With more and more players emerging in Fintech, the payments sector is evolving by the day to simplify the lives of many; this concept has taken the industry by storm.
Stiven Muccioli is the man who took up this challenge of promoting a world without financial barriers by launching BKN301, San Marino’s first ever Fintech company. His story was featured on the cover of The Enterprise World’s Top 5 Successful Entrepreneurs To Watch In 2022.
Stiven Muccioli – The Serial Entrepreneur
Venturing again into the start-up space with BKN301, Stiven Muccioli is a well-known serial entrepreneur. Among his former start-ups, Tippest.it (couponing) was then sold to an Italian group in 2016, while Ventis (eCommerce and Fintech) to Iccrea Banca Group in 2020.
Those experiences gave Stiven the chance to engage in start-up investing. And with his successful stints, he has more than 30 stakes worldwide.
“I collaborate with leading investment banks and international funds on tech operations and have established a VC fund (SM Capital) in San Marino.”
A man of vision and a tech entrepreneur, Stiven Muccioli took up the challenge of launching San Marino’s first ever Fintech company and started BKN301, a B2B model that provides embedded financial services with token issuing services.
BKN301 marks his first of many ventures, where Stiven aims to open fintech banks outside the European Union and wishes to foray into the fast-growing markets of Central Asia and North Africa.
The Financial Technology Report, a platform that empowers leaders in Fintech and those innovating the space, awarded Stiven Muccioli as one of the Top 25 CTOs of the World in the fintech industry, and his stints with finance start-ups also got him a place in the Top 150 Fintech Leaders and Influencers in Italy.
Besides encouraging and empowering young and profitable ideas, Muccioli also volunteers as a mentor at San Marino Innovation. This platform manages start-up programs and supports companies with solid technological backing in San Marino, promoting them to an international dimension.
Backing Innovation in Every Way-
“Innovation is surely the key to a company’s growth only when applied at all levels.”
Not only does this concern the ‘product’ or ‘service,’ but also the constant training for people; the work environment, which must be attractive, intelligent, and comfortable; the way of communicating and telling a story. In short, innovation is a state of mind, a cultural mood. It is the willingness not to believe ourselves to be the best, not to feel that we have arrived, but to be ready to question ourselves and everything, to improve ourselves through relationships with others and the work we do. Whatever it may be.
Businesses and businessmen shine thanks to their achievements in the field. And every achievement marks a new journey. One accomplishment Stiven Muccioli is very proud of is his constant innovation track. He believes that innovation always comes from listening to the demands of the market and the people’s needs. And thanks to rapidly increasing technology and globalization, there remain no more frontiers, and companies cannot set limits for themselves.
Stiven Muccioli and his team have explored new perspectives to approach African countries, where the people are determined to improve their conditions and therefore are more attentive to new technologies and processes still ‘taboo’ for Europeans, like banking disintermediation.
“The start-up was born from the concept of accessibility.”
It is an era of profound change where the financial sector is at the centre of the evolution process. The future bank is not a bank as we understand it today but a corporate with a customer relationship based on value-added services. Consequently, the “engine” of global finance will become Banking as Service operators, capable of transferring financial services to operators that are not traditional banks.
This trend intersects with the substantial expansion of high-growth markets and a significant demographic push. That prompted the idea of creating BKN301, a BaaS operator that can adequately supply emerging industries and fast-growing markets.
Overcoming Challenges, Emerging Stronger.
The biggest challenge at first was getting all the stakeholders around a table in an ecosystem where no fintech start-up has ever been born. It was necessary to dialogue with the various institutions involved, but the strength of the idea and the development prospects it entails for the country’s system have been successful.
“My partners (Federico Zambelli Hosmer, founder and CBO at BKN301, former General Manager of PayPal Italy, and Luca Bertozzi, founder and CFO at BKN301, former CFO of Ventis) and I came from professional success stories.”
The pandemic has accelerated specific processes: for example, the world has become further polarized economically and socially; technology has demonstrated all its usefulness and versatility, accelerating innovation with smart working, distance learning for schools, and digitization of PA. Also, some emerging but technologically backward countries have been even more ready to seize every possible opportunity to close the gap with first-world countries.
“It is from these countries that we receive an important stimulus to develop our services, for example, banking disintermediation.”
BKN301’s Suite of Services
BKN301 delivers three interrelated products: 301wallet, a digital wallet system activating online payment accounts and cards in just a few clicks, adapting to typical banking infrastructures of high-growth markets (thus with different compliance and characteristics from the Western world).
Then there’s 301pay, a checkout solution for accepting digital payments quickly and easily (with one-click pay) both online and offline, combining the convenience of the Buy-Now-Pay-Later model with recurring payments.
They also developed 301XB, the blockchain-based cross-border payments network, allowing for the first time to create actual interbank infrastructure for currency payments.
The road ahead, as Stiven cites, is mainly about insights and the ability to read the signs of change among massive data and information, create new business spaces and dynamics, and imagine a brighter future.
Today, thanks to BKN301, San Marino is among the first countries in Europe to feature Alipay+. This integration within BKN301’s payment methods is a significant development and growth opportunity for the State.
“Thanks to the potential of fintech, we are simplifying the shopping experience of Asian customers and tourists who can finally use their smartphones in our country.”
This change will open up new international markets and welcome a vast new pool of customers from the East. To foster and promote the evolution of banking and financial services, BKN301 will bring new solutions to markets open to innovation and looking beyond traditional offerings, therefore showing growth potential.