By Leonidas Stergiou
An invitation to work in beautiful Ioannina for the first digital bank in Greece was posted on the website of the technology company and financial solutions provider Natech and on social networks. The position concerns mobile developers, where support is also provided for migration.
A few days ago, the name of the head of the strategic joint venture between Piraeus and Natech for the creation of an independent digital bank that will provide financial and banking services to the Greek and the rest of the European market was announced. This is Mr. Dimitris Litsikakis, coming from the deVere financial group and with significant experience in the field of technology and the financial sector.
Offices in Athens, production in Ioannina
The offices and management of the new digital bank of Piraeus-Natech are in Athens, however the headquarters is in Ioannina, where it has developed impressively in recent years within the well-known technological hub.
The technological park of Ioannina has become a pole of attraction for large technological companies and the so-called big four consulting firms (Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG), which develop software for third-party companies and for the financial industry.
License and brand
At the same time, the procedures for licensing by the Bank of Greece have begun, which is examining the license of another neobank that will be based in our country. The name of the independent digital bank of Piraeus-Natech is still not closed and ideas are still falling. However, sources in the know note that the brand will refer to something young and innovative.
Timing and investments
According to the schedule presented by Piraeus, within the next few months the recruitment of the core team and the related processes for the operation of the new digital bank, such as policies, branding, products, etc., should be completed. All of this should be completed within the third quarter.
Immediately after, in the first half of 2023, the permission from the Bank of Greece and the second round of financing to strengthen the capital of the new scheme are expected. In total, investments of around 40 million euros will be required over the two years.
The digital bank will emphasize digital onboarding, the ability to sell financial products to third-party businesses (banking-as-a-service) and retail loans, focused on consumers, but in the form of “buy now, pay later” (buy-now -pay-later or BNPL), as well as other retail banking products mainly aimed at the young and tech-savvy.
In the second half of 2023, it is expected to fully operate as an independent digital bank, with the aim of generating revenues of over 50 million euros by 2025 and acquiring 1 million customers from Piraeus, which will ease the Bank’s network by 25%.
Natech, which started and remains in Ioannina, develops software for financial institutions. It has more than 30 major clients in more than 10 countries for 20 years, while it was recognized as the Best Banking Technology Provider for Greece in 2022. The president and CEO is Mr. Athanasios Naurozoglou.
The head of the new independent digital bank of Piraeus-Natech, Mr. Litsikakis, until July when he moved to the new structure, worked for a year as the head of deVere’s fintech and e-money services in the United Arab Emirates, after having been the head of Revolut for Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
An IT graduate with post-graduate studies at Lancaster University, his career began in 2003 as a journalist, then founder of hiphop.gr and entered the financial industry in 2006 with HSBC to quickly move to IBM as a project manager.