We’ve got some great news to share! Moneymailme – a money transfer and social interaction app – has been selected as the winner of Future Banking’s Fire Pitch competition. The jury praised Moneymailme in terms of innovation, market fit, team and the way its founder, Mihai Ivascu, envisioned this innovative app.

The financial industry is being dramatically transformed by technology and banks are under heavy stress to keep up the pace with FinTechs, on one side, and BigTechs on the another side. Thus, traditional banks have two choices: embrace digital disruption or go the way of the dinosaurs. Moreover, incumbent banks have to compete in a world that is mobile first and soon to be dominated by BigTechs, especially Internet platform-based conglomerates (Facebook, Ant Financial, Tencent or Google). However, banks can find solutions to become faster, smarter and more efficient. Likewise, FinTechs have two choices: to befriend banks or to become their foes. With this in mind, Future Banking was organized in Bucharest on May 14-15 as the most important event of the banking industry.

Winning streak for Moneymailme

Chosen “UK’s Best Social Payments App” in 2017 by Cfi.co, a print journal and online resource reporting on business, economics and finance, and named “Best Fintech Startup” at Central European Startup Awards, Moneymailme edged-out 7 competitors in Future Banking’s Fire Pitch final on May 14th. More than 25 applications for fintech startups in the region were submitted to this competition organized by Wall-Street and supported by Start-up.ro. The teams had 5 minutes for their pitch and 5 minutes for feedback and questions from the jury.

The jury comprised specialists from the banking, investments and technology industries: Petar Chavdarov – Investment Associate at Finance in Motion, Johan Lundberg – Founding Partner of NFT Ventures, Anthony Tikhonov – Business Developer at Seedrs, Ciprian Paltineanu – angel investor and startup mentor, Andrei Dudoiu – co-founder of Human Finance and ex VP of Banca Transilvania, Dan Calugareanu – partner at Early Game Ventures, Dorin Gaidau – Investment Manager at Finance in Motion, Razvan Enache – founder EROA Investments, journalist and Business Development Manager at InternetCorp, also the brains behind Future Banking project, Vlad Andriescu, Editor-in-Chief Start-up.ro.

Helping traditional banks transform into neo-banks

Mihai Ivascu, Founder of M3 Holdings: “We started 12 years ago as a software company, working with various companies around the world, building financial technologies into their core products. We set off with a team of ex-Temenos professionals, very experienced in developing banking software infrastructures. We’ve moved from working on an outsourcing model to building products. And our first product was Moneymailme – a social money transfer and chat app. Back then, we realized there’s a certain gap in the market that could be filled by an innovative product. Nowadays, banks are being “attacked” by companies like Revolut, Monzo and others, but they are just building walls. The only way to defend against all these fintechs – one of them, Moneymailme, was built by us – was to build your own R&D and own defense. We think it’s quite hard for banks to build products by themselves, so why not offer our core technology – because we’ve tested it with our own product – to help traditional banks transform into neo-banks?

“It all comes back to the product!”

Moneymailme’s CEO and Founder continued: “It all comes back to the product! Banks don’t have a problem in identifying good technologies that they can implement. Banks have a problem in really building a functional product that can serve the real purpose. We have a lot of friction points with current banks today, and they have a problem in the go-to-market strategy for fintech products within the organization – it’s an extremely slow process. You can copy a project like Revolut, it will take you 18 months, you can copy a project like Moneymailme or Monzo, but you’ll end up spending 24 months. You need to come up with a business requirement document, all the technical specifications documents, internally, and you need to have a very aggressive CEO or CTO that decides to take this and put it on the valid sheet and refocus everything on that direction. Some Romanian banks are doing this. But we see that a lot of banks we’re working with from the Middle East, South America, Africa and also Romania are really interested in this new kind of infrastructure.”

Supporting tech innovation in the Middle East

Speaking about the Middle East, Mihai Ivascu added: “We are launching – together with a local partner – one of the most innovative neo-banks over there. We offered our technology to one big player in the area that wants to launch a completely new brand for the Middle Eastern market. They really know what they want, so we’ve just shipped our infrastructure and gave it to them. This is a new way to help all these big players with tens of millions of customers to transform themselves. In the end, I want to thank you very much and congratulate you for this Future Banking event!”

About Moneymailme

Redefining money transfers and social interaction, Moneymailme – a free download from the App Store and Google Play – allows you to send and request money directly from your smartphone, instantly. With six currencies available at your fingertips – EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, PLN and ZAR – Moneymailme facilitates micro-payments, file sharing and chatting at the same time, allowing you to make a really enjoyable social experience out of payments. Covering 117 countries, Moneymailme has been named UK’s Best Social Payments App by Cfi.co and Best Fintech Startup at CESA, Central European Startup Awards.

Moneymailme also brings a world first: the ability to make money transfers (send and receive) during a video call. With a sleek in-app design and user-friendly interface, Moneymailme uses highly advanced security protocols and advanced encryption to offer full protection of your conversations and transactions. Whether you are sending, receiving or withdrawing e-money, you can check your transactions in the app or in your online account with just a few taps at any given time.