From NASA to Fintech
An Interview with Oriol Tintoré, CEO of Verse Technologies
Archimede Mulas London - 22/10/2018
Oriol Tintoré, CEO of Verse Technologies Inc. talks to CEO about his story from Nasa to fintech, and his social payments app.
Founded in 2016, Verse is a digital wallet that makes payments social. Through the app, users can connect with their friends, request and receive payments. Verse also allows users to conveniently split bills and pay others on the spot.
The social aspect comes with features like the Feed, Events or Groups. Users can share the expenses for trips, organize parties, sell tickets and keep up with what their friends are up to in verse. The application is live in 16 countries in Europe and has been operating since its soft launch in February of 2016. Currently there are over 550,000 users.
Our conversation with Oriol:
How does an Aeronautical Engineer get into payment solutions?
I have always been very passionate about technology. I started developing software for smartphones when I was at NASA. We had a project where we were working on launching satellites powered by smartphones, which I really enjoyed.
After NASA, I moved to Stanford to do an MBA because I wanted to found my own company. Although I was very passionate about space, I was getting too focused on it, and I wanted to explore other industries.
At Stanford I kept developing software for smartphones, and slowly got passionate about finance. I used to create apps that would download my bank statements automatically, and I then created an algorithm to analyse and categorise them.
When I discovered Verse and had the opportunity to join the company, I didn’t think twice about it.
How did Verse start?
Verse started in Spain in 2016. We had one clear idea in mind, to add technology to the movement of money to process payments.
Back then, and still today, processes are slow, full of fees, and no one is happy. We decided to add 21st century technology to payments. That is how we became the world’s social platform of payments, and we want to keep being it.
Verse’s solution, can use the same technology, built in-house, for both B2C and B2B.
What was your biggest struggle and biggest success?
Definitely the hardest part was to go through all the regulatory hoops that are needed to operate a company like ours. Especially when applying for certain licenses – some processes lasted a couple of years!
Probably, what I would consider the biggest success for Verse is the way we went around this. We can now passport our license to every country in Europe.
Also, when we saw that the technology we built could serve both people and companies, we knew we were onto something big. This technology is something nobody has, and makes us the most modern payment service app
What about competition (Revolut, Monzo, N26) and customer acquisition?
First of all, Verse is not a bank, nor a digital bank, and we don’t want to become one. Our core advantage is in moving money. By being bank agnostic, we can work with absolutely everyone.
Our key competitive advantage is that Verse is the most social payment platform in Europe. In a way it makes us the only platform that can process many forms of payments.
Verse targets 18 to 24 year olds, who are starting to have a bit of financial independence, and the first tool that they use is Verse, to move money with their friends.
Our work is reaching these young people, and populating our social environment. Our focus is to go city by city, university by university. The scope is not to get a lot of users around the globe, but acquire users who have a lot of ties between them.
Verse is currently launching their new Verse Card (https://verse.me/en/card) - and Verse for Business (https://verse.me/business) – Keep a look out!
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