From the very beginning, we have been dedicated to building bridges and in this context discovered our passion for international fintechs. It started in autumn 2019 with our “Building Bridges” event as part of the Hamburg Fintech Week, in which we invited fintechs from Sweden and Switzerland to Hamburg to introduce themselves to the German banking and fintech community … and vice versa. Since then, we have had the opportunity to meet and support many international fintechs from Sweden, Estonia and Portugal, among others. Our focus is on fintechs that are already established in their respective home markets and are aiming for international expansion to continue their growth. The path to Germany is therefore only logical due to the size and importance of the market. Following our “Building Bridges” maxim, we invite international fintechs that want to enter Germany or are already active here to briefly introduce themselves in our blog and also share their view of Germany and the local market. The series continues with Vilja, a company from Sweden, which we have had the pleasure of accompanying since 2020.
Who we are
by Vilja/CMO Madeleine af Ugglas
Vilja is a Swedish fintech offering a cloud-native banking platform that covers the entire lifecycle of lending and savings operations in one system. We want the end customers to enjoy superior digital banking products and services, and our customers to experience flexible, cost-efficient and compliant solution that offers speed and agility.
What we offer
Our primary audiences are digital banks that are expanding and/or outgrown their old solutions, but also traditional banks wanting to launch unique offerings that their legacy system doesn’t support.
Our business model is 100% SaaS-driven with a pay-per-usage model, meaning you can start small, grow with the platform, and easily add new solutions or countries. Today, we have 18 banks and financial institutes running on the platform in the Nordics, with installations in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.
In Sweden, we are the industry standard for Deposits and have a market share of 80%, looking at the companies that have been granted a credit institute status in the last five years and bought a deposit solution. One validation is our recognition in Forrester’s global report “Digital Banking Processing Platforms, 2022”. Vilja is the only Nordic vendor featured, and in the segment – New School vendor.
What the German market means for us
For us, Germany is a massive market for digital banking products and services. It’s a complex market to enter, and we have been in close dialogues with German banks to gain valuable insights and understanding. For example, what is essential to the German customers, what does the optimal customer journey look like, what is the best way to solve the technical challenges and how do you navigate the partner landscape?
Compared to the Nordics, it’s a fragmented market with no standardized technical infrastructure for identification and authentication, especially regarding onboarding and signing. And although we are culturally close, one important difference is that Germans have much stronger integrity regarding personal information and an unwillingness to leave digital footprints. In Sweden, we have a digital-first approach regarding banking services and are close to a cashless society. However, we see a clear shift in customer demand for digital and smooth banking services also in Germany.
Our goal is to expand our footprint in Germany further, and I am convinced that the potential is massive.