The faces of the industry: Aiga Senftleben

May we introduce: Aiga mustard life from Billie.

Working in the FinTech sector is like coming and going, requires a high degree of professionalism in a thoroughly relaxed working environment and is above all characterised by innovations as well as good, clever and future-oriented ideas, according to the widespread consensus. But who are actually the brains and doers behind these creative thought processes, at the interface between finance, digital technologies and entrepreneurship? In our series: The faces of the FinTech industry we regularly ask a person from the payment and banking industry the same ten questions. This time Aiga Senftleben answers our questions.

May we introduce…

During our everyday work we meet exciting people who work in the same environment, who we meet only once or from time to time or who we have already grown very fond of in our private lives – each of them has a story of their own. We have a few of these People from our nearest FinTech environment to give them a face. To share why this industry is much more to them than just another way to pay their rent. We would like to briefly portray and introduce these people and their vita in a very special category and have designed a questionnaire that is always the same.

This time Aiga Senftleben answers our questions. Aiga is co-founder and General Counsel of Fintech Berlin Billie.

Who are you, what do you do?

I am Aiga Senftleben, co-founder and general counsel of Billie. With digital, fully automated solutions, we help small and medium-sized B2B companies to secure their liquidity and stabilize their cash flow. Especially corporations usually have very long payment terms, which regularly presents SMEs with a major challenge. With Billie’s products, we want to create fair access to the best technologies and new freedom for everyone.

When did you first notice the word FinTech?

After working as a lawyer for a few years, I wanted to join a company in 2011 and quickly realized that I find the FinTech industry very attractive: a modern environment with flat hierarchies, a lot of freedom and complex challenges.

Faces Aiga mustard life

What were your first contacts with the payment and banking industry?

After leaving the commercial law firm, I started working for PayPal as Legal Counsel, where I provided legal support for the acquisition of an invoice purchasing provider, the introduction of installment payments and P2P payments.

Aiga Senftleben: “Digitalisation requires questioning the status quo

How do you define FinTech?

FinTech companies use technology to build new and innovative solutions to everyday problems that have something to do with financing, investment or payment flows in the broadest sense.

What do you think established companies do better than FinTechs?

It is difficult to generalize, after all companies act very differently. However, established companies often have some advantages, such as a profitable business model, many customers and a well-known brand. They are then better than FinTechs if they manage to build on these advantages and modernise at the same time.

“Established companies often have some advantages, such as a profitable business model and a well-known brand.”

What can you learn from FinTechs?

For a FinTech to be successful, it must successfully operate in an extremely complex field of tension between financial regulation, technology and customer orientation. This requires flexibility but also a great deal of pleasure in looking at problems from a new perspective and solving them.

Why do established (large) companies actually find it so difficult to go digital?

It is not easy to answer this question. From personal experience I can’t speak, because I have never worked in an “established company”. But when you think about what digitization means in concrete terms, it quickly becomes clear why it can pose major challenges for companies.

Digitization requires companies to comprehensively automate processes and systems and to integrate new data sources, thus questioning the status quo. Established companies are faced with this effort, but for younger companies digitalization is a matter of course.

Day in the anthill and late tour with the vice president

What would you do professionally if you were not working in the payment and banking industry?

Faces Aiga mustard life

In another industry I would try to solve problems in an innovative way, there are exciting developments in many areas, be it mobility, healthtech or the entertainment industry.

Which company would you like to work for one day?

Even if it is unfortunately not possible, I would like to “work” in an anthill or a bee colony for a day – you can certainly learn a lot about communication, processes and organizational design: It is fascinating that up to 1 million ants live in an anthill and perform various tasks. And all this without all-hands and slack channel ;)

Who would you like to have a beer with?

Late tour with Kamala Harris, don’t think she will have much time left when the bars in Berlin are open again.

Autor
Die studierte Soziologin und Medienwissenschaftlerin beobachtet, analysiert und schreibt als Journalistin seit vielen Jahren über die Startup- und Fintechszene. In der Vergangenheit arbeitete sie für führende on- und offline für Gründer- und Wirtschaftsmedien im In- und Ausland, moderiert, schrieb mit... mehr