Fintech Lanistar transitions to a full banking solution in the UK and prepares for launch

London-based fintech Lanistar Limited is preparing to launch in the UK, which is expected to take place this spring 2023. Over the past two years, Lanistar has invested heavily in building a winning proposition in Latin America (LATAM) and has successfully launched in Brazil with over 20,000 customers on board. This is the result of significant investment in both their technology, but also the team now led by Jeremy Baber, a financial services veteran (ex-GE Capital, Aldermore Bank and Link Financial).

This early success in Brazil is extremely promising and will be followed by further expansion in the LATAM markets. Lanistar expects to grow to over 1 million customers by mid-2023.

Lanista’s UK and EU focus has taken a backseat due to unprecedented interest in LATAM, but now the company plans to refocus its expansion on its “home turf” using the valuable and exciting lessons learned from its proposition in the Latin American market.

Lanistar CEO Jeremy Baber explains: “Key to our launch (in Brazil) and those to follow in other parts of LATAM, has been our alliance partnership with Mastercard members, who offered a ‘Banking as a Service’ solution. This means that Lanistar has a “one- stop shop” solution for market entry in the region, offering a full suite of services including bank accounts, card issuance, full digital onboarding and best of breed Regulatory Compliance, KYC and transaction monitoring.

“This has enabled Lanistar to concentrate on customer acquisition via our ever-growing family of social influencers, and the best customer service, and continue to evolve the customer offering with new and innovative services. The successful launch we have seen in Brazil with Bankly/Acesso Solutions, has caused us to review our growth plans in other regions. This means we are making a change in the UK and EU.”

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One such change, as referred to by Baber, is to seek a UK and EU partner that can offer the same ‘one-stop shop’ solution that Lanistar has in Latin America. To that end, Lanistar has chosen to change its UK and EU partner from Modulr to its current card supplier, which Lanistar believes offers the solutions Lanistar requires.

Baber explained: “We have had a close relationship with Modulr for the past two years and respect them in the industry, but unfortunately they could not offer the Full Banking solution that has been key to our success in LATAM. Our current Mastercard partner can now offer us the same ‘one stop shop’ for the UK and EU. So it was logical to take a clean break from Modulr and rely fully on them for our full launch in the UK and later in the year in Europe.”

When asked about the FCA and Lanistar’s agency status, he replied: “Yes, we are losing our FCA agency for Modulr registration, but in reality the majority of Fintechs have sought this designation as a ‘badge of honour’ rather than actually providing the services to their clients. We are honest, we are a distributor of our partner’s services via our brand and mobile application – our partner should and must control the regulated elements of what we distribute, that is the right model and how I believe the FCA intended Fintech to develop .”

Such a move is bold, but one that is likely to see further successes befall the fintech company. Will this concept of a full banking solution migrate further into the European markets from LATAM? It is impossible to say, but it will be interesting to see the development nevertheless.

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