When asked to explain his one-and-a-half-year-old company’s name, Bizcuit founder and CEO Hessel Kuik was terse: “It’s a business kit enabling SME’s to go digital”. Bizcuit provides an app for a range of entities, including accountants, freelancers, and their main focus, SMEs, for taking care of their business needs, such as creating sales quotes and invoices, integrating bank accounts, scanning invoices and receipts, and paying invoices, salaries, and taxes.
An app, but more: putting together Lego pieces
Kuik explains that his app is designed for mobile, but also works on tablets, laptops and desktops.
However, “it’s not only an app,” he says, directing attention to the fact that it’s also a platform. For example, in today’s digital landscape it’s important that financial applications can integrate with other software, and the Bizcuit platform can be used by other software providers. Bizcuit’s platform can serve as an integration hub and enrich existing software solutions with additional functionality. For example, accounting, ERP, and payroll systems can integrate the payments part of the Bizcuit platform into their solutions.
Furthermore, third parties can develop their own functionality in the Bizcuit app. Kuik calls this the “Open UI” concept, which complements “Open API”, allowing software vendors to access the Bizcuit user community. Here, vendors can also use the Bizcuit as an additional sales channel.
Another differentiating factor is that software vendors and service companies using the platform can offer a branded version of the Bizcuit app to their customers.
APIs can also be bundled and connected to second or third-party solutions on the platform. On this note, Kuik says he wants the app to become the SME version of the all-encompassing WeChat app, which boats one billion monthly users, and allows consumers to pay bills, order goods and services, transfer money, carry out in-store payments, and take advantage of a host of other functionalities.
“You don’t want to have 10 different apps for 10 different services. It should all be in the same place” Kuik says.
“We don’t intend to supply all of the services a SME would need ourselves”, but instead the company wants to make it easy for businesses and software providers to integrate with the Bizcuit platform, so all services SMEs need will become available over time, provided by different vendors on the platform.
PSD2-ready: ahead of the game
Although PSD2 hasn’t come into effect in the Netherlands, Bizcuit built their app and platform with the regulation in mind.
Since their approach to building a payments solution for businesses seeks to be a flexible as possible and allow users to rapidly expand services, the directive is important for their business.
“It brings more connectivity,” Kuik says, particularly with banks, “and it will allow us to offer a complete solution, including document management, point of sales functionality, and the like”, making it clear that the outfit plans to take advantage of the directive.
As far as PSD2 licenses are concerned, Kuik states that his company is finalising its application and looks forward to the expedited bank integration and being able to fully launch its platform.
In addition to their own work on PSD2, Bizcuit is also sharing their experiences with the directive with corporates, so the latter can easier navigate the legislation. Kuik says Bizcuit is also open to partnerships and joint innovation.
Bizcuit has already integrated with most large banks in the Netherlands as well as challenger bank bunq. A full PSD2 integration is already in place with one of the major Dutch banks for when the directive comes into effect.
Securing the platform
“Security and privacy are our top concerns,” Kuik says, “and this is also very important for getting a PSD2 license.”
Bizcuit has bank-level security with the latest tech, such as biometrics, 2-factor authentication, tampering detection, using the phone as a security device. This implementation of technology for security at Bizcuit is used to remove friction from business processes.
Companies wishing to take on an identity and security solution can purchase it as a service from Bizcuit, which further demonstrates the flexibility of the platform.
Currently, Bizcuit is working on various partnerships, of which one is with Digibon. The Digibon solution integrates with point of sales systems, capturing receipts in a digital format and making these available in Bizcuit and connected accounting systems, linked to the payment transactions and financial bookings. Another collaboration is with NMBRS, a leading payroll system.
Several other joint development initiatives are in progress and will be launched over the coming months, Kuik says.
Since their solution is fully scalable and can be internationalised, Kuik says a wider European release of the platform and app are in the future. This desire will be able to become a reality after PSD2 comes into force in the Netherlands.
by Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst