POM, a Belgian Fintech firm that only recently got the growth subsidy from the European Commission (EC) was declared ‘illegal’ by The National Bank. The central bank said that the Belgian payment app, used by thousands of customers to pay invoices, isn’t a recognised entity to provide payment services.
Here are the 3 things you need to know about this news after the central bank’s announcement.
#1 POM’s founder was taken by surprise
POM founder Johannes Vermeire didn’t know what’s coming in the way of this thriving startup.
“I thought we were in negotiations with the National Bank. Last week we made another proposal. They set us up for a fait accompli,” said Vermeire.
It seems POM was confident that the central bank would not spill the beans and let the startup continue operating during the application process. Seems the central bank had other plans.
“We have been warning them for a year that they are doing things that are not possible. It is no coincidence that a license is needed. A number of other fintech companies have files to offer payment services,” said NBB spokesman Geert Sciot.
#2 The National Bank cannot force stop POM’s operations
Despite declaring the payment app as ‘illegal’, it is unlikely that The National Bank is able to put to a halt to POM’s operations.
#3 It may impact POM’s expansion plans to other European countries
For POM to be able to get to the phase 2 of the EC’s funding, it has to implement an aggressive growth plan in five European countries. Though POM claims to have more than 20,000 customers that it currently serves, the news by NBB may hamper its ability to successfully expand in other countries.
This will definitely have an impact on POM’s ability to reach the phase 2 of the funding cycle.
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