FinTechs are well-known for unbundling services that banks traditionally offer, and making it a better experience; it’s why banks are scrambling to work with them rather than be disrupted by them. But Eytan Benssousan believes this has created a fragmentation.
“What’s happened is that people now have 15 or 16 different apps to manage their money on their phone, and while everyone loves a company that only does one specific service, it’s overwhelming for a lot of folks to have all these relationships to manage. What you’re seeing is rebundling or reaggregation of services.”
Benssousan is the CEO of Ferst Digital, an API-enabled bank that wants to be the go-to platform for founders managing their small businesses by integrating their financial management tools, and providing a clearer view of where they stand.
Ferst Digital recently launched its Incorporate In Canada feature, which allows entrepreneurs to easily incorporate their businesses in Canada and register in five provinces. Users can enter their company’s information in under 10 minutes, and their incorporation will be processed within two business days. The only fees are government fees.
“We’ve conducted more than 100 interviews with people who are starting, or have started small businesses. The first really big pain point in their life is getting things set up,” said Benssousan. “Just to take off that burden from their back if you’re spending nights and weekends building product — and you’re spending five to six hours with something as administrative. It’s a huge boost to be able to do this without having to pay $1,000 for lawyer.”
While the startup is focused on business banking, Benssousan says that their long-term goal is to revamp the process of creating a small business, which he believes is the best way to reduce income inequality and build up female and minority leaders. The company plans to build a banking comparison tool for small businesses looking into a bank account, but facing trouble comparing rates due to a lack of transparency.
“Banking is our tool. We think we can move the needle by creating a new banking experience. Part of that, in the eyes of the small business owner — they need better help with financial management and banking, but they also need trademarking, incorporating, and there’s these one-offs that form this cluster of pain. This is one of the first ones were picking off and we have these other that we intend to get to,” said Benssousan.
Ferst Digital has facilitated workshops with members of the Canadian government on FinTech regulation, and hopes to work towards being a valuable source of advice for startups. In comparison to the UK and the US, Canada’s FinTech ecosystem still has a long way to go, Benssousan says. “We want Canada to have a source of innovation, and we want Canada to have a seat at the table…we felt we were getting knowledgeable and we’re not seeing Canada play the way it should.”