Connecting with Partners: In conversation with ecolytiq
Visa catches up with ecolytiq founder and CEO, Ulrich Pietsch, about powering sustainable change through greater transparency in our everyday spending.
As part of a new Connecting with Partners series, Visa’s Jill Docherty, Head of Business Development, UK & Ireland sits down with ecolytiq, one of the latest European additions to Visa’s Fintech Partner Connect Programme.
People are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. One way Visa is helping consumers and businesses to reach their sustainable development goals is through partnerships that enable sustainable finance, like our collaboration with ecolytiq.
By joining our suite of partners ecolytiq is aiming to close the gap between the consumer and their bank, by making the carbon footprint of consumer spending more transparent. Visa’s Jill Docherty asks ecolytiq’s Co-Founder and CEO Ulrich Pietsch about their mission and what’s in store for the Berlin-based innovator:
So, let’s kick off, could you use three words to tell me about ecolytiq?
Well, I can make it five words. At ecolytiq we say, “every transaction has an impact.”
Could you tell us about the initial concept behind ecolytiq and where your passion came from? With the word sustainability used so often these days, what does it mean to you and what continues to drive your original mission forward?
The story of ecolytiq started when I was watching a documentary with my two sons. The film laid out what happens if humanity fails to solve the climate crisis, and my two sons started crying. That, for me, was the final trigger to act and dedicate the rest of my professional career to the purpose of sustainability.
I sat down with David, one of the other co-founders, who was doing fraud analysis on payment transactions. And he found out that basically, instead of fraud analysis, we can also do sustainability analysis on payment transactions. And that's why we founded ecolytiq.
As founders, we want to have a real impact on climate change. Climate change needs exponential solutions - it's not about linear solutions or smaller steps. We must do it on an exponential level. And we believe that banks have a key role in fighting climate change.
Our goal is to reach 100 million customers by 2024 and 200 million the year after. So, it's all about scale.
If we think about Sustainability-as-a-Service® solution, what is the core offering of ecolytiq? Can you explain what this means for consumers in simple terms?
Our everyday consumption choices stand for 65% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally1, according to studies. At ecolytiq, we believe payment data is the key to solving climate change, because payment data gives us the possibility to calculate individual footprints.
Because everything we do, including our payments, are getting evermore digital, our impact is reflected in our payment transactions. At ecolytiq, we say every transaction has an impact. So, what we do is we calculate the impact of individual transactions and purchases, help people understand what their consumption is and provide advice on how they can reduce their footprint.
What does being part of Visa’s Fintech Partner connect programme really mean to your business and ultimately to your customers?
So, it was very important for us in our mission to scale the business fast. From the very first day, we knew we were not just a German company, but a European company. And that was very much thanks to Visa and its Fintech Partner Connect programme.
It was amazing to see that we could cover so many different markets with our technology. That's the good thing with technology. It just scales. You switch the languages, you switch the calculations to be precise for that country, and it all works within just a couple of days, sometimes even hours.
It was important for us to reach the scale we want to have, and it has been a very good partnership because we've seen so much enthusiasm from not only the banks out there, but also from the team at Visa who have pushed out our message to their networks.
If you want to hear more from ecolytiq’s Ulrich Pietsch and the latest developments in sustainable finance, you can listen to the full podcast below.
Don’t forget to look out for the next episode in our Connecting with Partners series.
1 Yale University Research: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jiec.12371