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Ayoconnect is evolving from open banking to open finance

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There’s a lot of buzz these days about ‘open banking’ and ‘open finance.’ What’s the difference between these two phrases, though, and how can the two types of financial technology be helpful to both businesses and consumers?

In a recent episode of the Indo Tekno podcast, Jakob Rost, CEO of Ayoconnect, spoke with Alan Hellawell, senior advisor and venture partner at AC Ventures, about his company’s aggressive evolution from payment aggregation toward a broader, open finance platform. 

Founded by Jakob in 2016, Ayoconnect has a vision of offering full-stack software solutions to any company in Indonesia looking to deliver financial services to consumers.

It’s a vision that’s gained an impressive amount of confidence with major investors this year. Ayoconnect raised US$15 million in series B funding in January 2022 in a round led by Tiger Global. The fintech startup immediately followed with a US$13 million round of series B+ funding the following month, led by SIG Capital Ventures.

Open banking vs. open finance

Precise definitions vary, Jakob noted. Yet, at its core, open banking refers to the sharing of software and services for basic banking functions such as billing with third-party partners like banks, retailers, and e-wallets. 

In open finance, on the other hand, shared fintech services are expanded to include offerings like loans, mortgages, and pensions. 

The general idea behind both concepts is that when a business wants to offer a new leading-edge financial service to customers, its choices are no longer limited to either hiring expensive engineers for in-house development or buying technology from another company.

A few examples of fintech services Ayoconnect already provides to banks and other businesses in Indonesia include instant income verification, virtual card numbers for more secure online transactions, instant funds disbursement to one or multiple bank accounts, and direct debit for one-off or recurring payments. 

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Make vs. buy

“We’re coming from the days when you had to acquire a company in order to get access to a certain license or to a certain technology stack, which would’ve taken you years of time and millions of dollars to build yourself,” explained Jakob. “Companies of various scales can now focus more on their core business and their competitive landscape.”

Consumers need education

But while business customers are key stakeholders in open banking and open finance, so are consumers and infrastructure providers like Ayoconnect. 

“A lot of education needs to happen on the consumer side. They need to know that those new ways of using embedded financial services are legitimate ways of getting access to financial services that you weren’t able to access before, sometimes getting them at a cheaper price,” said Jakob.

He added, “Last but not least, you have Ayoconnect, trying to orchestrate all of the different business stakeholders by putting together the right stack and a common language for all of them to seamlessly interact with each other.” 

Get the full episode for free on Spotify, Apple, and Indo Tekno.

AC Ventures doubles down on Islamic fintech leader ALAMI in latest funding round

See also: AC Ventures and Boston Consulting Group run webinar series ahead of fintech report

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