Up today for our run of profiles we have Delber Lage from SalaryFits.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
Delber is the CEO of Salaryfits, a global startup project, based on one of the most successful cases in this field which comes from the Brazilian operation of its parent company, Zetrasoft. It is a mature software and business intelligence company that has been bringing a new channel to enhance product offers within the financial landscape.
He has advised many companies within the Tech sector in Brazil, specifically scaling IT companies, with focus on Fintech and is now leading the expansion of Salaryfits.
Furthermore, Delber has significant expertise within the IT sector and innovation. As an attorney and advisor, he has been deeply involved within Brazilian startup community and has dealt with various M&A processes of high growth companies over there. He has been ahead of efforts of internationalization of companies both coming to Brazil as well as Brazilian companies targeting foreign markets. He also holds a PhD on International Law – PUC Minas (Brazil) and Universität Bonn (Germany).
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
CEO of SalaryFits UK. Responsibilities range from strategic alignment to marketing and recruiting. However, I would highlight building and sustaining a strong brand, corporate development and strategic planning to achieve growth, developing a network of potential investors, understanding the market and acquiring customers as the most predominant responsibilities at the moment.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
SalaryFits, is the international spin off of ZetraSoft, a mature business intelligence and software company, that disrupted the credit market in Brazil. Our solution is based on a really simple, yet disruptive concept, which aims to make sustainable credit a reality and empower individuals through their salaries. The solution helps to support those members of society that are either un-banked or under-banked. Yet, due to its effectiveness, SalaryFits can also provide better financial options for those who already have access to financial tools.
The solution consists of a platform, including a BI tool that integrates quickly and efficiently the salary deduction credit offers from local financial providers to the payroll systems of entities, enhancing the credit score of the employees of those entities and allowing those providers to better access their credit profile. Furthermore, our product is based on a patented platform and a business strategy that has been tested and improved within markets such as Brazil and Mexico for more than 15 years.
Tell us how you are funded.
Self-funded and in 2016 we attained a fundraise of €1.25 million from Portugal2020, the partnership body between Portugal and the European Commission.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
There are currently 2 billion individuals unbanked in the world. Moreover, most of the other ones either have difficulties accessing financial products or pay more than they should for those. One of the main causes of this significant number of un(der)banked people in the world is that financial institutions struggle to offer affordable financial products to those that are not in the high income level group. This happens because of lack or asymmetry of information and high transactions and enforcement/monitoring costs. Hence, knowing the importance to develop solutions to break the affordability and access barrier, SalaryFits committed to promote social and sustainable financial inclusion in different countries across the globe.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
Our target market are companies (public and private), Financial Institutions and Employees. Main geographies: Brazil, Mexico, India, Italy, Portugal and The UK.
Regarding the business model, as explained above, our platform allows financial institutions to integrate their systems with payroll information of entities, giving the possibility of deducting the installments directly from one’s salary. So, as we aim to provide a sustainable and affordable solution for any individual, we do not charge an upfront fee, just a fee from the transactions made. In addition, the solution is free for companies.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
I would change how bank accounts are managed today by replacing it for a bank-agnostic system where individuals would be able to manage their financial needs in an open ecosystem.
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
I would tell them that there is no doubt that in the following years there will be a transformation on the retail banking industry, with the increasingly potential of digital disruption combined with the rise on customer’s dissatisfaction and the need to address a still immense pool of underserved people. Thus, there is a need to create solutions to redefine the paradigm of service delivery and accessibility in order to provoke inclusive growth through high quality technologies and low cost solutions. And I believe, the best way to do that is through collaboration with emerging Fintech companies, such as SalaryFits, which are focused on creating tailored digital business models that are capable of reaching a larger audience while at the same time making financial services more affordable to any individual. Such collaborations are the best way to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved and at the same time promote sustainable products and financial inclusion.
What phone are you carrying and why?
I am carrying an iPhone, as I believe it to be one of the best tools to have a quick and effective access to information and communication systems while being the easiest device to use.
Where do you get your industry news from?
Wall Street Journal, FT, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Altifi, Fintech weekly, Cbinsights, Fintechstreet and Fintechroundup.
Can you suggest the name of an Angel Investor or VC that might be interested in being profiled?
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
Venmo is one of my favourite products. It is a great example of solution that is disrupting our “wallets” and contributing to the digital transformation while changing the personal finance sector. It is a simple to use and effective tool which brings a frictionless experience to the consumer.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
I believe Fintech for inclusion will be one of the biggest trends shaping the industry in the next few years, specially in regions like Latin America. Today, there are still two billion people around the world without access to the most basic financial services. Hence, there is a huge opportunity for those companies focused on developing sustainable products that can be available for the vast majority of the people regardless of their income situation.
Furthermore, companies can now more than ever, leverage from the digitalization of economies to unleash technologies that provide frictionless access to financial products at sustainable rates and at the same time, improve the experience of those that already had access to those financial tools with more tailored services and a better digital experience.
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