Financial IT's interview with Fredrik Ulvenholm, CEO of Vilja.
Financial IT: Can you tell us more about Vilja and your background?
Fredrik Ulvenholm (FU): We are a Swedish FinTech company that started already back in 2007. Today we are a leading provider of cloud-based core banking platforms. Our future-proof platform ensures compliance, automates internal flows, and offers a high level of customer service. It has the shortest time-to-market in the industry for launching new products and services. This enables banks and credit institutions to quickly and easily launch new revenue streams while focusing on creating the best banking experience for their customers. My experience ranges from leading and establishing development teams from scratch in an off-shore environment to successfully leading development teams and leading sales efforts. I have worked and lived in Northern Europe, South-East Asia (Indonesia), and the USA, and have developed a deep cultural understanding in these areas. I have been passionate about technology ever since I laid my hands on my first computer in 1981.
Financial IT: How does the acceleration of digital adoption by Consumers, SMEs and Financial Institutions due to COVID-19 change competitive landscape?
FU: The whole industry is going through a transformation – not only how financial institutions conduct business, but also the way consumers are changing their financial behaviours.
The acceleration of digital adoption makes the need for an agile and scalable banking platform greater than ever. Speed will be everything, and it’s not only about the speed of implementing a new platform, but more importantly, the speed and ease to launch new products and service to increase revenue streams and the end-user experience. The digital transformation will also make collaboration and partnerships vital for success, so open and consumable APIs will be essential to enable this.
It’s hard to predict how this pandemic will end, but yes, the competitive landscape will absolutely change – the companies will need both the financial health and the agility to adapt and survive.
Financial IT: Do they pass the "Digital Stress" test and how do FinTech perform during the crisis?
FU: I believe FinTech companies pass the “Digital Stress” test better than many other sectors, as most are born digital native. However, the dependency on external funding will be a divider. Companies that have a sustainable business model are likely to thrive, while other will most likely be hit harder. It’s time for companies to stand “on their own feet”.
Financial IT: What's next for Vilja?
FU: Many things are happening, and after years of solid growth in our home markets, we are now looking to expand outside the Nordic region. To do this successfully we have clarified our message to the market – that we deliver the best cloud-based core banking platform. This means that we are taking our platform to the next level by developing more products and services. One part of this is the recent rebrand where we changed our name from LeanDev to Vilja. We are now looking forward to bringing on more customers on our leading cloud-based banking platform!