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3 Innovation Insights from Fidor Bank

Recently I had the fantastic opportunity to attend and keynote at AXFI 2016 . While there, I had the pleasure to meet and spend a little bit of time with Florian Moser, head of Business & Product Development at Fidor Bank. (My apologies for the awkward selfie.)

A German-based financial institution, founded in 2009, Fidor Bank is a digital-only FI that currently serves over 100,000 customers (they call users) with a transaction account and accompanying debit card and a savings product. It also offers cutting-edge payment options including ripple, the world’s first bitcoin trading platform and will be shortly offering O2 bank account that is banking services via mobile app partnership with German mobile phone provider Telefonica. Needless to say Fidor is revolutionizing the banking experience. The following are a few insights from Florian’s presentation and our conversation.

1. Community First.

Fidor was created to meet the needs of the customer, not the bank. This being said, the first thing Fidor did, was to build a community before offering product. Literally, they asked early adaptors and users to form an online community to share ideas, experience and knowledge about finance. And they listened. Fidor Smart Community is a digital message board where users can review products and experiences, offer savings tips and ask questions about personal finance. If the advice is really important, members of the community can “tip” and actually pay someone for the great advice as a way of showing their value of the information.

Insight: Brilliant Market Intelligence

Fidor gains incredible user insight on their products and services so they can identify the things they do well and identify the things they need to improve. This is about as close to a real-time focus group/product test group as you can get.

They also get to see what problems their users have, and most importantly, determine how to create solutions to fix them. They also get textural information on how what members think about bitcoin, alternative payments and other concepts worth exploring to provide growth.

2.Build like an App store and not like a traditional bank.

Instead of being proprietary to the architecture of their processing system, they are the first fully-licensed bank to open their API to customers and partners to help make their system better. Consider this an Elon Musk approach to banking. This allows their users/customers and partners to run platforms for crowd- funding, peer to peer lending, crypto-currencies and the list goes on.

Insight: Collaborate outside of the organization to improve

Allowing many points upon the supply chain to improve the process is difficult, but can be achieved when the user-manual is given to everyone. This allows Fidor to stay true to their four pillars of success:




Customer centric

3. Mobile is a completely a new platform.

Mobile should be considered a new platform, not an additional marketing channel. According to a recent Acxiom report, 52% of Millennials check their smartphones within five minutes of waking. Mobile interaction is different than any other engagement device we have experienced and it should be treated differently.

Insight: mobile engagement is different, so make it different.

There is much more information that can be collected on a mobile device (location, health, music, push notifications, recent activity, etc). With this kind of interaction data to connect to, the mobile engagement should provide the user an experience similar to other smart phone experiences, not like a physical store or website, because it is much different than that.

While these insights treated individually are not unique in the banking industry, but when they are connected, they create an incredibly unique user experience that provides value by leveraging and embracing its digital components.

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