Ahead of presentations at upcoming Second CEE SME Banking Conference in Warsaw (23-24 October, 2016) we ask our speakers about SME Banking, the place of innovations and digitalization in it, and cooperation with fintech and start-ups.
Olena Hrynyuk, SME Banking Club: Everybody knows Moven, I hope 🙂 You were nominated as #1 Digital Banking Provider. Congratulations on this! So how do you see the future of the digital banking especially in terms of business banking?
Jay de Groot, Moven: We see in small business firstly freelancers. And this is first segment Moven will move to next year. Because freelancers are in between Small and Retail banking. For example, we in Moven still don’t have a Legal entity in Europe, I’m working as subcontractor to Moven and consider myself an employee. Freelancers work for themselves. It’s one person business. Now such small businesses have to go to the banks because banks don’t provide services online. But small businesses should have their bank on smartphone or tablet. Banks treat such small businesses as future corporates with heavy corporate processes.
OH: So as you said you will be focusing on small business from next year. But what Moven is doing now in terms of business banking? In which fields you can cooperate with banks and can you? What is your opinion on cooperation between banks and fintech companies. Are they friends or enemies?
JG: Friends! Fintech firms like us we don’t have a banking license. We tend to go towards cooperation with banks. In the US we cooperate with Freelancers Association on how these people can be better served both by banks and fintechs and to help banks get faster towards digitalization. We released the white paper “Closing the gap: How Fintech Empowers Freelancers in the Gig Economy” together with Wharton Fintech, in which we studied that “freelancing comes with a significant and recurring opportunity cost that is unlikely to disappear anytime soon – especially since a full 70% of the freelancers we surveyed view freelancing as a long-term career. But freelancers can recoup this opportunity cost using flexible, efficient, technology-driven, and mobile tools designed for individuals who are also businesses. As a starting point, freelancers need a new approach to personal financial management that is grounded in financial technology. FinTech enables freelancers to become smarter spenders, savers, investors, and users of credit – all while reducing costs and saving time.”
OH: Today there is a buzz around blockchain technology. Do you believe that this will make business banking paperless? We know that already this technology is being tested by global banks in payments and letter of credit transactions. How do you see this?
JG: Well, blockchain is what already happened in core banking. High technology is there. And I’m happy that now everybody started discussing it. Cause main part of banks are using pre- millennium core systems. Blockchain 5.0 in 5 years will be implemented by largest banks.
It’s hard to predict whether it’ll be blockchain or other technology, but technology is unstoppable.
OH: Which topic will you highlight at SME Banking Conference in Warsaw, 23-24 Oct 2016?
JG: Moven is a mobile version of the bank. Bank in a pocket as we say. I’ll tell how we in the US explore awareness on how people spend money and how mobile banking can become better.
In this sense, freelancers are unique. If compare a freelancer to the traditional employee, a freelancer doesn’t have medical or disability insurance. So, freelancers should cover these costs by themselves. This is the highest priority savings category. Then freelancers don’t have a retirement plan and do not save for retirements.
The next gap is that freelancers have irregular cash-flows. 70% of freelancers state that their income is not predictable. This can spell trouble for their checking accounts, unpaid and overdue invoices.
They need a new approach to personal financial management and traditional methods in financial technology don’t work anymore. Freelancers require flexible solutions for individuals who is a business at the same time. They require cheap and fast solutions. By embracing Fintech, and mobile technology in particular, freelancers can recoup their opportunity costs, save time and participate in a user-friendly, technology-oriented personal financial management experience.
OH: Thank you very much!