Elecctro was part of the second edition of SIBS Payforward, the first fintech accelerator in Portugal. Created in 2014, the portuguese startup is disrupting the vending machine market, by integrating software and electronics, to allow vending machines to communicate with the world around them.
Even though they were not an immediate fit for the open banking challenge, they took on SIBS challenge and showed them how much value they could bring to the fintech area, making it to the pilot development stage of the program.
ReThink spoke with Ricardo Jacinto, co-founder and Head of Finance at Elecctro, about the startups participation in the open-innovation program.
ReThink: What attracted Elecctro to SIBS Payforward?
Ricardo Jacinto: For Elecctro, when we applied to SIBS Pay Forward, we believed it would be a great opportunity to increase our knowledge and expertise on the payments’ value chain, particularly by working with a corporation like SIBS, which is one of the main players in the industry in Portugal. At the time, we are already discussing new ways of cooperation with SIBS, but we applied to find an approach to fit the Open Banking API to our needs of developing a global and scalable payment solution.
RT: How did the program helped you grow? What were your main learnings during the program?
RJ: Although the requirements of Open Banking API were not suited to the vending industry, the program went very well because SIBS saw on Elecctro an opportunity to tackle a huge market where banks, processors and acquirers are getting zero. We were able to get SIBS’ attention to the vending industry and it was done on SIBS Pay Forward.
RT: How did your partnership with SIBS helped your business?
RJ: The opportunity to meet with almost all the managers and directors of the different departments of SIBS allowed us to establish connections and speed up the process of certification for the first payment terminal for vending in Portugal. Still today we keep several contacts that help on different perspectives: technical, commercial, etc.
RT: What advice do you give to startups currently in the program?
RJ: They should understand how exactly they can be interesting to SIBS and how they can help SIBS grow its business and strengthen its position in the market. If SIBS acknowledges the potential in a project and sees how it can benefit from a partnership, I believe they definitely will help that project to succeed.
Follow the third edition of SIBS Payforward via social media at SIBS Payforward Facebook Page.