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How Digital Banking Company WB21 Is Disrupting Fintech

12/01/2016 01:12 am ET | Updated Dec 01, 2016

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With more than one million customers in less than two years, digital banking business WB21 seems to be the fastest growing FinTech since PayPal's launch in 1999.

This past September, WB21 announced reaching the milestone of its one millionth customer and disclosed in a Forbes interview a $2.2 Billion USD valuation. The valuation of the business was prompted during talks about a $200M private placement deal WB21 is preparing with a leading US Investment Bank.

Taking into account that WB21 had its public launch in December 2015, these numbers would be considered a perfect success for every FinTech Startup. However, the response in the media was controversial, to say the least.

The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Business Insider reported how founder and CEO Michael Gastauer and his team built this Unicorn in less than two years, calling Gastauer a "Mogul."

Some local German magazines questioned whether or not this kind of hyper growth is plausible. WB21 replied with publishing their latest Google Analytics web statistics showing over 10.1M users in the past three months. Local Berlin based FinTech papers went so far as to go off subject and use the platform to host a "gossip magazine reporting style" digging up ten year old stories from Gastauer`s past with the intention to taint the company.

For sure, WB21's growth is quite unique, being the kind of startup you see every few decades. It is human nature to be skeptical about anything that sounds "too good to be true." However, the greatest inventions in history have always been ahead of their time, with stories that many people found hard to believe. When Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-Ray, a German Magazine wrote "X-Ray will prove to be a hoax."

What sets visionary entrepreneurs like Michael Gastauer, Elon Musk or Bill Gates apart from others is their ability to find a solution for a global problem and change the standards of an entire industry. They create a solution in an industry when most of their contemporary peers are unable to envision beyond status quo.

One thing is for certain. WB21 is solving a global problem in the banking industry. A problem that is twofold and grows every day. Traditional banks are less and less willing to provide accounts for businesses or private individuals from other countries.

Sending large amounts of money across borders is subject to excruciating scrutiny every day. Most banks make it difficult for their customers to send wires to "exotic" countries.

With ongoing globalization and the use of the Internet and Smartphones, the world is more connected than ever before. WB21 addresses the problem of global retail banking and cross border payments, a $22 trillion USD market. The solution that WB21 provides is revolutionary.

To solve the problem that most Bank have to identify their customers, WB21 addressed the problem and developed a proprietary software called GlobalKYC©. The software allows WB21 to identify customers from 180 countries in real time and to provide them with checking accounts in 22 currencies. Based on the real time identification process, the opening of a business or private account takes less than 8 minutes and can be done remotely over the Internet or on a Smartphone.

When WB21 did a live demo last month at Money 20/20 in Vegas, industry experts of the banking and finance community witnessed first-hand the Uber potential GlobalKYC© has to change the KYC procedures in the banking world. Whereas traditional banks need days or weeks to open an account for an international customer, WB21 takes minutes.

While traditional banks require manual labor to conduct background checks on their non-resident clients, WB21 uses its server power to run a fully automated identification process in real time. Needless to say that the scalability of GlobalKYC© is almost unlimited, which allows WB21 to onboard more than 10,000 customers in 24 hours during peak period times.

When WB21 started to provide checking accounts in minutes to worldwide clientele, offering unlimited wire transfers around the world, the product went viral.

For customers from industries such as Bitcoin, having difficulties to get accounts from traditional banks, WB21 has become the holy grail solving all banking issues in minutes.

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