing pre- and post-purchase BNPL market worth billions .
Changing payment methods
“Visa cards are accepted in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Because of the large reach, providers should think about their positioning in a changing world of omni-channel payment methods,” says Christian C. Waldheim, Co-CEO at credi2. "Anyone who does not offer the option of flexible installment payments is at risk of losing touch with the payment market." Young adults of Generations Y and Z in particular are already using convenient BNPL solutions that are integrated into the retailer's purchasing process. During the payment journey, they can opt for flexible installment payments.
This BNPL solution is an alternative to previous options. Along with a Visa card with a partial payment function, it offers a trustworthy means of payment that enables users to subsequently convert purchase amounts into installment payments ("post purchase") – with high coverage and acceptance. "BNPL via Visa card offers customers more flexibility, a better overview and helps to prevent their account limit from being blocked by debiting the entire amount," says Waldheim.
A cooperation that helps BNPL to increase its reach
“We see a sustained consumer interest in flexible and at the same time secure payment options. With the help of credi2, we can enable our issuing partners to enter the market quickly and easily with essential infrastructure building blocks,” says Jakub Grzechnik, Head of Product at Visa in Central Europe. The white-label solution developed by the two partners can be modularly adapted to the requirements of the respective card-issuing financial institution.
Braunschweig, October 12, 2022
In order to strengthen the cooperation with the buy now pay later Fintech credi2, Germany’s largest automobile bank, Volkswagen Bank, has increased its stake in the Viennese fintech from 20 percent to over 28 percent. Volkswagen Bank has held a stake in the company since 2019.
As part of its increased involvement, Volkswagen Bank has launched a new instant loan for private customers in Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Ducati) car dealerships. This allows retailers to offer their customers a fast and fully digital financing solution of up to 12,000 euros. For the merchant partners, this financing option results in additional earnings potential and an expansion of their customer base. The offer can be used for repairs, accessories or e-scooters – car financing is excluded.
“Our new instant loan is easy and the process from application to approval takes no more than 15 minutes. Both customers and the sales staff benefit from this,” says Dr. Michael Reinhart, spokesman for the management of Volkswagen Bank GmbH.
This is the second successful cooperation between the financial institution and the fintech, the first one being FINANCE A BIKE in 2021. FINANCE A BIKE offers fast and uncomplicated bicycle financing in over 1,000 bicycle dealers across Germany.
Similar to FINANCE A BIKE, with the new instant loan customers go through the fully digitized application process themselves in just a few minutes. This saves merchant partners time, precious resources and paperwork, while the net loan amount is remunerated with 0.5 percent commission.
Reinhart: “Our increased stake in credi2 shows how pleased we are with our cooperation. At the same time, we are taking another important step towards the digitization of our business model and product portfolio.”
Vienna, July 13, 2022
- A white-label approach at the checkout ensures higher customer loyalty between retailers and buyers
- Liquidity advantage for companies: Deutsche Bank pays merchants immediately at the dispatch of goods
- Fintech credi2 is a proven and secure technology partner
The Viennese fintech credi2 is working on a payment project with Deutsche Bank. The two companies are developing their own solution for invoice and installment purchase (“Buy now, pay later”; BNPL). The white label solution for online retailers and e-commerce marketplaces can be flexibly integrated into the payment process. The first pilot projects are scheduled to start in Germany by the end of this year.
“Together with credi2, we want to create a consumer-friendly alternative to existing BNPL offers,” says Kilian Thalhammer, Head of Merchant Solutions at Deutsche Bank. “Unlike most BNPL offers, the white-label approach ensures that retailers retain full control over transactions with their new and existing customers,” says Thalhammer. A special dealer portal enables them to digitally track both returns and partial payments of transactions. In addition, retailers and marketplaces benefit from a liquidity advantage, since the bank pays the purchase price to the retailer’s account immediately after the shipment of the goods is confirmed. In doing so, Deutsche Bank evaluates the payment- and fraud risk in real time and incorporates the claims arising from the respective purchase agreement into its own risk portfolio.
Modern payment solutions increase sales
“With Deutsche Bank and credi2 a globally established major bank and an Austrian fintech are working together successfully to build an innovative product. Our white-label solution can be used internationally: Banks, retailers and marketplaces can offer this modern and flexible payment solution under their own name – this ensures customer loyalty and increases sales,” says Christian C. Waldheim, Co-CEO at credi2.
Purchase on account, which has been dominant in Germany for decades, has firmly established itself among the top 3 payment methods in terms of the number of transactions in e-commerce, alongside wallet payments and direct debits (source: FIS Worldpay Report 2021). Juniper Research expects annual global growth in BNPL transaction volume of more than 30% until 2026. “The trend clearly points in the direction that purchase on account and installment purchase is here to stay,” said Thalhammer.
Vienna, June 09, 2022
The banks seem to have woken up: They want to get involved in “buy now, pay later”, and subscriptions. 85 percent of institutes consider the interface to the customer to be too important to lose. A new study by credi2, for which 120 managers from German banks were interviewed provides insights into banks and their perception of embedded finance.
Providers such as Klarna, Afterpay and Paypal have been dominating the embedded finance market for several years. Integrating financial services into products and services from non-banks seemed to be a no-go for traditional institutes. “The majority of banks have abandoned the idea of selling financial services only in the traditional banking sector. They are following their customers to the point of sale,” says Christian C. Waldheim, co-CEO of fintech credi2. 63 percent of decision-makers are convinced that embedded finance suits their bank’s business model. Only one fifth does not consider integrated financial services to be economically attractive enough.
Winning over generation Y and Z with embedded finance
There are many reasons why banks have so far been reluctant to engage in embedded finance. Every second decision-maker self-critically admits to having underestimated the potential. At the same time, there is a lack of resources such as staff and IT. Furthermore, every third institute lacks the necessary know-how and the implementation is considered to be complex.
Nevertheless, banks know that they have to meet consumers’ requests for flexible payment methods. 62 percent want to win over new and especially young customers of the generation Y and Z with embedded finance offers. Around every second person hopes for additional sources of income and cross-selling potential.
White label solutions for a quick market entry
Current projects should follow as quickly as possible: 89 percent of decision-makers surveyed do not want to waste any more time in order to benefit from the enormous growth potential. “And their chances are good. Because the embedded finance market is currently developing with great dynamic and a large number of different offers. There is still room for banks,” says Waldheim. Instead of developing new products themselves, many banks turn to external service providers for support. With white-label solutions, which the specialists seamlessly adapt to existing IT structures, banks can be on the market with an embedded finance product within a few weeks.
Munich/Vienna, April 12, 2022
Fintech credi2 is achieving great success throughout the DACH region with its embedded service platform. The financing specialist has launched innovative products with partners such as Volkswagen Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International and Apple. Now the founders are getting top-class reinforcement for the next growth phase: With Christian C. Waldheim and Jennifer Isabella Schimanko, two experienced professionals, are strengthening the executive team of the digital payment enabler.
“The market for embedded finance products is growing at great speed and has enormous potential. As a now established software-as-a-service specialist, we are particularly benefiting from this development,” says credi2 founder and Co-CEO Daniel Strieder. “Within the past year, we have increased the number of our employees to 64 plus 30 contractors. Now we are setting the course for further growth with a more broadly based executive team.” Daniel Strieder will from now on lead the company together with Christian C. Waldheim.
Credi2 on the way to becoming the No. 1 in BNPL and subscriptions
As the new Co-CEO of credi2, Christian C. Waldheim looks back on a long career in start-ups and corporations. After holding positions at GfK, among others, he was most recently Managing Director at Link Mobility, the leading European mobile messaging provider. Waldheim, who has already successfully founded companies himself, is a proven digitisation and marketing specialist.
In the future, he will primarily take care of sales, marketing & PR as well as investor relations. “The goal is to further strengthen our position in the embedded finance market and to become the leading platform for “buy now, pay later” and subscription in the next few years,” says Christian C. Waldheim. “With our innovative products, we enable banks, merchants and manufacturers to become active in this market themselves and not leave it up to large Fintech groups or international payment providers.”
60% increase in staff in the past twelve months
As Chief People & Strategy Officer Jennifer Isabella Schimanko will be responsible for Human Resources and Strategy. She previously held management positions at Allianz CEE for 17 years, most recently as Head of Sales Strategy. Her responsibility will be to create the personnel and organisational conditions for the further growth of credi2. The plan is to hire another 30 to 40 employees in the next twelve months. “I am looking forward to finding the right people for credi2 and of course to further develop the existing team.”
Munich/Vienna, March 09, 2022
With the ISO certification, the BNPL fintech credi2 receives TÜV AUSTRIA’s seal of approval for data protection and information security. The “buy now, pay later” provider is thus certified by an independent body as having a particularly high standard in handling sensitive data.
Phishing, DDoS attacks or malware: the financial sector has been an attractive target for cyber criminals for years. According to the Boston Consulting Group, banks and financial service providers are attacked 300 times more frequently than other companies. The attackers often target the software supply chain. They use the detour via IT service providers and their products to penetrate the banks’ networks.
For credi2 as a BNPL provider for banks, security is therefore of utmost importance. The Viennese fintech successfully received the ISO 27001 certification by TÜV AUSTRIA which provides proof of trust to customers, partners and investors alike. “As a fintech, information security has to be our priority”, says Alexander Polster, Chief Information & Security Officer (CISO) at credi2. “With the ISO certification, our high standards are now confirmed by an independent body.”
Security awareness of employees is continuously trained
With the ISO 27001 certification, credi2 demonstrates that financial data, business processes, employee data and information entrusted by third parties are managed securely in its system. The prerequisite for this was the introduction of a risk management system that identifies, analyses and remedies threats and disruptions at an early stage.
In addition, the BNPL provider also received the ISO 27701 certification. With this extension, TÜV AUSTRIA confirms the protection of personal data in the Privacy Information Management System (PIMS). This also includes the continuous maintenance and improvement of the system.
“We regularly train the security awareness of our employees,” says Alexander Polster. “We have created our own e-learning system for this purpose. With the help of gamification, everyone is trained and kept up to date on information security.”
Processes are continuously improved
Unlike other BNPL competitors, credi2 can now attest a number of important security standards through the seal of approval. These include access security, the controlled purchase of hardware and software, secure internal and external communication, the physical protection of assets and the use of appropriate cryptography.
However, this certification is just the beginning. “The standard requires continuous improvement and credi2 is working hard to keep raising the bar,” says security expert Polster.
Vienna, January 11, 2022
More than seven out of ten Germans are open to consumer loans. Meanwhile retailers beat traditional banks when it comes to granting loans: One third of customers are sure they get better conditions when applying for a loan at a store. This is shown in the study “Consumer Behaviour Rethought”, for which the Viennese fintech credi2 surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 Germans and Austrians.
Consumers like to finance expensive purchases such as furniture, household appliances, e-bikes or smartphones in installments. “Young customers up to the age of 35 in particular want to remain financially flexible when shopping and also treat themselves to something spontaneously,” says Daniel Strieder, CEO and Founder of credi2. “Modern buy now, pay later solutions allow them to do that.”
Lending at the bank is inconvenient for consumers
For the majority of customers, however, their principal bank is out of the question when it comes to financing a purchase in installments. Only 40 percent of those surveyed want to apply for a loan at the bank. “Today, customers no longer want a break between shopping and financing, as is traditionally the case with banks,” explains Strieder. A quarter of those surveyed said that applying for financing there was too inconvenient for them and that the approval process took too long.
Better conditions at stores
“Instead, customers want to be able to apply for financing during the purchasing process and immediately find out whether their loan is approved. “With “buy now, pay later” solutions such as revolving loans, installment payments or alternatively subscription models, customers today get various options directly from the retailer,” says credi2’s CEO. Furthermore, customers assume that retailers offer them better conditions compared to their principal bank, offering a more favourable amount of the credit line, more flexible instalment amounts and a more favourable repayment period. “A new business model is developing here for banks,” Daniel Strieder is convinced. “Embedded finance in the shop – whether for purchases on site or online. This allows banks to act in the background and thus still occupy the interface to the customer.”
Vienna, November 03, 2021
Credi2’s recent study “Consumer Behaviour Rethought” shows that almost half of all customers between the ages of 18 and 34 no longer attach importance to owning products. Instead, the majority of young adults prefer subscription models with monthly payments. This allows them to be sustainable and technologically always up to date. For the study, credi2 surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 Germans and Austrians.
Spending a lot of money on an expensive new tablet? This is not an option for the majority of consumers under the age of 35. “Nowadays it’s enough for most of them to use a product rather than owning it,” says Daniel Strieder, CEO and co-founder of credi2. As many as six out of ten customers consider subscription models to be financially more attractive than buying the product.
Subscriptions keep customers flexible
What is appealing about subscription models to young adults is its flexibility. Seventy percent of those surveyed believe that this model allows them to remain more flexible financially and the possibility to quickly replace the product at the end of the term in order to remain up to date with the latest technology. “A customer who rents an expensive tablet pays low monthly installments, because the product is recycled at the end of the rental period,” confirms Daniel Strieder. “Subscriptions are therefore worthwhile for all products with a good resale value. Naturally, this applies to cars that are leased, but the model is also suitable for smartphones, notebooks, smartwatches, sports equipment and consumer electronics.”
Sustainability plays a significant role
In addition to flexibility, it is important to young customers to minimize the impact on the environment. 72% of those surveyed appreciate subscription models because retailers refurbish the products and then sell them second-hand. “By reselling the refurbished product, it can be used by several people. That makes the subscription model sustainable,” says the credi2 CEO.
Improving customer loyalty and harnessing potential
“As the flexible use of products is trending, the demand for subscription models will continue to rise,” Daniel Strieder is certain. “With the option to rent products for a certain period of time, retailers can reach more customers and keep them.” Credi2, the Viennese specialist for “buy now, pay later solutions”, has already implemented subscription models for various technology retailers, enabling them to achieve additional upselling potential.
Vienna, October 05, 2021
Buy now, pay later: 60% of consumers wish for flexible financing offers such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) when shopping, according to the study “Consumer Behaviour Rethought”. In addition to various payment methods, one-third of customers would also like to have the option of booking additional services for the product at the point-of-sale. Repair and maintenance services as well as subscription models are particularly popular. Offering such services enables stores to keep up with booming online shops. For the study, the fintech credi2 surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 Germans and Austrians.
The number of consumers shopping online is constantly growing, not only since the Corona pandemic. However, the pandemic has accelerated the downfall of brick-and-mortar stores in city centers. “Retailers need to rethink their strategies and give customers a reason to shop in-store,” says Daniel Strieder, CEO and co-founder of credi2. “In addition to a pleasant shopping experience, customers today want a choice of payment methods, whether they are shopping online or offline. Above all, they want more payment flexibility.” Paying in installments to suit their own financial budget is something that younger people in particular are asking for. To be precise, 57% of the respondents under the age of 35 would favour using BNPL offers at the store checkout.
So far financing solutions are only available on demand
In online stores where a flexible financing solution is offered during the payment process, shoppers tend to be more spontaneous in their purchases and also buy higher-priced goods. In the study, however, two-thirds of respondents said that such solutions are uncommon in brick-and-mortar stores. “The majority experienced that installment payment is only offered on active demand and that there is a lack of choice of different models,” says the credi2 CEO.
Additional services and subscription models are highly sought after
Customers also associate a financing solution for an expensive product with the desire for a long period of use and corresponding additional services. 65% of those surveyed would therefore book a repair service, and more than half would take out insurance to protect themselves against possible loss.
In addition to financing solutions, young customers in particular now prefer subscription models that keep them up to date with the latest technology. In the study, 60% of those under the age of 35 stated that they would book a corresponding service in store which enables them to regularly exchange their product for a successor model.
Vienna, August 26, 2021
The buy now, pay later (BNPL) market is booming. Customers nowadays expect flexible payment options when shopping. Six out of ten consumers state that it does not matter to them who is behind the BNPL loan. Particularly young customers opt for “buy now, pay later” when shopping online and in-store. This is supported by the study “Consumer Behaviour Rethought”, for which the fintech credi2 conducted a representative survey among 1,000 Germans and Austrians in June 2021.
“According to Juniper Research, the BNPL industry will quadruple and become a trillion-dollar market in the next five years.”, says Daniel Strieder, CEO and co-founder of credi2. “The ability to pay as flexibly as possible with BNPL is gaining in importance and becoming a decisive shopping factor.”
BNPL models are particularly popular among 18- to 34-year-olds. More than 70% would choose a financing solution in order to shop more spontaneously or purchase high quality products. Another very important aspect in favor of BNPL is financial flexibility. Interestingly, consumers agree with the conditions at the point of sale. Every third consumer thinks that they are more favourable compared to their principal bank.
Simple, fast and flexible – that’s what customers expect from “buy now, pay later”
“The entire process has to be simple,” says credi2 CEO Strieder. “Hardly anyone is prepared to go through the hassle of submitting their loan application at their principal bank and then waiting for the money to be paid out. Needless to say, it is important for customers that the credit application is smoothly integrated into the purchasing process.” Three out of four respondents expect a fast loan approval within a few minutes as well as flexibly adjustable loan rates.
“International companies such as Klarna have long since recognised the potential of this fast-growing market and are pushing strongly into the BNPL business. Banks, on the other hand, as former full-service payment providers are increasingly in danger of losing the relationship with end consumers,and thus foregoing an attractive area of business,” Strieder is convinced.
Despite busy IT departments and lengthy processes, traditional institutions can secure their share of the booming market. With platforms such as the one by credi2 banks can launch their own BNPL solution and lead it to market maturity within just a few weeks.
Here you can download the study “Consumer Behaviour Rethought”.
Vienna, 10 May 2021
Austria’s Apple premium reseller McSHARK is launching an attractive payment model for Apple products. With a new subscription model, customers can rent products such as iPhones, iPads and Macs as well as the suitable accessories for a fixed period.
“With the McSHARK subscription model we offer our customers an innovative way of renting Apple products instead of buying them. We are following the trend that is moving away from ownership and towards flexible use of the latest products”, says Clemens Bauer, Marketing Manager at McSHARK.
A monthly amount is only due during the period the device is rented in. The monthly rates are particularly favourable for customers, as the high residual value of the equipment has already been deducted at the end of the rental period. There are no high acquisition or financing costs.
The registration process for the new subscription model is quick and easy and can be done online at mcshark.at/abo.
Customers can flexibly design their subscription according to their wishes. McSHARK then sends the desired Apple products straight to their home or they can simply pick them up at the store.
For iPhone and Apple Watch, McSHARK offers its customers a standard subscription period of two years. The term for iPad and Mac is three years. An early upgrade is possible for a one-off payment halfway through the term.
“In addition to the simple change to a new device, we also ensure that the old device is fed into a certified cycle and begins a second life as a completely overhauled product,” says Noel Zupfer, Sales Director at McSHARK.
At the end of the term, customers can simply send their device back and, if they wish, continue their subscriptions with the latest model. Customers who want to keep their device can purchase it at a fair price after their subscription has expired.
Vienna,May 05, 2021
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) and Austrian fintech credi2 GmbH have agreed on a strategic partnership and launched a new financing solution: cashpresso. It provides an extremely fast and easy buy now, pay later payment option that is suitable for retail as well as private customers. RBI is thus strengthening its digital product offering and is entering a new business segment for its retail and corporate customers in its markets.
„The partnership with credi2 is a perfect strategic fit to RBI´s retail business. We see a lot of opportunities for growing the customer base and raising synergies. We are looking forward to bringing this solution to our corporate and SME clients in the CEE markets,” said Andrii Stepanenko, Management Board member responsible for Retail Banking. He added that the RBI-Group is consistently expanding its digitalization course. cashpresso lays the foundation for further innovative financing solutions in a new growth market. Buy now, pay later models are growing in importance in the retail customer segment as a sensible and low-cost financing alternative.
The close collaboration between the bank and the fintech has proven ideal for product conception and the finetuning of associated processes: “We were able to support RBI in offering a new product in a rapidly growing market within a very short time span. We achieved this without long development times and with a successful, perfectly adapted solution,” said credi2 co-founder and CEO Daniel Strieder. According to the banking expert, the cooperation is a role model for the industry: “The market is more dynamic than ever. To achieve long term success, you have to take advantage of digitization and be willing to work in partnership with other companies and learn from each other.”
Scalable and customer-centred
The new cashpresso financing solution can be used by the retail sector at the point of sale and for online purchases, as well as by private customers for a product-independent credit. This flexibility enables a smooth and easy deployment through different access channels in the on- and offline world. Petro Merkulov, Product Owner for cashpresso at RBI, is convinced of the future potential: “cashpresso is a customer-friendly, scalable product that is constantly being developed by a highly professional team. This combination convinced us to enter into a partnership. RBI is known and recognized for being the best relationship bank in its markets, especially in CEE. Now we are happy to have another best-in-class product, which we can offer to our corporate and SME clients for their e-commerce platforms.”
Braunschweig, February 18, 2021
Volkswagen Financial Services are expanding their mobility offer by including the leasing and financing of bicycles. The business model is being expanded through the holdings of Volkswagen Financial Services AG in the Digital Mobility Leasing GmbH (26%) and Volkswagen Bank GmbH in the Austrian fintech Credi2 GmbH (20%). Thanks to the additional sales cooperation with Bike Mobility Services GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PON Bike, customers throughout Germany can choose their dream bike from a bike dealer and conclude the contract on site.
The leasing offer is aimed at companies and their employees, while the financing offer is aimed at private customers. “We have seen ourselves as a full-range mobility provider for many years. Due to the rapid development of e-bikes, we can reach many customers through sales-promoting financing and leasing offers. There are clear parallels here with the automotive industry, ”says Lars Henner Santelmann, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Financial Services AG.
With company bike leasing, employees can, by converting part of their gross salary, ride their company bike with savings of up to 35% compared to buying them – and with manageable monthly rates. Additional services such as all-round protection (including damage protection against theft, mobility guarantee, accident prevention and maintenance package) can also be booked. More than 3,000 bicycle dealers in Germany are available for the leasing model. The offer applies to all branded bicycles sold by dealers from 499 euros and up to 15,000 euros. The bicycles do not have to be used exclusively for commuting, but can also be ridden in everyday life, during vacation or during sport.
In addition to leasing, private customers receive a new, digital financing solution from the FINANCE A BIKE brand. With the new financing product, customers can choose their dream bike, conclude the financing and take the bike with them with just one visit to the bike dealer listed on FINANCE A BIKE. You can apply for a loan of between 500 euros and 10,000 euros in less than ten minutes using the 100 percent digitized online application process – quickly, easily and securely. In addition to bicycles, this amount can also be used for accessories such as bicycle locks, helmets and additional batteries. A term between 6 and 60 months as well as a possible early repayment offer flexibility for the end user.
The process is also beneficial for bicycle dealers. The use of FINANCE A BIKE is completely free of charge for you and you are able to open up additional sales potential. Since customers go through the online application process for the loan completely independently, sellers can also use their time for consulting customers. This improves the service and strengthens customer loyalty.
Around 600 bicycle dealers in Germany are currently offering the new financing model. More will be added this year.