In the saturated and always competitive world of finance, individual and company success is far from guaranteed. Only a select few are able to last in the industry, and even fewer end up rising above the rest to make their mark and create a lasting impact.
While hard work and dedication is integral in doing well in just about any field, having a vision and being seemingly destined for the job is also vital. Such is the case for German billionaire Michael Gastauer, founder and CEO of Black Banx.
With his exceptional entrepreneurial skills, innovative thinking, and a keen interest in finance and firm belief that it should be a help and never a hindrance to people, Gastauer has achieved what can only be described as rapid and remarkable success with Black Banx.
Early life and education
Michael Gastauer was born in Germany and raised in Switzerland. He developed a keen interest in finance from an early age, and as soon as he developed an understanding of basic financial principles, was particularly fascinated with the world’s different financial systems and how consumers and governments depended on these.
After completing his education and earning a degree in Business Administration, Gastauer immediately pursued a career in banking, entering the industry as an associate at a Munich-based capital venture fund and gaining valuable experience and insights that would prove instrumental in his future endeavors.
Identifying gaps in the financial space
Gastauer’s journey to success truly began as he gained more experience and further built his expertise in the financial industry.
His time as an employee was short-lived as by the age of 24, Gastauer founded his own Swiss Asset Management firm. The company grew significantly and, in just three years acquired over CHF 1 Billion AUM. Eventually, the company was sold for CHF 16 million to a Swiss Investment firm.
Gastauer rode the momentum of that success by immediately founding one of the first Europe-based online payment systems to offer global card acceptance and payment processing solutions for the eCommerce industry. Through consistent growth and profitability, the company reached a €480M valuation before also successfully being sold in 2008.
It was through these early successes that Gastauer recognized how most banks, despite rapid digitalization, still continued to fail in meeting the needs of individuals and businesses seeking global financial solutions. Drawing upon what he had so far learned as a finance employee and as industry expert, he set out to bridge the noticeable gap by creating a new financial institution that would cater to as many underserved markets as possible.
The launch of Black Banx
In 2014, Michael Gastauer founded Black Banx, a revolutionary financial institution aimed at providing seamless, secure, and efficient global banking solutions.
Hitting the ground running, the Black Banx platform was launched to the market just a year later. Offering private and business accounts for 180 countries, what was initially 200,000 customers in 2015 has since grown to over 20 million customers as of the end of 2022.
In its first year, Black Banx offered products in 18 currencies as well as crypto currency as a deposit method. By 2023, it had expanded to offer products in 28 FIAT currencies and 2 cryptocurrencies, 24/7 exchange services for all those said currencies, and interest bearing savings accounts in EURO, USD, GBP, JPY, to name a few.
Embracing technological advancements
A key factor in Black Banx’s rapid growth and success has been Gastauer’s ability to embrace technological advancements and leverage them to propel the company forward.
Not only has Black Banx included cryptocurrencies in its range of financial products, the company has gone further connecting its fully fledged banking platform with the features of a crypto exchange. As a result, the company has enabled clients to use crypto balances to pay third parties directly from the Black Banx platform, even if those receiving parties only utilize traditional currencies.
Expanding at scale, Black Banx continues to explore advancements in other cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and, of course, digital banking, enabling the company to continue offering innovative financial products and services.
Building a talented team
Recognizing the importance of having a skilled and dedicated team, Gastauer has also focused on recruiting top talent from diverse backgrounds as early as the start of Black Banx.
Continuing to foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and excellence, Gastauer empowers Black Banx team members to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas.
This cohesion fueled by varying experiences, expertise, and culture continues to play a crucial role in the success of Black Banx as a truly global bank, driving the company’s growth and ensuring it fits right in .
Maintaining a customer-centric approach
Geared at providing borderless banking services for the benefit of customers all over the world, Black Banx is rooted in Michael Gastauer’s understanding of the importance of putting customers at the forefront of his business strategy.
From the start, Gastauer has prioritized providing personalized and tailored financial solutions that catered to the unique needs of each client. Be it enabling customers to set their own account limits, providing real-time financial management services, or simply expanding into as many territories as possible to even the banking field for all, Black Banx is driven by what is in the best interest of its users.
By focusing on exceptional customer service, Black Banx earned a reputation for reliability, trustworthiness, and customer satisfaction, evident in its over 20 million customers and counting.
Michael Gastauer’s journey from a young entrepreneur to the successful CEO of Black Banx exemplifies the qualities of visionary leadership, adaptability, and a commitment to excellence needed in the fintech industry.
Through his innovative approach, global expansion strategies, and a relentless focus on customer satisfaction, Gastauer has transformed Black Banx into a leading global financial institution.