A reflective look at 2020 performance and future plans from the Zenus Chairman, Mushegh Tovmasyan.
It’s been a year unlike any other, and while harder than in a normal year, I can look back on 2020 with pride at what we have achieved and how it has set us up for success in 2021.
Our ambition was to launch this year, but like many businesses, Covid-19 slowed our progress. Despite this, we have still achieved plenty along the way, many being world firsts; all regulatory licenses have been issued, Visa Principal Membership achieved, and our technology is in final testing. 2021 is certain to be the year the world experiences Zenus Bank.
As I reflect, there are numerous positives and milestones that stand out:
We’ve become the first bank in North America to be granted cross-border card issuance capabilities with Visa. This partnership will enable us to deliver benefits and services to our members that would have previously been out of their reach. Our ambition remains to level the international playing field for financial services and open US banking up to the world.
The Corona virus has all but halted world travel, so I am immensely pleased to say we’re the first bank anywhere in the world to enable remote, cross-border account opening. And with unprecedented levels of automation in the process, account approval and digital card issuance takes minutes, not weeks or days.
We’ve actively embraced digital innovation and working with pioneering partners have delivered real time KYC, AML, fraud & transaction management capabilities. This approach is important for me as it ensures three key business aspirations. Firstly, we meet financial crime requirements for a cloud environment, secondly, unlike banks on a traditional infrastructure, we can scale quickly and easily as we grow and, finally, we can offer our services and financial options to more people and businesses around the world.
When restrictions eased in San Juan, we were quick to resume hiring both at an operational and executive level. This allowed us to finally move into testing and we now have Zen Cards (our Visa debit card) being used on four continents to make successful eCommerce transactions with well-known brands such as Amazon, PayPal, Uber and Rappi.
I’m thankful for our clients, our partners and my wonderful group of colleagues, who have shown resilience and adaptability to address the challenges presented. Our leadership team has grown to become like family in these trying times, wearing multiple hats and working tirelessly to bring this innovative business to life.
I’m thankful to our exceptional vendors and partners who have continued supporting and prioritizing our ambitious project despite the setbacks presented by this unprecedented year.
Finally, I’m thankful for the 60,000+ waitlist of individuals and corporates who have placed their trust in Zenus Bank – sending encouraging emails and messages despite the unexpected delays with our launch date. Whether you joined a year ago or just last week I look forward to welcoming you as a founding member of our bank.
As an eternal optimist, I firmly believe that the world will come back from the present crisis and will realize the speed and scale of innovation it went through to adapt and survive. In some ways, things will never be the same, but life goes on and people will start to feel comfortable in a new “normal”.
We have ambitious plans for 2021, starting with making Zenus the #membersonlybank of choice for the internationally active. There is indeed more to come which I look forward to sharing with you closer to our launch.
Chairman of the Board
The Zenus Leadership Team*
*Some missing due to Covid travel restrictions…