The Finterview - Fintech Exposed episode 8. The Founder Diaries series
It is common knowledge that starting a Fintech is hard, yet those who never tried can hardly grasp how true that statement is.
Omar Guizani, Founder & CEO of Slide decided to go the extra mile. Not only is he creating a business with heavy constraints when it comes to regulation, he also made his company’s objective to address financial issues faced by those who are often forgotten by the law: migrants.
In this fascinating episode of The Finterview, Omar walks us through why he decided to drop his Law studies and his promising career, to focus on creating a Fintech with purpose.
Join us and listen to Amar’s interview with our guest: entrepreneur, founder and member of the Fintech Foundation cohort: Omar Guizani.
Best founders are those that experiment the problem themselves the most
Nobody can better understand, relate and tackle a problem than those who face it.
Yes, it is possible to be a successful entrepreneur by bringing value to people, without ever facing the issue making them need your solution. But making it a life mission to solve a problem that you are facing will give you a head start on your industry.
As a student, Omar faced problems when it came to receiving money from his family whilst he was studying in France. Delays, partial payments, compliance checks and hidden fees from money transfer companies were his usual struggles. He therefore decided to solve it by creating Slides, so no migrant will have to face them in the future.
Having your own experience is good, interviewing 400 people within your target clients is better
Believing in your product and developing a proof of concept is important. But you should always focus first and foremost on your clients.
Having a clear understanding of who your target is and what their problems are, even in the technicalities, can be what differentiates a successful Fintech from a failing startup.
And there is no excuse not to.
Omar took advantage of his regular visit to his sister in Paris, to interview 400 migrants in Bellevue and understand clearly their financial situation and issues when it comes to sending and receiving money from their home countries.
This is how he was able to create a product that his customers use.
Building the technical infrastructure is tough, but money transfer regulation is the real challenge
This is for Omar the biggest challenge Slide has to face from day 1.
Creating a money transfer company not only brings the difficulties of complying with local regulations, but also all the international ones related to international businesses in target countries, fight against fraud and corruption, anti money laundering and so on…
Last but not least, migrants are sometimes the "left out" of the laws, especially when it comes to their rights and how to facilitate their access to financial services.
This can be tackled by bringing in the right people in your team, and surrounding yourself by competent and knowledgeable people. Such as the Fintech Foundation…
Monetising money transfers is hard, but not impossible
It is known that lending is where the cash is. Otherwise monetisation for Fintech is complex. But there are some avenues.
Many costs are involved in building an infrastructure such as Slide's one, making it hardly sustainable in the long run. Unless you become creative.
By ramping up the number of transactions, the collected fees will grow. Many additional services will come in the future, such as savings accounts on which it will be possible to have either a percentage or a subscription based fee. Last but not least, the purpose of the company is to educate people on financial security, and an overall convenience offer that will become a billed service.
Ultimately, the objective of Slide is to belong to its community, with eventually the issuance of its own crypto currency.
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