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Black Banx CEO Michael Gastauer’s Path to Fintech Revolution

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German entrepreneur and billionaire Michael Gastauer is a fintech visionary and CEO of Black Banx, a digital bank headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Operating in 180 countries with 28 currencies and two cryptocurrencies, Black Banx has amassed over 40 million customers since its launch a decade ago. With a net worth of $11.4 billion, Gastauer is Germany’s youngest self-made billionaire.

After Gastauer finalized studies at University in 1999, he was offered jobs at Deutsche Bank, ABN Amro and Andersen Consulting among others. He first worked at Gorilla Park, a start up incubator developing start up companies to IPO stage. The Munich based company tasked Gastauer to set up their office in Zurich, Switzerland.

In 2001 Gastauer together with three other partners founded a Zurich based asset management company. Within three years, the business was partly sold to a German Hedge fund manager and later sold for US$15m (CHF 16m) to a Swiss Investment firm.

In 2003 Gastauer decided to create a payment solution for e-commerce and other internet based industries, by offering a global platform for accepting card payments. Being one of the first in Europe serving also fast growing high risk online industries such as gambling and adult, the business grew exponentially.

Expanding its operations and opening offices in North America and Asia, the business achieved a valuation of US$ 480m before its assets were sold in 2008 to an Asian Banking Group. After selling his business Gastauer founded his private family office GFO (Gastauer Family Office) where he has served as president since 2008.

Having experienced for several years the flaws of cross border banking, account opening in foreign countries and international wire transfers, Gastauer decided in mid 2013, to create an online banking solution to revolutionize the traditional banking industry.

He hired a team of senior software experts, explained his vision and asked them to build an online platform that could offer as a core functionality, instant account opening for private and business clients worldwide and global real time fund transfers in multiple FIAT and crypto currencies. After successfully testing an early version of the platform (initially launched under the project name

WB21), Gastauer founded Black Banx, a business that became within ten years a group of financial institutions offering digital banking services to 40 million customers in 180 countries.

His previous endeavors enabled Gastauer to provide the necessary financial support for the growth of Black Banx. In 2014, Gastauer started to strategically invest his resources into his digital banking platform.

According to various public sources, Gastauer invested between 2014 and 2018, US$380m via his Family Office to build Black Banx. By the end of 2018, Black Banx group reached a US$9.8bn valuation, making it one of Europe’s most valuable fintech companies.

Black Banx’s Offerings:

● Accounts in 28 FIAT and 2 cryptocurrencies

● Accepting Private and Business clients from 180 countries

● International and inter-platform instant payments in multiple currencies

● Multi-Currency Debit Card options (including plastic, metal, and virtual)

● Real-time currency exchange and crypto trading services

● Unrestricted payouts to third parties and crypto withdrawals to external wallets

● Interest-bearing savings accounts in multiple major currencies

● Solutions like batch upload or API for bulk payments for business customers

One of Black Banx’s significant achievements is transforming cross-border payments. By leveraging and connecting through the Black Banx platform, local real time settlement systems in various countries, the bank can facilitate quick, cost-effective international money transfers, setting a new standard in the industry.

Gastauer continues to explore emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, and machine learning to reshape the financial sector. His ability to anticipate industry trends positions him as a pioneering force in fintech.

One of the billionaire’s noteworthy achievements in the fintech business has been the revolutionization of cross-border payments. By employing cutting-edge technology and intelligent partnerships, Black Banx could eliminate the traditional hurdles connected with international financial transactions. This allowed for the facilitation of international money transfers that were both quick and inexpensive.

Furthermore, because Gastauer aims to develop a worldwide banking ecosystem with streamlined financial services, cross-border payments are now easier to obtain and more affordable for consumers and enterprises.

Michael Gastauer’s dedication to promoting financial inclusion is made clear by his efforts to offer financial services to communities that still need to be served. Gastauer aims to provide unbanked individuals access to vital financial tools and resources by utilizing fintech solutions.

This will bridge the gap between unbanked individuals and traditional banking systems. His activities have set the path for greater financial empowerment and economic prospects, particularly in regions with limited access to conventional banking services. In particular, his initiatives have paved the way for better economic opportunities in regional areas.

Gastauer’s extensive industry knowledge and entrepreneurial expertise have positioned him as a prominent figure in the fintech ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: EGERP Panipat: Optimizing Resource Management for Business Performance

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