Eric Lassus's interview | Treezor


Innovation Insider with Eric Lassus, co-founder of Treezor | Didier Lallemand, SG Ventures

Innovation Insider with Treezor, the behind-the-scenes innovator that makes European fintech possible. Treezor is revolutionizing how financial services companies connect and engage customers with its market-leading banking-as-a-service platform. We caught up with Treezor CEO Eric Lassus to find out what makes Treezor different and how the company plans to change the industry.

What is Treezor’s business model?

Our business model provides a 100% API-based platform, allowing fintechs and other financial-services companies to innovate and have access to market-leading bank services.

Many fintech models require banking services. If you’re a fintech start-up, or even an established player, you don’t have the resources to duplicate what a bank can do. In any case, doing so would simply be a distraction from their core mission.

By working with Treezor, they don’t have to do any of this. We take care of the banking side of their offer, so they can concentrate on building their product and address their market. Our solution also enables our clients to add a top banking layer in their offer, creating a strong value to the product and a better experience for the final customer.

Where did the idea for Treezor come from?

The leadership team of Treezor launched a first fintech as far back as about 2005. I think it was one of the first fintechs in France. However very quickly we ran into a problem with access to banking services and licenses that we did not have time or capital to acquire.

So, we decided to build a new platform – Treezor – that would solve these problems for the fintechs that came after us. Treezor has become a project enabler for fintechs. So far, we have helped around eighty fintechs to acquire access to the banking services via Treezor’s API model. That includes some of the strongest fintechs in France today.

How do fintechs work with Treezor?

"It’s really very simple. We have a platform that provides a range of banking services, from processing SEPA payments right up to KYC, Credit, Bin sponsoring and compliance. We can even help with crowdfunding."

The fintech can either plug into the whole range of services from the start, or they can choose the "à la carte" approach and only connect to the services they need right away. However, even if they choose the second route, they can still access the other services at any time. Integration via API is quick and easy, and the new services can be added to the existing contract.

Fintechs are not the only audience. A local bank, for instance, might need to offer digital services to remain competitive. However, the cost and duration of developing such services may be prohibitive. The bank can work with Treezor to quickly develop and offer new innovative services to its customers and also accelerate its digital transformation.

What is Treezor’s relationship with Societe Generale?

We integrated Societe Generale Group at the beginning of 2019. As an investor, Societe Generale really wants the startup it acquires to retain their own DNA. This is exactly what we are doing, and our strategy remains to become Europe’s leading banking-as-a-service platform. Societe Generale is working closely with us to make this happen. For example, as we work with Societe Generale on managing IBAN-related services, Treezor is able to support regulated as well as unregulated fintechs. Societe Generale has also been key in helping us to navigate areas such as global compliance, which provides us with a competitive advantage especially towards corporate clients who expect banking grade compliance set up from their partners.

Another point on which Societe Generale is going to represent for us a strong partner and a business accelerator is the internationalization of our activity across Europe, which is on our 2021 roadmap.

Our relationship with the bank goes beyond just what Societe Generale can do for us. We also ask ourselves what we can do for Societe Generale. The answer is that we can support the bank’s rapid innovation and digital transformation. Today, the bank is already building services and products based on the Treezor technology. For example, when Societe Generale retail network decided to launch a dedicated offer for youngsters, their partnered with us has a fintech would have done, and we created “Banxup” together in a matter of months.

How has the relationship with Treezor helped Societe Generale to develop new innovative offers?

As you have understood from Eric’s presentation, Treezor DNA is to promote BAAS to a wide range of clients. It’s integration in SG Group allows us to really scale up in this field, especially by connecting existing capabilities from SG entities such as credit or insurance to its platform and building a comprehensive offering.  

The combination between Treezor and SG also allows us to create an innovative tailor-made Banking as a service solution at a banking grade compliance set-up. This is a very game changer feature, differentiating us from competitors allowing us to propose the best solution to our clients.

Finally, Treezor and SG had very complementary client targets and we are actively working to leverage cross-sell opportunities across Fintechs, Corporates and Financial Institutions.