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Claus Nielsen, CEO & Co-Founder of CXFacts

Today’s profile features Claus Nielsen, CEO & Co-Founder of CXFacts.

CXFacts provides a SaaS platform for unparalleled bank insights on their quality of service for corporate treasuries and as well unparalleled corporate customer insights for banks. One solution, globally, for both the sell-side and the buy-side.

Over to you Claus!


Who are you and what’s your background?

I spent 25 years in Corporate Banking, heading different advisory entities within the Transaction Banking area, both in Nordic based banks as well as one of the large international banks. I also spent more than a decade in Financial Consulting, in BIG4 consultancies and in niche treasury firms, primarily doing treasury, working capital and bank optimization for large corporates.
I, and my fellow co-founders experienced during our time in banking, that customer experience data was scarce, far between and not very detailed or actionable. In addition, feedback processes provided no value to the corporate customer providing the feedback, and the willingness to respond was low and declining.

Based on those experiences, we decided to develop a platform providing value for corporate treasuries when collecting data on their banking partners, as well as for the banks when collecting (or accessing) customer feedback.

With CXFacts platform, we facilitate value for both sell-side (banks) and buy-side (corporate treasuries).

What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?

I am one of three co-founders and the CEO of the company.

In a start-up company you do the tasks that need to be done, which very much reflects my days in, or outside, the office.

Most of my time is concentrated around commercial activities, meeting with customers, potential customers, partners etc. We are also present on many bank and treasury conferences such as EuroFinance, Finanzsymposium, Treasury360, SIBOS and others, and I try to arrange or take part in commercial activities such as webinars, podcasts, interviews and similar.

Funding is of course a big part of my responsibility as in any FinTech start-up company. We have an amazing group of investors and professional board members which are very dedicated to our company and a joy to work with.

Can you give us an overview of your business?

We offer some quite unique value propositions for both banks and corporate treasuries.

So far, all feedback/survey solutions in the global marketplace have been one-sided, focusing on value for feedback sell-side (in this case the banks), and feedback for banks has not necessarily had the detail level needed for action planning.

Studies show that sell-side business leaders want reliable and actionable customer insights to stay competitive. But research shows that up to 80% of insight data collected by the sell-side is of too low quality. This is where we add unparalleled value.

We have built the CXFacts platform based on wishes from corporate treasuries as well as banks, and on that basis, we have the first platform in the market which creates value for both parties.

CXFacts is also the first platform for corporates to create valuable insights (and benchmarks eventually) into their banks’ service levels, providing a unique basis for dialogue with their banks and of course for identifying potential improvements where needed, such that the corporate can save time and resources and have efficient bank relationships.

Corporate treasuries use our platform for all their banks globally and typically have many people in the organization providing valuable bank insights through the platform.

Tell us how you are funded?

We are currently funded by a group of 6 Business Angels, and we have a lead investor, who has supported us from the very beginning. We founded the company in the Summer of 2021.

The lead investor who is also a member of our board came in when we were nothing but a PowerPoint presentation and a good idea. Being the CEO and owner of an international company, he saw the value we can bring to corporates as well as to banks, and he decided to invest and has been (is) a tremendous source of experience and support throughout.

Then in late 2022 we did a pre-seed round, where we were fortunate enough to bring in 5 more business angels, and they all bring more than the monetary investment to our company, so we have many competences and experiences to draw from.

What’s the origin story? Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?

One of our co-founders, Ole Wulff, came to me one Summer and said, “Claus, the feedback process from corporates to banks is broken,we can do better for both sides“.

I immediately agreed with Ole and we started the journey from there. Ole has 30 years of experience in corporate banking and we had both seen and worked with the (limited) customer feedback that were available during our banking days, so we had a deep understanding of the challenges in the banks.

Working with many large corporates as well, we had never heard a Group Treasurer looking forward to providing feedback to a bank, as it brought no value.

As corporates often work with many banks, they are asked to provide feedback many times every year from different banks on different products.

In addition, we heard from many corporate treasurers that they do not have the time or the process/system to collect insights from their organization for qualified discussions at bank meetings. Bank meetings are on that basis very often nice discussions, but not very specific on improvement opportunities on the relationship, support, products and services used etc.

  • To summarize, the pains we saw and now have a solution for were, for Banks:
  • Lack of customer data/insights
  • Mostly anonymous data, so no chance to discuss bilaterally with named customers
  • Low and decreasing response rates
  • Multiple survey companies used – different formats no comparison high costs
  • Limited or no benchmark data
  • And for corporate treasuries:
  • No value in providing feedback
  • No overview of banks service levels
  • No platform to collect bank insights across the (global) organization
  • Time for collecting insights is scarce or non-existing without a platform

We decided to solve these pains for both banks and corporate treasures and have done this with our SaaS platform.

Who are your target customers? Whats your revenue model?

Our target customers are two-fold: Banks and Corporate Treasuries.

Banks:

  • All banks interested in getting detailed feedback on their corporate customers and who wish to interact with customers proactively, and on bilateral level in individual customer meetings.
  • Our platform facilitates Customer Centricity and ensure high response rates on feedback requests, allowing banks to get closer, react more quickly, enhance competitiveness and business.
  • Bank customers include Societe Generale and Nordea (and we have data on +30 banks in +40 countries).

Corporate Treasuries:

  • Large and mid-sized companies with international presence/sales and (typically) more than a couple of bank relationships.
  • Wishing an easy digital way to collect, analyze and share bank insights to enhance relationships and optimize their time and resources.
  • We have +100 corporate users across 24 countries, including European top 10 corporates (by revenue).

For both banks and corporates, the larger and more complex, the higher the relevance of our platform.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?

I sincerely think this is such a great and interesting place to be, as so much is going on in the FinTech world, and on that basis, I don’t think I would change anything.

What would benefit FinTech companies immensely though, would be faster decision processes within their primary target customers the banks. Having spent 25 years in banking, I know how the processes work, and for a FinTech moving at the speed of light, it is two worlds meeting each other.

It seems inevitable that these two worlds will meet, and they are, but I think many more interesting and value-adding developments would emerge if faster decisions were made.

What is your message for the larger players in the Financial Services marketplace?

Embrace the collaborative mindset!

Many banks are very open to various FinTech collaborations, but we also see the opposite being the case. I think both banks, FinTechs and indeed banks’ corporate customers will benefit from collaborations, and large corporate customers of banks indeed do urge banks to be more open. We see it from several of our large corporate customers in CXFacts, who recommend their primary banking partners to use our platform (as one example close to my heart), as it provides clear value for them.

I feel confident that banks can increase customer experience, improve agility and support a co-operative culture, which all benefit the banks, and equally, or even more important their customers.

Overall, embracing FinTech collaborations allows banks to leverage external expertise, drive innovation, and enhance their competitiveness in an increasingly digital and customer-centric financial landscape.

Where do you get your Financial Services/FinTech industry news from?

We are a member of quite a few FinTech communities as well as Treasury organisations where I get a wealth of information on new initiatives and trends.

We also participate in all the conferences we can, both for news and inspiration, but naturally also to be visible in the marketplace and meet both existing and potential customers.

FinTech is a fast-evolving industry, and its hard to keep up with everything going on but I try the best I can.

Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech and/or Financial Services sector that we should be following on LinkedIn, and why?

  • Ewan MacLeod, Ewan is an experienced executive with impressive insights in banking, FinTech and collaboration between the two. Worth following for any FinTech.
  • Kate Pohl, Kate has a passion for digital transformation and innovation in treasury and banking. Lots of experience and valuable insights.
  • Diana Nguyen If you are in a FinTech start-up company, you face many challenges and obstacles. Follow Diana for some positive vibes

What FinTech services (and/or apps) do you personally use?

Personally, the main ones I use are P2P mobile payments, but for CXFacts we use some different FinTech services for FinTech forums, security features, development, digital signatures etc.

For sure, as we grow and our needs become more complex, we will build all we can based on FinTech features and solutions.

What’s the best new FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?

  • Avallone: Software and services to ease corporates’ KYC pains with collecting KYC documentation from counterparties and responding to bank KYC. We have in CXFacts collected quite a lot of data from corporates on their perception of the banks’ services and processes on KYC, as well as the importance for the corporates. It is very clear that corporates are looking for ways to ease their efforts in this area, and Avallone for sure is one company to keep an eye on for this.
  • FinanceKey: I am impressed with FinanceKey, providing easy API connectivity and real-time cash visibility to treasuries. FinanceKey is founded by experienced treasurers, with the ambition to drive digital finance transformation with state-of-the-art digital treasury infrastructure.

Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?

I think there are many interesting trends, but to name a few:

  • Collaborative platforms: Collaborative platforms shared by buyers/sellers. Drive for high-quality data to stay competitive and efficient, especially customer experience data in B2B. An increased understanding that good quality customer support drives business and loyalty and reduces churn.
  • Embedded Finance: I think we will see a huge increase in financial services embedded in non-financial products and services.
  • Regulatory: Regulatory requirements continue to grow, and compliance automation seems like an obvious, although difficult, area that will play a crucial role in improving efficiency and reducing compliance costs (KYC is a good example).
  • Open Banking, Payment automation, APIs: Already in motion of course, but I think we will see a vast increase in banks and FinTech collaborations on innovative solutions towards the banks’ large customer base.
Ewan
Ewan
Ewan is Founder and Editor of FinTech Profile and Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of mobile and FinTech industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.
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