Members Spotlight – MeDirect
19th December 2023
Picture: Arnaud Denis, Group Chief Executive Officer, MeDirect
MeDirect is Malta’s first digital bank. As a pan-European WealthTech business we offer wealth management, lending and daily banking services, including interest-bearing accounts to personal and corporate clients. We also operate in Belgium and the Netherlands through our market leading mobile app and online banking platform. MeDirect is the third largest bank in Malta by assets and as a systemically important bank is regulated by both the Malta Financial Services Authority and the European Central Bank. MeDirect has more than 130,000 customers trusting us with more than €4.8 billion in deposits and investments.
Although MeDirect is a bank, 70 per cent of our employees work in technology and UX design. This highlights our focus and commitment to creating the best possible digital customer experience and creating a model that is both scalable and adaptable to different markets across Europe.
We have many exciting projects, with one common driver: to offer best-in-class digital customer experience and improve quality service. I will highlight two examples.
The first is the integration of Gen AI into our internal processes and our product innovation roadmap. We believe that Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in transforming our business model and strengthening our competitive advantages versus firms that will not be able to embrace such change at the same pace. This is not about replacing people but empowering them to do more. In fact, the project is being led by employees themselves who are being given the opportunity to propose how Gen AI can be best used.
A second exciting project which we are launching is our Software as a Service (SaaS) offering to provide our technological and product capabilities on a white label basis to other financial services companies who are looking for advanced ‘embedded wealth’ or payment solutions that can be simply integrated.
We have made important strides forward in fulfilling our vision to democratise finance. One example of this is the development of MeManaged. This is the first, and so far the only, online discretionary portfolio management product available in Malta. It means that from as little as €100, customers can have and build over time an investment portfolio which is actively managed by MeDirect, in partnership with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. With MeManaged we have taken something that is usually only available to high-net-worth individuals and made it easily accessible to everyone.
The fact that we have been able to leverage our tech and product capabilities to enter other markets is also something we are very proud of. We wanted to build something that was scalable but at the same time adaptable to different markets and customer expectations. Scaling global but feeling local is a big challenge for most organisations but our experience so far in Belgium and the Netherlands has been very positive. This gives us confidence about our own potential for growth as a pan European B2C platform and in our ability to offer attractive solutions on a SaaS basis to B2B clients.
There are lots of good reasons for being based in Malta, which I think all of us are familiar with. For us, one key factor is the availability of high-quality tech talent. Both the University of Malta and MCAST have been developing this talent over recent years thanks, it must be said, to the influx of igaming companies. MeDirect sees this development of talent as a real opportunity for the financial services industry which is going to need developers, UX designers and other tech professionals on an ever growing scale. Being able to attract such talent is something that gives us a unique advantage. We believe that this should also represent an opportunity for Malta to establish itself as an attractive centre for FinTechs in general. It is this concentration of talent which makes Malta a great place to do business.
At MeDirect, we are always keen to connect and collaborate with anyone who shares our vision of providing customers with digital solutions which enable them to manage their money with confidence and autonomy. This is our purpose as a company. Our goal is to make financial services more accessible and democratic, and we want to build partnerships with those who share that vision.
Through our nascent B2B business, we offer to share our advanced technology with other industry players and organisations, with the aim of bringing international quality services and technology to more and more end customers.
We work with a broad spectrum of public and private entities and organisations, including the Malta Financial Services Advisory Council, the Malta Bankers’ Association and various financial services companies, to apply our expertise and technology to improving and modernising the Maltese financial services sector.
In particular, we want to help implement the goals of the MFSAC’s digital strategy recommendations for Malta in order to help modernise the Maltese digital payments infrastructure. We aim to facilitate instant payments between banks and to help integrate financial technology into the fabric of daily life, making it easier and faster to make payments. Our technology can also help Maltese regulators to monitor transactions in real time, mitigating risks to the system resulting from financial crime.
Arnaud Denis is Group Chief Executive Officer at MeDirect, a pan-European Wealth neobank currently operating in Belgium, the Netherlands and Malta, where its cutting-edge technology hub is based.
With over 25 years of international banking experience in senior leadership roles, Arnaud leads teams of passionate professionals to drive business model transformation, mainly, in the fields of digital retail financial services and wealth management.