In 2011, Lydia co-founders Cyril Chiche and Antoine Porte set out to build a world-class payments app for millennials and Generation Z. The app launched in 2013 on French university campuses and has since reported growing to over 5 million users across Europe, including among 35% of millennials in France.
What began as a convenient way to pay for on-campus snacks and split restaurant tabs is now a frictionless, intuitive, increasingly complete financial experience. Lydia users can pay in-store, online, and receive and send funds to anyone in Europe — including people that don’t use the Lydia app — at no cost. Lydia became available with Apple Pay in 2017 and Google Pay and Samsung Pay in 2018.
The app quickly evolved to cover multiple financial services, including short-term loans. However, what was missing was a physical card that could be used at retailers and e-commerce sites not yet integrated into the platform.
Lydia needed infrastructure that offered greater flexibility and speed without compromising on security. “With financial services, safety and confidentiality are the top priorities you have. People like Marqeta bring amazing APIs to build this huge castle,” says CEO Cyril Chiche. “Today we have a Visa card that is issued with Marqeta that you can connect to multiple Lydia accounts … all visible inside your Lydia app. It’s very unique.”
With Marqeta’s API-driven architecture, Lydia can offer services that few, if any, of its competitors can match. For example, its customers can use a single card to pay bills from multiple accounts — a personal savings account, a checking account, a shared account with a significant other, a business account, etc.
“Marqeta’s open APIs, flexibility, and security will allow Lydia to grow and evolve as they meet the needs of future users in an increasingly mobile world.” Chiche says, “(Marqeta) provides us with this flexibility in their platform, with this agility which is critical in building a new product for the coming decades.”