[Startup Interview] Marco Abele, Co-Founder, OneFor, Netherlands
OneFor is a fintech startup that offers various mobile money applications and technical services, including account, payment and card services. Its card solution is supported by Mastercard International. The startup’s Co-Founder Marco Abele elaborates.
Tell us a bit about your company
OneFor is a Pan-European start-up fintech enterprise that offers various mobile money applications and technical services, including account, payment and card services. Its card solution is supported by Mastercard International.
OneFor transforms remittances and individual transactions into moments of connection for customers, creating shared experiences, and increasing financial inclusion that bolsters economic development.
Who founded OneFor and what are their professional backgrounds?
Both founders have an extended banking career.
Marco Abele is a digital innovator and FinTech entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience in the banking sector having served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Credit Suisse.
Ilir Aliu is a former C-level at ProCredit banking group, operating in Germany and EMEA, with a 20 years international experience in retail banking.
Who owns OneFor?
The startup is owned by ND Group BV, Netherlands
Where is OneFor located?
The registered address is: OneFor Holding GmbH, Blumenstrasse 14, 40212 Düsseldorf, Germany As a Pan-European start-up, OneFor has teams in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and several countries in Southeast Europe.
How is OneFor financed?
By the current owner and new investors to join.
What would you say are the dynamics that have shaped the fintech industry?
High degree of digitalization of all banking services, especially for payments. A very heterogeneous market with many established players (banks) and an influx of new players (Fintechs) that are trying to disrupt the incumbents with a technology-first / digital-only approach. As typical for digital markets, there will be only a few winners as digital solutions scale across markets pretty fast.
Why did you start OneFor? What opportunities did you identify?
Today's most popular remittance methods are vastly very time consuming, with money transfer agencies taking several hours to transfer money on average, physical transportation of cash taking day(s) (or the time taken to fly to a home country) and traditional banks up to 48 hours. In addition, these players charge very high fees, not meeting the World Bank's Sustainable Development Goals of target costs for remittances.
What problems does OneFor seek to solve?
Speed, Costs, and Convenience.
Our end-to-end proprietary solution enables borderless money transfers in less than one second.
Our pricing offers 70% lower average transaction cost for the senders.
App registration takes only a few minutes, enabling users to add payment recipients directly from their phone's address book. The connected individuals, wherever they are, receive an e-Wallet and a ready-to-go Mastercard debit card, which allows online or POS payments and ATM cash withdrawals in the country they live.
This will be highly convenient for the remittance senders and revolutionary for millions of unbanked receivers globally, who are currently underserved or have to endure complicated and more expensive processes.
What makes OneFor unique?
The app not only offers an easier, faster and cheaper way to financially provide for families back home (less than a 1 second transaction time and up to 70% lower average transaction cost), but also aims to bring people together in a more human way.
To achieve this goal, the OneFor money app is loaded with social features that offer real-time interaction among all participants in its shared accounts.
Who are your customers?
OneFor's key customer base are permanent or seasonal migrants who support family, partners or friends based in their home countries who are fully dependent or partly dependent on money remits. There are currently 200 million migrant workers worldwide with around 800 million family members based in home countries receiving remittances.
What does OneFor need in order to grow?
The right human resources and the right amount of capital to fuel the growth.
What is your growth strategy?
We have a clear plan which remittance corridors we want to target, and with what exact (digital & offline) marketing approach – these niche corridors can be targeted particularly well due to their social, cultural and sociographic identifiers. Given that these communities are also close-knit connected, a referral incentive scheme will also be a key driver of growth.
In which markets are you looking to establish your presence?
Its Pan-European rollout will continue in several sequences during 2021 and 2022, as well as expanding to more countries in North Africa. From 2023, OneFor intends to be available in further regions such as the Middle East.
What are your plans in the next 12 months?
To become a relevant player in the first European markets we operate in. OneFor wants to bridge the divide between people that are separated from their families as they work abroad. The app offers an easier, faster and cheaper way to financially provide for families back home, but also aims to bring people together in a more human way.
To achieve this goal, the OneFor money app is loaded with social features that offer real-time interaction among all participants in its shared accounts. One of our short term projects is the kick-off of the Better Together initiative: a range of border-crossing, multicultural and interactive live events.
First in this new series of events are two live-streamed concerts by international artists Douzi and Dhurata Dora on 30th September, 2021. The interactive concerts will be freely accessible for fans all over the world, courtesy of OneFor, in cooperation with Mastercard.
This is an entry for the Dutch Startup Competition 2021
Read about the Dutch Startup Competition and how to participate here