Few entrepreneurs have been as successful as German native Michael Gastauer. The self-made billionaire exploded onto the fintech scene in 2003 when he created payment solution software for eCommerce sites.
As one of the first in Europe, Gastauer offered a platform that accepted global card payments, a necessary input for online businesses looking to grow.
He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of several successful companies, including a digital bank, Black Banx, and the single-family office, the Gastauer Family Office (GFO).
Since 2008, Gastauer has served as founder and president of the Gastauer Family Office, a single-client private asset management firm. Its purpose is to manage the substantial asset structure of the Gastauer family, as well as having a venture capital arm investing in fintech companies.
After spending years experiencing the flaws of cross-border banking and account opening, Gastauer opted to create his digital bank to solve these problems. In 2013, he developed the idea of Black Banx, a digital bank focusing on inclusivity and globally accessible banking.
Using his vision, Gastauer hired a team of senior software experts and asked them to build an online platform that offered core functionality, instant account opening for private individuals and business customers, and global real-time money transfers in multiple FIAT and cryptocurrencies. An early version of the platform was deemed successful, and Black Banx was officially launched in 2015.
As of September 2023, Gastauer’s fintech service is available in 180 countries with 28 FIAT and two cryptocurrencies available. Currently serving over 28 million customers, the Black Banx Group has a valuation of around US$10 billion.
Behind the scenes, Gastauer is committed to giving back to the community, investing in green projects, and supporting animal causes. His sustainability drive has expanded from his personal life into his professional career at Black Banx, with policies in place to ensure the digital bank remains environmentally friendly.
With an ambition to become net zero by 2030, Black Banx has committed to aligning business activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. Gastauer said, “We aim to be thoughtful and transparent in addressing the climate challenge and to be held accountable for our progress.”
By implementing three key policies, sustainability remains a priority for Black Banx. Gastauer added: “We have formulated three principles that should help our employees understand and change their daily working routine to achieve our sustainability goals. These principles are to stay home, go digital, and work from anywhere.”
At the heart of Black Banx is inclusivity. Gastauer has spent decades in various financial sectors and witnessed too many cases of populations and demographics needing to be financially excluded. His passion for helping others is evident when looking at the services Black Banx continues to offer.
When asked about Black Banx and its purpose, Gastauer said: “Access to financial services is a crucial enabler for our global society. Black Banx is a dynamic force for innovation in the fintech sector, committed to facilitating the free and instant flow of money worldwide at a fair price. We want to provide a financial service platform that helps grow global markets by connecting people and businesses worldwide with optimal ease via SmartPhones and online.
“We continue to build a global, borderless, customer-focused platform that feels personal to everyone and will be a trusted tool to manage and grow customer funds. We provide business and private customers with banking access without restrictions based on nationality, country of residence, religion, and amount of funds held or transferred.
We aim to increase the simplicity of online banking, dramatically reduce transaction times, and achieve financial inclusion. We serve people and businesses in well-established economies, as well as the underbanked in countries that have less access to the financial system or where governments prevent people from freely participating in the global economy.
We have a substantial presence in countries across Asia, Latin America, and North America, as well as in the Middle East and Europe.
“Through our business and personal accounts, we allow customers to utilize carefully selected, best-in-class global banking networks to process money without transaction limits. This enables them to instantly send and accept local and international payments and hold or manage funds in multi-FIAT and cryptocurrencies.
“Ultimately, we aspire to build products and experiences at the intersection of our business and consumer ecosystems, unlocking seamless value for both.”
Michael Gastauer is a German billionaire passionate about creating access to financial services and is interested in fighting climate change. The breadth of his character is aided by his deep understanding of how to create a successful business.