FinTech with Ambitions to Scale Internationally
As Co-CEO of financial services Group, Calamatta Cuschieri, Alan Cuschieri is well-known in Malta's financial services sector. Driven by his passion for finance and technology, he also founded Moneybase, a digital payments app. In our INSIGHT interview, he talks about his vision to move money simply and the idea of seeking international growth.
Transforming an established financial services business with large legacy systems into an agile FinTech company involves radical change and is not an easy journey, but it is exactly what stockbroker Calamatta Cuschieri decided to do.
The firm is one of the largest independent financial services companies in Malta. It was a founding member of the Malta Stock Exchange, and the company's roots date back to 1971. However, since its inception as a stockbroking firm, Calamatta Cuschieri has continued to evolve.
What was once a small business with 25 employees, is today a group of six companies with 200 employees in three countries, revenue in the region of €13+ million, and a strong technology platform at its core.
One of the architects of this change is Alan Cuschieri, Co-CEO and Founder of Moneybase– the firm's latest digital innovation and the result of a four-year €10-million investment.
"Moneybase is a FinTech company that offers a one-stop solution for all things finance, from payments to investments. Our mission is to make money simple for both individuals and businesses," Cuschieri explained.
The company's first inroad into financial technology came in 2004 when it started developing the proprietary software for its trading platform CCTrader.
CCTrader went online in 2011 and provides thousands of investors access to over 20,000 instruments available in over 40 international markets.
"With CCTrader, we had created a platform that made investing online easy and cost effective, while providing a wide choice of investments across all devices. We have now extended this vision to Moneybase," Cuschieri said.
The Moneybase app was designed form the ground up to be easy to use; it allows users to open an account in minutes, to send and receive SEPA payments and person to person instant payments, Cuschieri explains.
Photo 2 – Alan Cuschieri, Founder of Moneybase
Users can also get a virtual or physical Mastercard which can be easily controlled in-app and provides savings when travelling with competitive currency rates.
CCTrader now also forms part of the Moneybase ecosystem and has been renamed Moneybase Invest.
Cuschieri believes the future for financial services and FinTech in Malta is bright, and "we are here to contribute positively towards the local market and also to continue making Malta proud internationally," he said.
"Our platform is proprietary and developed by us. This gives us the advantage of being able to truly listen to our clients' needs so that we can shape our product to meet their expectations. By keeping our finger on the pulse, we can deliver a service that is veritably tailored to our clients' exact requirements."
All processes have been designed to be customer-oriented and fully digital, without customers having to visit branches or fill in paperwork.
"With Moneybase you can also send live orders directly to the Malta Stock Exchange and get investments executed within seconds for both bonds and equities," Cuschieri explained. "Not many people realise that its actually straight through processing with Moneybase," he added.
Cuschieri said he is exceptionally proud of his talented team and dedicated workforce. "Together we built a state-of-the-art core banking system that incorporates a complete wealth management system," he said.
Following what was a smooth and positively-received launch, the firm is now working on the next steps.
"Our priority remains that of developing innovative tools that improve people's financial lives, and which make it easy for both individuals and business to manage and grow their money. We are working closely with our community in this respect and have an exciting pipeline for the years ahead."
He describes Moneybase as a "highly transparent and communicative financial institution", which has a public roadmap.
Photo 3 – Moneybase mobile application preview
The firm not only listens to the needs of their customers, but they can have their say in shaping the next-generation financial platform by joining Moneybase's community page and Facebook group.
Cuschieri is excited about the future. "Moneybase is a company with a robust foundation and extensive capabilities. There is plenty of opportunity to scale internationally," he said.
"We are always looking to form strategic partnerships, connect with private equity or venture capital investors, collaborate with banks, and anyone that shares our passion of building something special and being disruptive in the finance world," he added.
Alan Cuschieri is co-CEO of the Calamatta Cuschieri Finance Group and founder ofMoneybase, Malta's first digital payments platform. He has transformed the Group into a FinTech, an area he is passionate about. He led the team that built a complete wealth management system, the award-winning CCTrader and the Moneybase platform.
He also led the way for the Group to obtain its Financial Institution and Category 3 Investment Services licences, the setting up of CC Funds SICAV plc and CC Funds Services Ltd, as well as the formation of a 24/7 ISO certified customer service offering and the branch office network, amongst others.
Alan Cuschieri holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Financial Services from the University of Bournemouth (UK) where he specialised in Regulation and Compliance, while he also has an International Capital Markets Certification from the London Securities Institute (ICMQ).