Christian Joseph Agius, Co-Founder and CFO & COO
As the co-founder and CFO & COO of Fyorin, Christian Joseph Agius is a finance professional experienced in B2B commercial payments and process optimisation. He has led the finance and banking teams of successful Fintech licensed businesses. His hands-on experience in product innovation, financial flows, geography expansion and regulation for Fintech companies gives him specific insights into the financial industry at large.
We’re speaking to Christian to find out what’s new at Fyorin and how their solution is a game-changer within the financial market.
Fyorin is one of the first Maltese companies that have been selected to participate in a US Start-up Accelerator – NewChip.
NewChip Accelerator was created by a group of veteran entrepreneurs that believed in untapped opportunities arising outside top start-up cities. It was designed as a remote program from the start and so made it very attractive for us during the pandemic as well as coming from a small island in the Mediterranean. We’re excited to be accepted into such program and we will make the most out of it!
The NewChip program is full of education, mentorship, advisory level guidance and has a great success story when it comes to financing which is the oxygen to any start-up. The accelerator enables introductions to vetted investors as well as venture capital firms. The team at NewChip works with you for 3-6 months so that they get you in a shape ready for your desired investment.
What are the challenges you have encountered in building the Fyorin ecosystem?
One of the biggest headaches as a start-up is to obtain and become approved by your ideal financial partner. Being a start-up and building a financial ecosystem is not easy. However, the combination of experience, relationships, and expertise in the field enables us to build solid financial partners to kick-start our ecosystem. As a business, we made sure we have all the expertise in-house so that our onboarding processes with each financial institution would be completed successfully. We are very excited to work with some of the leading financial institutions in the industry and continue building on such relationships.
Can you tell us why the Fyorin ecosystem is different?
Fintechs have been addressing SMEs by bringing to market innovative financial products addressing a specific area, like providing borderless accounts or the ability to accept payments worldwide. What this meant to financial institutions such as banks, is that these Fintechs are stealing away their assets – their clients. This has been happening for quite a while and now financial institutions are waking up to this reality. Moreover, SMEs are always at the mercy of the innovations their financial partners are executing, and seeking alternatives could become costly.
This is where Fyorin’s strengths come into play. Unlike other fintech companies, we want to help financial institutions bring innovative financial products to the market quicker and be able to serve their corporate customers better. How do we do this? We are building a global network of financial institutions whereby members of the network can leverage the capabilities of other members to offer better business banking to their clients. All this is done with zero licensing risk to the financial institutions and no core banking integration. Helping them to speed up their time to market at a fraction of the cost when compared to building things in-house or using other fintech solutions. On top of that, financial institutions would be able to offer non-financial solutions to their corporate clients such as direct integrations with ERPs systems, which in return will create more stickiness with their core product. On the other hand, SMEs can get direct access to all products by all financial institutions at the point of need without shopping around.
How can financial providers benefit when joining the Fyorin ecosystem?
When “the only constant is change” businesses must always strive to maximise efficiency and focus resources on their core business. By joining the Fyorin ecosystem, a service provider will not simply benefit from additional customers, hence additional revenue, but they can white-label Fyorin. The white-label solution will support any service provider to:
- Enhance their core product capabilities, such as new currencies, geographies, payment products, without any impact on their balance sheets or licensing
- Build a multi-bank redundancy strategy, ready-to-be used at the point of need to spread your risk
- Through their core products, empower other financial institutions thereby adopting a participative role in the Fyorin ecosystem
How crucial are financial institutions such as banks going to be in helping SMEs with banking and financing?
SMEs are the backbone of every economy. However, SMEs continuously struggle to find the optimal financial partner for all their financial needs. This is mainly because, banks offer a one-size-fits-all solution, creating a fragmented financial market. Therefore, for the financial institution, providing unified banking and financing services through one single ecosystem is attractive. This is because it will enable them to pursue untapped opportunities with smaller SMEs that before, commercially, it was not viable to undertake. Fyorin instills confidence among financial institutions to better support SMEs by providing them with;
- A fully automated KYB onboarding with ongoing monitoring
- Built-in machine learning capabilities in the transaction monitoring system. Helping them to scale without increasing risks.
- Flexible payments rule management system with real-time rule additions
- End-to-end transaction review system giving them unparallel insights to take effective decisions for flagged transactions
How can platform providers benefit from the Fyorin ecosystem?
An HR software provider, an investment platform, a lender, an ERP solution, or any kind of platform provider that delivers value to an SME can benefit from the Fyorin ecosystem. Fyorin’s ecosystem presents a combined scalable audience of financial partners and platform providers that all have one purpose; to serve better SMEs. Therefore, platform providers not only access a greater reach to SMEs, which are their audience, but they can also be instrumental to financial partners to integrate platform services into their preposition and continue to grow exponentially.
What’s your take on the embedded finance model in banking? Is Fyorin trying to do something similar?
Not exactly! Fyorin’s primary focus is on how we can make business banking better for the SME. Moreover, our focus also shifts to the financial and service providers that are currently serving such SMEs. We want to create an ecosystem where the two can connect very easily. On top of that, we want to enable such providers to be able to embed new product offerings into their current solutions by also becoming active in the ecosystem and approaching their own SMEs with more products than they used to!
Fyorin is creating a global ecosystem of SMEs and providers making business banking better for everyone.