James Camilleri, Co-Founder and CEO on Fyorin
As a co-founder and CEO of Fyorin, James Camilleri has a deep understanding on the challenges faced by SMEs in conducting international business. He’s led a number of companies through business expansion across the EU, Asia-pacific and the US. His intimate experiences in business development for fintechs and eCommerce companies gives him specific insights into the banking needs of companies across a wide sector.
We’re speaking to James to find out what’s new at Fyorin and to garner his insights into the unique SME landscape in 2021.
On winning third place at Pitchora 2021 – James Reflected on what makes Fyorin stand out
I think an event like Pitchora – a platform to showcase the talent of local startups was very much needed. This could be seen from the number of startups that applied. What helped us to stand out is the desired need, locally and abroad, for better business banking. Our solution, address a real pain point that businesses are experiencing every day, especially when it comes to international trading.
The impact on SMEs during Covid-19
Everyone talks about how Covid has impacted SMEs from a negative perspective especially when it comes to cash flow, which is true – you can’t neglect that fact. However, faced with this reality, positive things came out. For instance, it helped SMEs to expand their core offerings outside of their borders to make their business more sustainable and cut down on costs in certain areas where traditionally it’s been overlooked, like payments. Covid also changed how SMEs get access to the best talent available by adopting a remote working approach.
Businesses in Malta are facing huge challenges with the traditional banking system
Through our ongoing discussions with clients and prospects, the most pressing challenge is the opening of business accounts. Unfortunately, it is becoming very challenging across the board which is also having an impact on foreign companies that are looking to start trading locally. Opening a bank account with local banks takes a minimum of 3 months, which of course is slowing things down for businesses – making business banking expensive. On top of that, there is a lack of financial tools that support the digital needs for businesses today, for instance – having flexible virtual corporate cards or being able to send and receive payments in different currencies ‘like a local’.
Fyorin’s financial ecosystem simplifies banking for businesses
If you look at how businesses today are operating from a banking perspective, you will find out that most of them are interacting with several financial institutions at the same time. This is because, they are being offered a one-size-fits-all solution by financial institutions, so they must interact with multiple financial institutions to cater for their ongoing business needs. The problem with this approach is that businesses end up having treasury issues, across several providers. For instance, they might be using a particular financial provider for corporate cards and then another one for working capital, card acquiring or FX. On top of that, they have to undergo a lengthy and time-consuming compliance process with existing and new financial providers. Thus, losing focus from their core business. Fyorin’s complete financial ecosystem helps businesses to solve such challenges. By providing them with end-to-end business banking capabilities, from the ability to accept customer payments by Card, to receive/send a payment in 40+ different currencies to corporate cards and more. It’s all under one platform with all the banking capabilities being provided through a global network of financial institutions.On top of that,businesses will only undergo one compliance process and they can instantly activate any banking capability they need without having to go through a lengthy compliance process, again. Besides that, since the ecosystem is powered by a global network of financial providers, they could be seamlessly banking with several financial providers at the same time, through a unified hub, as if they are banking with one. This speeds up the reconciliation process while delivering tailored business banking, irrespective of what their needs are today or tomorrow – they wouldn’t need to look for another financial provider, ever again.
The advantages financial institutions get with the Fyorin platform
Financial institutions, especially smaller ones, are looking to keep up with Fintechs in bringing innovative solutions to the market. This puts a lot of strain on their operational and financial capabilities along the way. However, through our platform, they have the opportunity to increase revenues for their core products and gain the additional time and energy to focus on releasing new and innovative products to their existing network of clients. Without undergoing heavy expenses and adding risks to their license. It also opens the opportunity to generate further revenue streams.
Reconciliation is a major hurdle for many SMEs. How does Fyorin help with this?
We help SMEs with reconciliation on several fronts. From a receivables perspective, we help them to automate reconciliation by allocating a Virtual Iban for each of their clients. This means that when funds are received, these are quickly allocated and eventually posted into their ERP system. From a payables perspective, by making use of our Virtual Cards, which we are going to release soon, to pay their suppliers, they can assign metadata with each card, helping them to speed up reconciliation. For instance, a unique virtual card can be generated instantly for each outbound payment and metadata such as marketing campaign, invoice number etc. can be attached to the virtual card.
Tell us a little about your future roadmap. Is there something new in the pipeline?
We have big plans on how SMEs can be served better and operate more efficiently. Later this year, we will be launching Corporate Virtual Cards which will help businesses on the platform to not just speed up outbound payments but to create flexible rules and limitations onto the card in an easy way, to eliminate fraud and give them the flexibility they need. Besides that, we are looking to introduce other banking capabilities to help SMEs with their cash flow.