May 17, 2015
Holvi, a one-stop-shop for small businesses which provides online banking services has partnered with GBGroup, an identity intelligence specialist, to verify and authenticate its customers while saving time in the process. GBGroup started working with Holvi to verify the documents of the new customers and ensure compliance across Europe. GBGroup has allowed Holvi to verify and authenticate customers across the UK, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Denmark, and in the process, helped the company to optimize time.
Holvi means vault in Finnish. Holvi acts as a vault in terms of giving customers the security of a bank with the tools of the modern digital world to streamline their financial and accounting processes, thereby saving time, eliminating cumbersome banking processes and allowing the customers to concentrate on their businesses.
Holvi provides a digital banking experience to its customers by allowing them to manage projects and the back office in an embedded online platform. The company has created a digital current account which combines e-commerce, invoicing and financial reporting in the same platform. Holvi's customers save about five to seven hours on average every month by using the company’s service.
The company is not technically a bank but a licensed payment institution which provides bank-like services online to small-business entrepreneurs and freelancers across Europe to manage their businesses.
According to Holvi’s CEO, Johan Lorenzen, The company is more of an Internet service. Instead of looking to offer loans and savings by becoming a bank in the long run, , Holvi intends to build an "app store of financial services" in which customers are matched with service providers.
Holvi was founded in Helsinki, Finland in 2011. The company is a licensed payment institution authorized by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) of Finland for operations across the EU under the Payment Service Directive. Holvi serves around 20 million entrepreneurs, freelancers, project workers and sole traders with their digital account services. Holvi has expanded its operations to Austria and Germany, and has begun taking early access customer registrations in 29 more European countries. So far, it has raised a total funding of $2.7 million in three rounds.
Holvi is backed by Nordea, a Nordic banking group which provides the transaction banking infrastructure the company needs. Holvi completed its pan-European rollout at the end of last year. The company did not attempt to build the entire banking infrastructure itself but instead, used partnerships where necessary and focused on building the customer interface. Nordea, with its underlying core banking systems, provides Holvi with the APIs that it needs to connect the front-end that the customer sees.
Holvi charges a small fee per transaction. The target markets for Holvi are micro-businesses, self-employed individuals and SMEs of Europe. The important platform for Holvi's service is the digital current account which has basic SME tools built-in - including an online shop, an invoicing tool and financial reporting features to manage the business.