In 2016 the founder of Starling Bank had a new vision, for an easy-to-use banking platform that embraced cryptocurrency. Fast forward four years and Ziglu is market-ready. The platform launched into app stores last week, boldly going where only a handful of companies have gone before. Naturally we looked up the CEO Mark Hipperson to find out more.
The innovation of challenger banks has been to help users to take charge of their money for the first time. Ziglu aims to address a similar market opportunity for cryptocurrency users. Mark explained, ‘crypto is still too difficult to manage for the average person so Ziglu is designed to reach the 99% of people who aren’t currently into crypto, but could be.’
Ziglu is a place to manage cryptocurrency and has integrated with multiple exchanges and currency providers to be able to offer the best prices instantly. The real jewel in its crown though, is the proprietary mobile banking platform that sets Ziglu apart from the rest. Mark said,
‘Having our own technology and banking ledger is at the core of our proposition. No one else really does it themselves because that’s the hard part, so being a financial business that owns its own technology, and having that IP is invaluable.’
The result is that Ziglu now hasve a robust platform and fast innovation cycles they can innovate from to produce new features and functions and get them to market quickly, in a way that legacy banks never will.
Ziglu’s pitch is pretty straightforward ‘instantly and simply buy, sell and hold your cryptocurrency’ but behind the scenes the team’s achievements are anything but simple. Mark explained that there are only three banking platforms in the world to date that have built a banking platform in the cloud; Monzo, Starling and Revolut.
The platform offers Sterling as its first fiat currency but plans to include Euros and USD soon. The Ziglu payment card is also on the way, that will see users get their own account number and sort code, and even IBAN.
UK fintech is booming
Ziglu is now going through the process for regulatory approval with the FCA, an experience Mark describes as ‘more helpful than taxing’. He attributes the open approach of the UK’s FCA, in part, to a flourishing tech scene in the capital.
‘Enabling people to get ‘in’ who are from fintech-focused companies has been great for financial services over here. It brings competition and innovation so that when you look at London in a global context, the fintech marketplace is absolutely alive compared to elsewhere.’
For anyone thinking of taking on the challenge of building out essential services for the cryptocurrency markets Mark has some advice; ‘The important thing is being brave enough to build it yourself.’
Learn more about Ziglu here