On Fintech Trends and Contactless Technology: Startup Interview with Daumantas Barauskas by@genomewallet

On Fintech Trends and Contactless Technology: Startup Interview with Daumantas Barauskas

Genome HackerNoon profile picture


Genome is an Electronic Money Institution, specializes in online financial services.

HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

My name’s Daumantas Barauskas, I am the COO of Genome. I’ve been a part of the Lithuanian fintech community for over 10 years and now use my expertise in the sphere to grow our EMI.

What's your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

It is called Genome, we are an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) from Vilnius, and started our company in 2018, licensed and supervised by Lithuania’s Central bank. Today Genome is also a principal member of VISA. We offer clients online opening of personal, business, and merchant accounts. Our team also provides relevant business and merchant features: money transfers, currency exchange services, debit card issuing, etc.

What is the origin story?

Genome’s team consists of many experts in the payments sphere, united by a common goal. That is, to create a product that combines the best features of traditional banks and fintech companies. First, we wanted to significantly expedite the company’s journey to obtaining business and merchant accounts.

That’s how we came up with Genome’s unique value proposition – a place where you can manage your finances after passing the onboarding completely online, without time-consuming branch visits. The process is fast and comprehensive, and by the end of it, you are getting access to your accounts, all of which you can manage via the Genome app or in a web browser.

And now, a couple of years later, we’ve managed to turn the e-wallet concept into a multi-leveled financial system! Our team continues working on new features for both businesses and individuals. Right now, we are adding virtual and debit business cards to the mix – for our customers’ complete payments experience.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

The great thing about the people of Genome is that the company itself was started by fintech specialists with prior experience in the industry. We were well aware of the benefits and drawbacks of banking and went into developing a new product with all these things in mind. As a result, we’ve got an easy-to-use platform with features suitable for people who use financial services not only for their personal needs but also for SMEs and merchants.

And we didn’t stop there, as Genome continues to flare with new experts joining the original team. We take the outside perspectives of the newcomers into account and listen to what they have to offer. Together we continue analyzing our clients’ demands and embracing new technologies and trends the industry comes up with. By combining the two approaches, we develop new exciting features. For instance, in recent years, people have taken a liking to a more digital, contactless approach to payments. Thus, we provide our clients with virtual cards, in addition to plastic ones, so they can track each transaction and operation online without any risks of losing their card or other payment data.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

To us, the most vital metrics of success are the clients’ contentment with our services, and the number of people using Genome grows each year. But when it comes to evaluation, we have metrics to keep an eye on.

Although Genome is a relatively young company, we have already been acknowledged among other fintech companies in Lithuania. In the second quarter of 2020, Genome showed the second-largest growth in the total amount of payment transactions among Lithuanian payment companies. The number reached over 380 million transactions per year. Last year Genome received the Acquisition International Magazine award as the best online business payments platform 2020 within Europe.

Among our recent achievements of 2021 is that Genome was shortlisted for Banking Tech Awards as “Best Digital Initiative” among the solutions by Morgan Stanley, Mastercard, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and JPMorgan Chase.

What’s most exciting about your traction to date?

It is difficult to pinpoint a single event, to be honest. You see, it seems like only yesterday we’ve opened Genome’s beta to the public while in reality, it happened in early 2019. Now, three years have passed and surely, they were challenging for us as a startup, not to mention the lockdowns situation.

But, I feel that we tried and made the most of the situation at the end of the day. We have consistently been updating Genome, introducing new features, and even introduced two COVID-related initiatives to help the affected businesses by reducing our service fees. All the hard work culminated in the recent release of virtual debit cards. And Genome's physical Visa cards are on the way. We've put a monumental effort into these projects.

Right now, virtual cards are available for business users - a great way to pay all the necessary corporate expenses online. All your payment data is securely stored inside your Genome accounts, protected by 2FA. Once our physical debit cards are out, you can use them around the world during business trips. Withdraw money anywhere the ATMs support the Visa cards. The Genome cards are one of the things our team is most excited about for now.

What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?

Each year more technologies emerge, but we especially take notice of the ones that intertwine or can benefit the financial sector overall. Right now, our team is on the lookup for the wider implementation of contactless technologies and services. It's the result of people preferring more cautious interactions with other people and institutions.

We at Genome followed this principle even before it became essential in 2020, as we provide all our services completely online, meaning you don’t have to visit any branches of ours to open accounts or perform any other operations. For us, it was the question of convenience for clients, and this type of service has become very timely during lockdowns and beyond.

Our team continues boosting the contactless approach by offering clients multi-currency virtual cards – a great alternative to plastic with all the features of standard debit cards. And even if you do prefer the traditional physical Visa cards - no worries. After the launch, we will deliver those to you to avoid needless interactions you would have with managers in traditional banks.

Now let’s get to the second part of the question. First and foremost, it is not the technology itself that is worrisome, but certain elements that surround it. The elements like data breaches, regulation issues, and keeping the clients’ money secure is what worries us with new technologies emerging. Keep in mind that any technology which deals with people’s data might suffer a breach. And the data leaks, unfortunately, lead to an increase in fraudulent actions that can influence our clients as well.

That is why our team always makes sure we have all the necessary security tools and precautions in place, that they are updated and function properly. We abide by strict laws and regulations, provide two-factor authentication for extra security.

Genome also offers our business wallet clients a special token that goes with a debit card. This token is a physical device to confirm all the outgoing transactions. It ensures that no unapproved payment will pass, as you need a code generated by the token to complete it. Only a business wallet owner or their authorized colleagues have access to it and know the PIN to receive said code. These are scrupulous efforts, but we can’t go on without them and work each day to put even more security tools and precautions in place.

What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?

It's not our first time working with Hacker Noon, we had positive experiences before, writing about fintechs' place within the banking industry. Our team also enjoys other articles on the website. It is a great place if you are interested in modern tech and relevant news. And the separate tech giants section is very helpful too.

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