The company that bulldozed a path in a competitive FinTech landscape. EedenBull provides innovative fintech payment solutions to automate systems and administration processes for SME companies.
Meet the NBAS member Erik Ingvoldstad, the Chief Innovation Officer and a co-founder at EedenBull, established in 2018. EedenBull provide innovative fintech payment solutions and automates administration processes for SME companies. Erik leads the innovation and communication work and helps to deliver customer-customer solutions.
NBAS caught up with Erik as he is on his last day of a 10-day quarantine at home. Following his first return trip to Norway in two year. He has resided in Singapore for the past 7 years. He now considers himself as a “Norwegian immigrant”in Singapore, rather than simply an expat. Read about Erik’s journey and the general experience of travel (in January 2022) in NBAS’ Straightforward-ish: flying from Singapore to Norway.
What is EedenBull? And its innovative fintech payment solution?
Working at the nexus of banking and technology, EedenBull provides banks with an innovative fintech payment solution to automate payment systems and administration processes for SME companies, with integrated spending and card management solutions.To do that we leverage new cloud-based technology to automate the delivery of financial services.
EedenBull’s card and spend management solutions gives businesses control and oversight over their expenses, with more insights and clarity. We exclusively work to help commercial banks, like the Norwegian Eika Group and National Australia Bank, to deliver the products and services to their business customers.
How do SME companies benefit from EedenBull’s innovative card and spend management solutions?
Our Q Business platform aims to give complete control over all expenses and alleviate the time spent solving transaction-related paperwork. These products are delivered fully branded for the partner banks to advertise to their customers.
Say for example, when a company employee goes on a business trip. While traveling they have to pay out of pocket for expenses. Then later they have to organize the receipts and fill in paperwork to request for a refund from the company.
This situation is not ideal for the company and the employee. The employee has to pay out of their pockets and companies do not have full control over the spending until the refund claims are handed in. Also the administrative time spent by employees to fill in the paperwork and then for the finance department to process the refunds.
EdenBull’s solution is to give companies a specific payment card, which could be plastic or virtual, for payments. Then there is an app to scan the receipt. Resulting in a high impact on SMEs operations because valuable working hours are saved by not doing receipt and refunding administration.
How is EedenBull unique in the Fintech ecosystem? What is the key to EedenBull’s expanding operations and scaling its innovative fintech payment solutions?
The key to scaling our operations and expanding in different markets is to “stand on the backs of giants”. EedenBull sells services to banks that have an existing customer base of SMEs. In contrast to other FinTechs that focus (and pride themselves) on decentralized and non-traditional approaches. Presenting themselves as an alternative to banks. The result is that these fintech companies have to build their own customer base from scratch. Whereas EedenBull in 2021 signed a five-year contract, worth around 60 million kroner, with the National Australian Bank (NAB) which has ca. 600,000 SME customers.
Our approach allows banks to quickly update their own products’ offerings. We help banks catch-up on their decentralized competitors and get ahead of the game. EedenBull’s products are delivered fully branded to the bank, with a custom name, which gives the bank a sense of ownership when they sell to their customers. It is a win-win-win relationship. Good for the bank, good for EedenBull, and good for the companies that get better services from their bank.
The innovative payment solution for SMEs that can be tailored, scaled, localized and implemented rapidly with a client management team to ensure a smooth delivery. The team’s technologists carry expertise in areas like cloud-based systems, innovative UX designers, and skilled project managers help to build advanced backend processing systems to provide sophisticated user tools at the front end.
What about fears that employees will abuse this payment technology?
Fears of misuse and loss of control when employees abuse the system are managed as EedenBull creates a system for companies to gain control. Employees can use the company’s money directly, which can be controlled with a spend limit.
The system gives control and oversight of payment processes by leveraging the new fintech technologies in banking, such as integrating the transaction into accounting systems. Because it allows banks to provide cards that support either credit and top-up cards with a spend limit.
What is next for EedenBull? What role does Singapore play?
The goal of EedenBull is to reach as far away as possible, with great opportunities in Asia Pacific. The business development work we do spans Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas. The EedenBull management team is spread across geographical areas from London, Edinburgh, Oslo, and Singapore. We also have people in Australia, The Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. We have ambitions to expand across markets in Asia-Pacific, and globally. Here Singapore is key, both as a FinTech hub and as a springboard to dive into the region.
I am grateful for the city-state’s timezone location. It is easy to reach the US and Australian markets in the morning, and after lunch Europe wakes up to start their workday.
The pandemic has also removed the logistical barriers to customers and accelerated the move towards a cashless society. This is a positive sign for a boost because reaching markets is easier. In addition to an acceleration of high penetration of advanced payments systems, like card infrastructure and mobile banking.
How does EedenBull plan to update its payment solution in a landscape of constant change?
EedenBull needs to keep in front of the needle. So updated regulatory requirements are not a straightjacket but a springboard to new solutions. We see opportunities that emerge such as “open banking” and with recent developments that make virtual cards viable in Australia. Because in an age of dynamic regulatory and increased competition from new players entering the market.
In 2020, MasterCard and EedenBull extended a strategic partnership from Europe to the Asia Pacific region. So the expanded relationship will support the rollout of our new commercial cards platform to banks looking to tap into vast opportunities in the Asia Pacific business-to-business payments market.
How can NBAS best be of use for you? And how do you see Norwegian innovation in Singapore?
EedenBull has been a member of NBAS since 2020. It’s important to stand up to show that Norwegian business in Singapore goes beyond the large oil and shipping giants. Increasing tech and innovation-focused engagements is a positive sign. Generating an inclusive environment. That gives attention to the smaller enterprises. An example is the event Tech Circle in early February that zoomed in on recruitment obstacles and industry knowledge sharing.
Singapore is a FinTech hub, overlooking one of the fastest growing industries. The market expects to remain strong, with an increased number of players that seek to collaborate, connect, and co-create. In this environment it is useful to have a network like NBAS in your corner, a network to support your back.