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Michael Gastauer on his London takeback, fintech success and billionaire status

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Few have created a business as successful as Black Banx: A fintech company dedicated to making banking easier for everyone no matter where they reside. Dedication, a solid business plan, and funding are some of the most important aspects when it comes to producing a successful company, but is there anything else that’s needed? Today we speak with Black Banx founder and CEO, Michael Gastauer to discuss who he is today and his plans for the future.

Gastauer is a German native with extensive ties to Switzerland after being raised there, and broke into the finance world by working at Deutsche Bank before founding his first company by the age of 24. In the early 2000s, Gastauer, – after selling his first business – created an online payment system for ecommerce sites with global card acceptance as one of the first in Europe. He sold this business in 2008 after its valuation rose to $480 million. Among the wealthiest individuals in Europe, Michael Gastauer is a billionaire with an understanding of finance and customer needs like no other.

Black Banx is a digital banking platform with a 2022 dated revenue of $1.1bn, over 20 million customers and operations in 180 countries. This fintech phenomenon has one mission: to create borderless banking for everyone. Witnessing the transition from traditional to digital banking, Gastauer noted the subsequent change in customer needs and behaviours. It’s this that sets the CEO apart from other entrepreneurs.

Gastauer understands that access to financial services is critical for global society. Because of this, Black Banx is a dynamic force for innovation in the fintech industry, committed to facilitating the instant flow of money worldwide at a fair price with easy access for individuals. Customers are able to sign up to Black Banx via online or through its smartphone app, needing only a form of photo identification to complete the process. When asking Gastauer about accessibility in banking he said: “I’ve witnessed a lot of individuals and companies be turned away from opening a bank account because they have a lack of funds or require a lot of documentation to complete the process. This is why I wanted to make Black Banx different. We have opportunities for crypto users, everyday customers, businesses and institutions, and do not discriminate based on where a person is from or the funds they hold.”

How does it feel to be one of the leaders in fintech?

It feels great, knowing that Black Banx has achieved as much as it has in under ten years is one of my proudest achievements. Being able to attribute my success to my past experiences and being able to do something I love everyday is something I’m always proud of. Being Michael Gastauer has come with its fair share of challenges but my success proves that refusing to back down has its victory. I think we’ve got a great, unique outlook on digital banking via Black Banx services, especially when it comes to our cryptocurrency proposition.

Many news outlets talk about Black Banx’s crypto position, but what exactly is it?

Black Banx customers are offered full control of their crypto assets, which the majority of banks refuse to offer. We have connected the Black Banx platform to features of a crypto exchange, meaning clients can use their cryptocurrency balance to pay third parties directly from our platform. Customers are able to move their assets into cold wallets too if they wish, we don’t force them to keep their crypto with us as I believe full autonomy should be in the hands of the customer rather than the organisation.

 

Although digital banking continues to grow its customer base, many remain with traditional banks due to their misunderstanding of online banking and wariness surrounding security of funds. What do you say to those people?

It’s understandable to be worried about protecting your money. People leave their whole livelihoods at the hands of a bank and it’s much easier to trust an establishment that has a physical premise you can walk into. In the case of Black Banx, we have a multi-level approach to protecting funds, as well as the options for customers to use multi-factor authentication when using our mobile app. Our security objective is based around global diversification. We’ve developed strong relationships with banks around the world to ensure funds are always safe and accessible to customers. We use separate accounts at leading global banks to stop client money being held in one institution in one country. By using more than one nation, it keeps funds protected by multiple jurisdictions. As a result, customers should be able to trust Black Banx, even though we are digital-only.

What does the future look like for Black Banx?

By the end of the year, I expect Black Banx to hit 25 million private customers and 1.5 million business customers. I’d also like to increase our workforce that currently sits at 3,000 employees. My focus is on increasing our female numbers in senior management to close the gender gap that so often exists in male dominated workplaces. In terms of long term goals, by 2030 I’d love Black Banx to become net zero emissions. Sustainability is important, which is why I believe that if we continue our work from home policy, the company can be a leader in fighting climate change.

Overall, the future continues to look bright for Black Banx and its billionaire CEO, Michael Gastauer. More information and how to create an account can be found at: www.blackbanx.com/.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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