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04 May 2022

Breaking barriers to build better – the engineering mindset behind Weavr’s Plug-and-Play Finance

“It all goes back to curiosity – asking why something works the way it does, and figuring out how else it could work.”

That’s the mindset that’s always guided Weavr’s co-founder and CEO Alex Mifsud. From his early days in engineering and computer science to developing cutting-edge financial services, his philosophy has always been the same: to challenge the way things have always been and find a new path that’s more efficient and accessible.

Alex recently spoke to Just Entrepreneurs about his founder story and the inspiration that led to developing Weavr. Here he shares some of that journey and his thoughts for the future of Weavr with us.

Experimenting to challenge the status quo

“If I had to describe one constant trait in my life, it’s been about experimenting to figure out how things work,” Alex says. “That took me on a journey through engineering, then computer science, and eventually to building financial services.”

Before starting Weavr, Alex honed his inquisitive approach to financial services by developing Entropay – the world’s first virtual prepaid card business – and founding the global B2B payment innovator Ixaris. With Weavr he’s been able to harness that experience and partner with innovators who are shaping services sectors like the future of work, healthcare, education, real estate, as well as B2B players.

“Weavr is bringing many of my interests and skills together,” says Alex. “Our offering is very directly an enabler of digitisation. It’s at the very core of the Weavr proposition and its adoption by innovators in rapidly digitising sectors such as health and education.”

Together with co-founder Adrian Mizzi, Alex approached building Weavr like an engineer. The goal was to break down the longstanding barriers that had always come with designing embedded finance solutions.

“Disruption means being ready to challenge the status quo,” Alex says. “But financial services are highly regulated, so in most cases breaking the rules is a sure-fire way to run into the ground. Startups want to go fast, but the environment is designed to move carefully rather than quickly.”

Building simplicity for innovators who need to get ahead

“We started with a basic observation,” Alex says. “No one buys financial services for their own sake, but as a means to an end such as owning a home or going on holiday. At the same time, all kinds of digital apps are emerging to help us achieve these things, so why not make financial services part of them?”

Brands like ShopifyUber, Airbnb and Delivery Hero are all examples of the kind of market disruption you can cause by embracing embedded finance before the competition. But in an industry as complex and highly regulated as finance, old obstacles like compliance, security and cost keep many innovators from doing the same.

“The idea of integrating financial services into digital applications isn’t new,” Alex says. “But the way it’s done today is either inflexible or it’s a super hard journey of building and running your own bespoke solution.”

The idea behind Weavr is to break that paradigm and make financial services more accessible. With a plug-and-play system powered by a single banking API, Weavr offers innovators a simple set of tools they can use to get going quickly – without becoming financial- services experts themselves.

The result is a powerful range of services that can be tailored to each use case with a few clicks. Using Weavr, digital disruptors have the ability to build highly sophisticated financial solutions that can go live in less than five weeks, and at a fraction of the cost and set-up burden that traditional Banking-as-a-Service tools come with.

Weavr exists to connect human beings with financial services in the digital world because the future of business cannot exist separately from the world of money.

“We’re doing this because we think integrating financial services into digital applications simply makes the world better,” says Alex. “Whether that’s enabling the convenience of splitting bills in a flat-share, or making medical procedures more affordable by defraying the payments into multiple instalments.”

The future of finance will be seamless and invisible

It wasn’t so long ago that banking via an app rather than a physical bank branch was the radical new future of finance. Now, with decentralised finance or DeFi separating services from traditional banks and agencies, embedded finance has emerged as an unstoppable force that’s revolutionising business across all sectors. Why? Because fintechs bring a world of innovation to market much more quickly than their banking predecessors ever could.

The shift to integrating financial services within apps may not be total yet, but it is accelerating and will soon be the norm. And as that shift happens, the technology behind the services will continue to grow and unearth new ways of building financial products.

“This technological change doesn’t change Weavr’s mission, however,” Alex says. “Weavr will continue to evolve to take advantage of new developments and make them accessible to innovators.

“Life is constantly throwing questions at us. We just need to be ready to play with the answers and the possibilities that stem from those.”

Embedded finance exists to create a seamless customer experience that directly enhances your offering. But for most businesses it’s either too complex, too expensive or too cumbersome to scale.  In today’s fast-paced market, Alex wants to level the playing field.

Everyone should be able to easily, quickly and safely integrate finance features such as cards, accounts and IBAN’s into their UX and workflows. And with Weavr’s Plug and Play Finance, this has never been simpler. 

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