I have just concluded a busy day of meetings here in Santiago, Chile. I’m currently enjoying some empanadas as I type my latest insights for you in this edition of #MovenAroundTheGlobe.
Often referred to as “Chilecon Valley,” Chile is quickly becoming an innovation hub for LatAm. It is also one of the stronger and more stable economies in the region. Upon my arrival, I quickly realized that Santiago has a very active FinTech ecosystem with payments and remittances leading the charge. During my meetings at one of the country’s top ranked banks, I understood that Moven provides the missing piece to their puzzle. A perfect fit for their multi-app strategy, we are looking to provide their customers with a PFE, Personal Financial Experience. It seems things are moving quickly for us in Chile, so keep an eye out for more on Chile in the weeks to come.
With another 30,000 km in the books, I just want to take a moment to say thanks for reading my blog as I take Moven around the globe. Be sure to check back soon for my next post from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Welcome to the latest edition of #MovenAroundTheGlobe. Today, I’m in sunny Buenos Aires where I’ve just finished a full day of meetings and I’m sitting down to have a glass of Malbec. I’m just starting to feel a bit of jet lag realizing that I’ve clocked 16,500 km so far and I’m only just getting started!
In my pre-meeting preparations for this trip, I noted that financial inclusion and alternative financing were top of mind for the banks in the region. Additionally, I managed to get my hands on a report which concluded that “80% of organizations [in Argentina] expect to partner with a fintech in the next 3 years.” With this information in mind, I was very excited about this leg of the trip.
I was able to meet with 3 banks today and during those meetings I quickly understood that Argentina is becoming a hotbed for fintech/bank partnership. Not only that, during my meetings today, I also noted that the opportunities were far greater than anticipated. For example; 50% of Argentinians are considered unbanked. In addition, only 20% of Argentinians have a credit card to make (international) online payments. This resulted in one of the most successful FinTech startups I have come across in recent times where a small firm (16 people), which is a spinoff from one of the country’s leading banks, formed a partnership with PayPal, linking them to all bank accounts in Argentina, creating a new payment eco-system. Within 5 months they were break-even. The next step is to discuss with Moven how we can assist them improving overall financial literacy and create a financial wellness platform for all Argentinians. Our wishlist and savings features are a perfect fit by the looks of it.
If you’re looking for an interesting market where fintech/bank collaboration is a hot topic, Argentina should certainly be on your radar. I’m sad to leave… but excited to share my next post from Santiago, Chile! Stay tuned.
Welcome to the next edition of #MovenAroundTheGlobe. I just walked off the stage here at #FinovateFall2017 in New York and I’m really excited to share my latest update with you all.
With our HQ down in Fulton Center (near Wall Street), it’s always great to return to where it all began for Moven. I was able to swing by our office this morning to say hello to the New York team and take a few meetings with my colleagues. During my commute this morning, I realized what a great time it is to be in the big apple – the weather is great and the business is booming! After a busy morning in the office, I set my sights upon Finovate for even more meetings. It was a long day but I came away with many opportunities and learnings.
The East Coast of the USA is one of the most influential regions for the FinTech industry. New York specifically presents a unique opportunity for young FinTechs due to its proximity to one of the most highly recognized financial centers on the planet. With this in mind, FinovateFall in New York is one of the hallmark events of the year.
Reflecting before our presentation, I realized how well we’ve been doing this year with over 1.3m users in our platform. Our partnership with TD also speaks volumes to me about our growth as a platform, as they have shown a 4-8% reduction in discretionary spend among frequent users of the TD MySpend app. Additionally, those users were 7x less likely to attrit. On top of that, we have seen phenomenal success with the release of our Stash Savings functionality. Without any paid advertising or interest offered, more than 25% of users opened a savings account. Bearing that in mind, my colleague, Ryan, and I were incredibly excited to demo our new ChatUI at Finovate. (If you missed our demo at Finovate, you’re in luck because the video is still up on our periscope channel: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1lPKqwoplVeJb. Don’t miss our Founder & CEO, Brett King, at the end!)
After we left the stage, we were fully booked with interviews and meetings. It was great to hear from other attendees how Moven is still showing that we are ahead of the curve with the release of our newest functionality. It was also a great to see how the savings product resonated with all of the financial institutions we met at the event.
Lastly, I want to quickly send a shout out and big thank you to my team for helping us make Finovate such a great success. I couldn’t have done it without you!
The next stop on my journey will be Buenos Aires, Argentina! Be on the lookout for my next post, “#MovenAroundTheGlobe: Buenos Aires”, on the blog soon!
Welcome to the first edition of #MovenAroundTheGlobe. Today, I’m in Kiev, Ukraine (where I will be starting and finishing this +48,000 km trip). It’s a sunny September day here in the city and I am excited to share some interesting insights with you about the current #FinTechLandscape the city that I now call home.
With a developing fintech scene, it’s really an interesting place to discuss the future of finance. Organizations such as the “FinTech Cluster” are blossoming in hopes of boosting growth in the sector, in an effort to bring the Ukraine further up on the list of global fintech hubs. There are two primary segments that are dominating the scene here: Credit & Lending and Bitcoin. After several meetings in Kiev, I’m noticing a shift from branch focus to digital channel focus. Something that was unthinkable only a few years ago for the established banks. Another encouraging sign is that some of Ukraine’s larger banks are looking at creating an ecosystem of FinTech partners, rather than opt for in-house development. Last but not least, there has been phenomenal support from the National Bank of Ukraine from a legislative perspective to pave the way for Ukraine to leapfrog some of their Western neighbors.
Given my experience in Kiev so far, I’m very excited about the future for Moven in Eastern Europe. Hope you found my insights interesting! The next stop on my journey will be New York City, where I’ll be presenting the latest innovations from our team at #FinovateFall2017. Be on the lookout for my next post, “#MovenAroundTheGlobe: New York”, on the blog soon!
I joined the Moven Enterprise team a few months back, as the VP EMEA. Since my arrival, we have grown and flourished as a company and, today, I am pleased to share with you the beginning of a blog series about Moven’s upcoming trip around the globe. I will be travelling over 48,000 kilometers (that’s more than a trip around the planet, which is just 40,008 km), taking 11 flights in just 12 days, in search of partners to continue Moven’s global expansion. At each destination along the route, I will review our learnings and share an update on the latest developments in the FinTech market of that country. The first stop will be Kiev, Ukraine. Be on the lookout for “#MovenAroundTheGlobe: Kiev” on our blog soon!
For most consumer products the notion of “try before you buy” is commonplace. It’s obvious right? Before I buy a shirt or pair of shoes, I want to try them on and make sure they fit. Before I see a movie, I want to watch the preview. Even with cars, there’s a test drive. But what about banking? Have you ever heard of “trying out” a checking account? Some will say you can visit a branch and get a “feel” for the bank and the service it provides. Really? Do you honestly think that you can get a sense of that without an account? What would you be getting a feel for? The branch teller’s opinion on today’s weather? How many loops in the line before you get to the front of the queue?
The truth is this: banking is one of the rare consumer service industries where there has been NO concept, anywhere in the world, of “try before you buy”. In fact, it’s actually much worse than that. In many cases you have to do significant work before you can even buy a bank product – fill out paper forms, provide sensitive life information, spend precious time waiting in lines. It’s definitely not “try before you buy”, instead it’s more like “buy, work for it, and then try”.
At Moven, we’ve just changed all that.
We offer a spending card and app that work together to help you understand your everyday behaviors so you can build better financial habits and save more. That’s our product and you can indeed “try it before you buy it.” You can download our free app and easily link other spending cards you might already have – a bank debit card, a credit card, a charge card. Then you can see how our app analyzes your spending and provides you with insight into your habits. You can try it out and see how it helps you effortlessly stay on top of how you’re spending and where you’re spending so you can make better spending decisions and know when/how to save. We let you try all of that. If you like it, you can get a Moven card and do “smart banking” with us.
“Try before you buy” for banking… ‘novel concept’ or ‘it’s about time’? You tell us.
If the #twittersphere is to be believed, the hottest thing on the planet right now is Pokémon Go. For those of you not familiar with PG, it is a new game that merges geo-location, augmented reality and behavioral gamification to engage users in a unique game environment. There are reports of people walking miles to play the game and find more Pokémon. There are reports of people leaving home at 3am in the morning to find Pokémon. There are even people suggesting that this game brought their family together or got them out of their house for the first time in days or weeks. This thing is blowing up!
Pokémon Go utilizes a technology called Augmented Reality. A/R allows them to overlay graphics or data over our ‘real-world view’ through a camera or similar instrument thus ‘augmenting’ your physical environment. In the game you will see a Pokémon identified as a small icon on your game map, when you click on it your camera fires up and you see the Pokémon projected into your field of view, where you have to trap it with a ball by tossing it at the Pokémon on your screen.
The Pokemon phenomenon is showing us a small glimpse of what life will be like over the next 10-15 years as Augmented reality starts to enhance our world. The lines between gaming, entertainment and the real world will change. We will start to see the digital and virtual worlds merge.
What does this mean for fintech?
In this new world, the way you manage your financial health will go through a radical shift. Context will become the single most important element of your day-to-day financial health. No one will budget, but they will have their financial behavior ‘gamified’ every day. The way good banks and financial partners will work is that they will engage you with tools like augmented reality, social engagement and behavioral psychology, to help you understand the choices you make every day. Was that last restaurant you visited good or bad for your financial health? Where should you eat or shop to ensure you save money this month? When are the days you spend the most, and why?
Offering you a higher savings interest rate might sound like a good deal if you live in the 20th century, but it doesn’t actually help you save MORE money. The only way to do that is to change your behavior. Reduce what you spend every day, understand how to change your behavior to save, understand the best times to save, etc. The tools we have through mobile, augmented reality, geo-location and other such technologies that operate in real-time to provide you with context and help you modify your behavior are the future of your financial health.
Pokémon Go isn’t a banking app, but it does give us a glimpse into how very different the world of banking, investment and financial advice will be in 10 year’s time, and why banking is no longer a place you go, but something you do – on your phone.
Traditional banks have been very hesitant to embrace the opportunities afforded by operating in the cloud. Security concerns, often unfounded, make the public cloud a particular point of fear for most traditional financial institutions, despite the many benefits it offers in terms of efficiency, scalability, and innovation. As a result, banks are pouring significant resources into building their own private cloud solutions.
However, the private cloud model, when taking the total solution in aggregate, misses out on the main advantages of cloud itself when considering 3 major concerns. First, the isolation of the private cloud model severely limits the cost efficiencies that can only be realized with the global economies of scale enabled by the public cloud. Second, implementation, switching, and maintenance costs of the underlying private cloud infrastructure will often completely erode any marginal efficiency gains realized by operating in a private cloud. Third, and most importantly, private cloud infrastructure can never keep up with the pace of innovation that the public cloud is offering. Sadly, if large banks ever actually complete their private cloud model, they will immediately be 5 years behind the industry on new cloud capabilities, especially when compared to what innovative fin-tech startup competitors can do with the public cloud.
Moven, on the other hand, has no legacy concerns to worry about and is able to fully leverage public cloud economies of scale and innovation. In fact, Moven is leveraging Amazon’s public cloud to enable its “smart bank account” distribution model across the globe, most recently with TD Bank Canada and Westpac New Zealand. Because of this, Moven bypasses many of the restrictions big banks encounter with the private cloud, enabling unprecedented global expansion of innovative business capabilities, while being even more secure than a private data center or private cloud model.
In fact, Moven is not just leveraging Amazon’s public cloud to “host infrastructure”, but has built a proprietary technology on top of AWS’s “Infrastructure as Code” capabilities, dubbed the Moven Global Distributor (MGD). The MGD has enabled Moven to take the Agile method to the extreme with advanced continuous delivery, radical development efficiency, and ultra-high quality environment management. As an example, Moven is able to deploy an entire enterprise financial wellness and banking stack to any AWS-enabled country in a matter of hours, something that would take a large bank over a year to complete, while supporting a globally replicated multi-tenant model that segments client data in each country but still enforces a re-usable model across clients.