Published on April 13th, 2016

Interview with solarisBank’s Peter Grosskopf

Peter Grosskopf holds the position of Chief Technology Officer for solarisBank, making him responsible for the building and managing of the tech team and product development in the company. He has a degree in Information Systems combined with experience as a freelancer in Software Development and skills in entrepreneurship as he started his own company during his studies. Peter joined solarisBank after being a part of HitFox Group and FinLeap.

Today, we will interview Peter about his position, solarisBank’s technology, and his advice for others. How did you decide to be the CTO of a bank?

Peter: I never expected to become the CTO of a bank, but I didn’t expect to be working in finance either. As a part of FinLeap, I was involved in the project from the beginning and realized it was a good point in time for me to try something new. The advantage of working for solarisBank is in that I have no legacy knowledge in banking. Because I think about everything from scratch, our products are not constrained by the financial industry background. How does being the CTO of a bank differ from building other companies?

Peter: The banking industry brings constraints that are not preventable – security- and data privacy standards. Thus, we need to be compliant with all regulations which influences our development cycles and team structure. How did solarisBank decide to become a tech company with a banking license?

Peter: Well, there are many banks out there who already see themselves as a bank. At Solaris, we have a different approach to deal with customers situated in the digital economy. We want to act on the same level as them, know the startup world, and understand the tech language. What is different about the technology solarisBank uses from the technolgoy of other banks?

Peter: We started with no legacy involved. Banks have hundreds of systems created in the past that are merged together, slowing processes down. We started from the very beginning, using technology from today and tomorrow to set new standards and have the ability to test everything automatically. How has the venture’s technology developed from the start?

Peter: We are a banking platform, so we want to provide the tools for other companies to build their products. We started by using Ruby as the core for software development. It is stable, has a good ecosystem and the core team brings in years of experience. We, however, are always on the lookout for faster and better ways to build our platform. Thus, we use a polyglot approach instead of focusing on only one language. We built some services with Elixir and we like it so far. Do you have any advice for other banks or tech companies?

Peter: My only advice would be to be open to the tools that people want to use. Finally, what is your favorite part of working at solarisBank?

Peter: We have an exciting, unique product. I really enjoy seeing how quickly it is getting press coverage and is being adopted in the community.