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Banking and Finance

Overview of the Financial System

The health of a country's financial system is a key indicator of its potential and attractiveness to both foreign and domestic investors.

While entrepreneurs are the heart and brain of the world of capitalism, the financial system is the blood that makes it revolve, promoting successful ideas while filtering out the bad.

Romania has witnessed a steady improvement in the quality of its financial system, with an increasing number of entrepreneurs and investors collaborating to bring star ideas like UIPath or BitDefender to life.

The Banking Sector

The backbone of any financial system is its banking sector, which is gauged by its efficiency in handling daily transactions and the variety of banks available for entrepreneurs.

In recent years, Romania has seen a rise in digital banks and Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) that cater to digital nomads and entrepreneurs. These modern banking solutions enable individuals to manage their finances remotely, needing only a smartphone for their daily banking activities.

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Key Players in the Banking Sector

Banca Transilvania

  • Overview: Founded in 1994, Banca Transilvania has grown to become the largest bank in Romania in terms of asset value.
  • Services: Offers a wide range of services including corporate banking, SME banking, and personal banking solutions.
  • Digital Initiatives: The bank has embraced digital transformation, offering online banking solutions and a user-friendly mobile app for both Android and iOS.

BCR (Banca Comercială Română)

  • Overview: Established in 1990, BCR is one of the oldest and most trusted banks in Romania.
  • Services: Provides a comprehensive suite of banking services, from loans and mortgages to investment solutions.
  • Digital Initiatives: BCR's "George" platform offers a modern digital banking experience, integrating online transactions, budgeting tools, and more.

ING Bank Romania

  • Overview: A subsidiary of the Dutch multinational ING Group, it has a strong presence in Romania, known for its innovative banking solutions.
  • Services: ING offers a mix of personal, business, and corporate banking services, with a focus on digital solutions.
  • Digital Initiatives: ING's mobile app and online platform are highly rated, offering features like instant payments, expense tracking, and investment options.
ING just added ApplePay to their services
Photo by / Unsplash


  • Overview: A British financial technology company that offers banking services, Revolut has gained popularity in Romania for its digital-first approach.
  • Services: From multi-currency accounts to cryptocurrency trading, Revolut offers a diverse range of modern financial services.
  • Digital Initiatives: Revolut's app-centric model allows users to manage their finances, make international transfers, and even access travel insurance, all from their smartphone.
Photo by Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash


  • Overview: CecBank, founded in 1864, is one of Romania's oldest and most established banks. While it has a rich history, the bank has made significant strides in modernizing its services to cater to today's entrepreneurs.
  • Services: Beyond traditional banking, CecBank offers e-commerce payment solutions, online business accounts, and merchant services tailored for online businesses.
  • Digital Initiatives: CecBank's digital platform offers features such as online account opening, streamlined KYC processes for businesses, and integrations with major e-commerce platforms for seamless transactions.

Raiffeisen Romania

  • Overview: Part of the international Raiffeisen Group, Raiffeisen Romania has been a key player in the Romanian banking sector since 1998. Recognizing the shift towards digital, the bank has revamped its services to cater to modern businesses.
  • Services: Raiffeisen offers specialized accounts for online businesses, facilitating easy online transactions, foreign currency operations, and e-commerce integrations.
  • Digital Initiatives: The bank's "Raiffeisen Smart Mobile" app allows entrepreneurs to manage their finances on the go, with features like invoice scanning, real-time transaction alerts, and easy online payment solutions.
Raiffeisen Bank

Zen Bank (Zero effort Non-bank)

  • Overview: Zen Bank, aptly named for its hassle-free banking solutions, is a newcomer to the Romanian financial scene. As a non-bank financial institution, it focuses on providing streamlined services for digital entrepreneurs.
  • Services: Zen Bank specializes in online payment gateways, simplified KYC for online businesses, and quick access to capital for e-commerce ventures.

    The offering Zen provides is a great one for e-commerce, due to instant reconciliation ensuring cash flow, and their minimal fees allowing you not to worry about losing money on large transactions.
  • Digital Initiatives: With a mobile-first approach, Zen Bank's platform offers instant account setup, integrations with major e-commerce tools, and analytics to help entrepreneurs track and optimize their finances.

For digital entrepreneurs in Romania, the banking landscape offers a blend of traditional reliability and modern innovation. Whether you're running an e-commerce store, offering consulting services, or venturing into online education, there's a banking solution tailored to your needs. The key is to choose a bank or financial institution that aligns with your business model and growth aspirations.

Investment Opportunities and Loans

For many entrepreneurs, there comes a time when their business growth is stunted by the lack of liquidity required to scale. While the business shows promise and is quickly growing to become a highly profitable venture, the lack of capital to invest in marketing or product development makes it difficult to maintain competitiveness.

Because of that, entrepreneurs need to make sure their startups are able to get funded and to grow.

Banking loans

While Romania's banks are clearly developed, only 29% of Romanians said they would turn to bank loans, often preferring to borrow from a friend (47%). This has meant that credit consumption in Romania has always been lower than its European counterparts, with most enterprises preferring to focus on safe money from investors instead of taking out loans.

This general lack of trust in the banking industry has also made banks more cautious of people seeking loans, as this is often a last resort for many and a sign of diminishing returns. While Romania definitely wins in most places, getting credit for a new, untested venture is definitely not its forte.

Investors & Venture Capital

Where Romania lacks in the offer of banks, it wins in terms of the potential to attract investors and venture capital funding. The investment opportunities are abundant, but the number of companies capable of meeting investment demands is insufficient.

This creates an opportunity for foreign startup developers, which are often more trusted to deliver, and have a higher potential of gaining funds in order to start and scale up their digital venture.

Investors & Venture Capital

Romania's location in Eastern Europe and its emerging tech scene have caught the eye of investors and venture capitalists. The opportunity for startups, particularly in the digital sphere, to secure funding is clear. Foreign entrepreneurs, with their unique insights and creative approaches, are especially intriguing to Romanian investors.

  • Overview: stands as one of Romania's leading equity crowdfunding platforms, connecting innovative startups with a network of investors.
  • Specialization: The platform has a strong inclination towards tech startups, catering to sectors like e-commerce, ed-tech, and other digital ventures.
  • Process: offers a structured process for startups, including foreign ones, to present their ideas and attract local investment.

GapMinder Venture Partners

  • Overview: GapMinder Venture Partners is a prominent venture capital firm in Romania, renowned for its backing of tech startups across various growth phases.
  • Investment Focus: Their portfolio showcases a preference for digital ventures, SaaS platforms, and fintech solutions.
  • Engagement: GapMinder not only provides capital but also extends mentorship and strategic guidance to its portfolio companies.
  • Foreign Startups: GapMinder's investment history indicates their interest in foreign startups that consider Romania as a potential market or development center.

Summary and Conclusion

We believe that Romania is a great space for funding digital businesses, be they e-commerce enterprises with innovative ideas, to technology companies in SaaS, PaaS.

There are tens of VC Funds eager to fund anything investable, so if you have a great idea, there is potential for you!

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