Fleming: digitizing banking for doctors in Germany

Learn how Fleming partnered with Swan to launch banking accounts and cards for medical professionals 75% faster than expected!

Max Cutler
November 7, 2023

Opportunity: In Germany, the financial services for healthcare professionals niche is dominated by one (traditional) player. While they enjoy a dominant position in the market, this also means that their product has perhaps not kept pace with recent technological developments. Fleming believes it can conquer this vertical by delivering better banking products to Germany’s medical professionals.    

Solution: Fleming identified that offering loans via a completely digital process would deliver a vastly improved user experience for healthcare professionals seeking financing. But the company wanted to increase touchpoints with customers after they received their loans, too. Therefore, Fleming has partnered with Swan to offer their customers business accounts with a debit card.   

Impact: By embedding accounts and cards alongside their lending and advisory services, Fleming is building a complete digital banking offering tailored to their medical professional client base. Healthcare professionals are busy and need to do their banking when their schedules allow it. A fully digital offering that can be accessed 24/7 is a game changer for these folks. Fleming is delivering it. 

Fleming began with a missed anniversary…and a conviction that doctors need more user-friendly banking

The founding team of Cesar Hussman and Christoph Schütte had the idea for starting Fleming by observing Cesar’s brother, a dentist. It was the evening of his wedding anniversary and instead of spending time with his wife, he was stuck in the office taking care of bank paperwork. 

The pair reasoned that there must be a better way. In the era of smartphones, shouldn’t your banking be done at your convenience, rather than within the business hours of the local branch? 

Schütte explains:

“In the last 10-20 years, there has been a lot of innovation in the financial services industry. But in this special sector, finance and banking for healthcare professionals, there has been hardly any improvement of user experience. For decades, there has been one dominant player. We are disrupting who we see as a complacent leader in this industry with a fully digital offering.”  

Fleming began by offering a fast, digital, and accessible on their own terms loan application process for doctors and other medical practitioners, who often need financing to purchase a clinic or expand their current practice. From there, they have expanded to offering advisory services and, in partnership with Swan, a card product for their customers to better manage their business expenses.  

Access to Swan's source code was decisive when selecting a BaaS provider

The Fleming team looked at a few different providers but Swan’s value proposition ultimately resonated the strongest. 

While the “pay-as-you-grow” pricing model made it easy to get the card project started with Swan, the opportunity to make use of the open sourced UI code was hugely valuable for Fleming. 

Schütte elaborates: 

“Having access to Swan’s source code allowed us to develop our own custom interface, which we now enrich with our own features and so on. And it was super fast to get the project live. Most of the time, building an embedded banking product is estimated to take a year and takes two. We promised our investors six months and we actually achieved it. They were thrilled!”   

The Fleming team was able to add custom functionalities critical for serving the specific needs of German healthcare professionals. As an example, they added the ability to export payment information for tax reporting in a particular format that is compliant with German data privacy regulations. Whenever Fleming wishes to add new capabilities, they communicate with Swan’s compliance team, who review and confirm the changes. 

The value of Swan’s open source code, for Fleming, is that they can self-build key functionalities that they would otherwise have to pay a vendor of open banking solutions for. It’s cheaper, but perhaps more importantly, such accessibility allows a firm like Fleming to build solutions that are tailored for their very specific use cases and customer group.     

Embedding accounts and cards increases customer touch points and functionality

For Fleming, embedding banking products alongside their lending solution helps win customers away from incumbent banks. 

Schütte again:

“An account with a card is a meaningful way to increase touch points with customers. Our ambition is to replicate the pricing model of German Sparkassen, which is easy for customers to understand, but make it cheaper by offering a superior digital solution. Working with Swan to embed accounts is critical for us to complete our banking offering and to be competitive in the market.” 

Embedded accounts also offer possibilities for future product development. Fleming plans to add an ‘Instant Loan’ feature, whereby the company will grant loans directly at their users’ point of need using historical account data to aid decision making. Embedded banking leads to embedded lending. Pretty cool! 

The partnership between Fleming and Swan has only just begun. Starting with loans, then advisory and now accounts and cards, Fleming’s goal of becoming the leading financial services provider for healthcare professionals in Europe is progressing quickly. Partnering with a BaaS like Swan allows Fleming to focus on their core functionalities while simultaneously adding depth to their product offering. 

If you’re looking to expand your product portfolio by adding banking accounts and debit cards, let’s have a chat and see if we can help you bring your vision to life.

Max Cutler
November 7, 2023
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