Generative Data Intelligence

Steve Round, Co-Founder of SaaScada


In today’s profile we are featuring Steve Round, the Co-Founder of SaaScada.

Who are you and what’s your background?

I’m Steve Round – Co-Founder of SaaScada and in a nut shell:

I’ve spent much of my career focusing on financial inclusivity in one way or another, whether that be international remittances for foreign workers, building sustainability into loan origination all to deliver a first class product and service

I’m Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketers and, way back when I was studying, we dreamed of a segment of one. Now, with real-time data and AI, we can make that dream a reality. Products and services tailored to meet the needs of the individual. It is exciting times for those who want to explore the possibilities!

What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?

I am co-founder of SaaScada and have built this business alongside Nelson Wootton our CEO. I work closely with our Business Development Team and Marketing Team but as with any founder, I pretty much do whatever needs to be done! I’m not a fan of public speaking but our CMO has been dragging me up on stage at every turn to share my experience of financial inclusivity and to challenge the financial services industry to do better. I both hate and love it in equal measure.

Can you give us an overview of your business?

Because SaaScada was founded on the belief that first-class products should be available to all, we rearchitected the way core banking is delivered to make it easier & cheaper to build innovative products for great customer outcomes.

Our Unified Product Hub offers access to a comprehensive suite of product features complete with multi-currency, multi-purpose ledgers – from day one. No costly product modules are required. Better yet, our simple per-account charging structure spans all products, affording our clients the freedom to swiftly grow their business, pivot when the market dictates and trial new offerings.

Our cloud-native architecture supports the most intricate data analysis & reporting, without impacting the lightning-fast transactional throughput needed to drive exceptional customer experiences via open APIs to the partner eco-system.

SaaScada’s core banking engine powers the creation of feature-rich, cost-effective, personalised products & services for all types of customers.

Tell us how you are funded?

Our original funding was simply from Nelson and me. We then received some seed funding in 2022 and have been regularly approached over the last 2 years with offers of further funding. We had a small injection of additional seed funding last year to grow our marketing activities but for now we are achieving success without burning through cash as we’ve seen many start-ups do.

What’s the origin story? Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?

In 2012/2013, in my capacity of Chairman of the Big Issue Foundation, I wanted to build an account to meet the needs of unbanked and often homeless individuals – the Change Account. So, I set about finding the technology that would allow me to build a first-class banking product. What I found was that there was nothing on the market that was going to provide a feature-rich banking product at an affordable price. I didn’t believe that basic bank account was going to help those working their way out of poverty with the tools they needed to budget and save. So, working with an old Colleague, Nelson Wootton, we built our own – and SaaScada was born.

Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?

We can work with any regulated entity to help them build a wide range of financial products from traditional banking products. We focus on Tier 3 and below but can also sit alongside legacy technology in a Tier 1 and 2 banks to help build new products with greater speed and flexibility than their existing technology would allow. We have a number of clients live across the UK and Switzerland and are working with new clients across Europe. We have a simple per account charging model which means that our clients’ success really is our success, a we love to work in this type of partnership. We enjoy working with clients who are breaking the mould in their respective areas – regardless of size our technology makes it easier to deliver innovation. We can serve FS that deliver micro finance and the same platform delivers to banks support HNW individuals – inclusivity is built into the hear of what we do

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?

I would challenge everyone in the industry to be a little braver about pushing the financial inclusivity agenda. There are over 7bn people on this planet – 1bn unbanked but with access to the 6bn Banks worldwide could make a real difference in delivering real change. This gives the industry HUGE potential to drive real change.

A lot of ESG really starts with the S – Social. Get that right and the rest will follow. The industry has come a long way since I started, but there is a long way to go. I take the rather controversial stance that ‘greenwashing’ can actually be seen as a step in the right direction. The fact that the term ‘greenwashing’ even exists means that it is now a consideration across the industry – it shows progress of a sort.

Once upon a time ESG wasn’t even part of the conversation now people see it is important enough to lie about – but they will soon be held to account by their customers if they don’t follow through!

What is your message for the larger players in the Financial Services marketplace?

With large customer bases comes the ability to effect social and environmental change on a massive scale. The latest data rich technology in financial services can be used to educate people on the power of their spending, their investment decisions and how their choices can impact others. For anyone in a position of power, the temptation to maintain the status quo to ensure smooth sailing on ‘your watch’ is huge. But for those in the power to effect change, it can be done without the risk of a big bang approach – by using technology that can co-exist with your legacy tech you can deliver innovation and change with a minimum of fuss. You have the responsibility not only to maintain but also to improve services to your customers and it is possible to minimise risk and deliver change over time. DON’T TELL ME YOU HAVE ONE GREEN PRODUCT – ALL YOUR PRODUCTS SHOULD ME MEASURED ACROSS AN ESG FRAMEWORK!

Where do you get your Financial Services/FinTech industry news from?

Industry press, LinkedIn, clients and as importantly non-industry press – we in the FS industry can learn a lot out side our core space.

Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech and/or Financial Services sector that we should be following on LinkedIn, and why?

  • Leda Glyptis – I found myself nodding away like a bobblehead while reading ‘Bankers Like Us’ the scenarios she describes are very familiar and it is interesting to see them captured in a book – warts and all.
  • Richard Davies, CEO of Allica Bank – a FinTech guru running an SME bank!!
  • Charles McManus – Group CEO at – the first genuine new clearing bank in the UK for 200 years.

What FinTech services (and/or apps) do you personally use?

Lets not count the standard FinTech apps that banks provide – as a core banking provider I have a lot of banking apps many of which need a lot of love – I have Tred Card with my passion for Climate and Ethex which is for Green Investing.

What’s the best new FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?

Perenna Bank – a new approach to mortgage banking.

Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?

I think adoption (or not) of Artificial Intelligence has the potential to make or break growth for most financial services companies from the biggest banks to the smallest fintechs. Firms will not only have to revisit their board composition to ensure they have the right people at the table to drive this technological and cultural change, but they’ll also need to make sure that their tech can deliver the data they need and understand how you eliminate bias.

At the moment most banks running on legacy will not have the view of customers that they need to drive that segment of one that I mentioned earlier. Nor will they have the data they need to truly understand their customers as a whole. There is too much valuable data locked away in product verticals. That is going to have to change if they have any hope of having the realtime, customer centric insights they need to drive change using AI.

So in essence those that understand that technology and AI are on an exponential curve and the understanding of that at Exec and Board level will be crucial. If a bank believes that the only relationship with its customer is transactional – they will fail!

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