For the 5th episode of Inside the Vacuum, Marcel spoke with the serial entrepreneur Balazs Vinnai. Balazs is formerly the Founder and CEO of IND Group, which was acquired by Mysis in 2014, and current president of the data personalization platform W.UP.
They spoke about how he got started in the industry and how he overcame the challenges of creating mobile banking solutions using WAP technology back in the early 2000s. They also discussed his vision of a cashless society and questioned why this hasn’t happened sooner, as well as sharing some tips for those who want to disrupt the fintech space but don’t know where to start.
Throwback to the early days of online banking
Balazs has 20 years of experience in the fintech industry, from being a serial entrepreneur, investor, and mentor for growth-stage companies. He started to invest in developing mobile banking solutions in a very early stage.
Cashless society – are we getting there?
Balazs and Marcel agreed that a cashless society is the future, however there are many generational and regional issues we are facing when it comes to digital transformation.
‘It is understandable for us to be slightly confused, but the fact is that using cash and checks is still going on in many parts of the world where you could have significantly more secure systems, as you said through digitalization.’ – Marcel Klimo
Get to know your bank customer using W.UP’s services
In Balazs’s opinion, banks should work like eCommerce businesses – don’t sell a product directly, fill a desire instead!
‘Banks also need to understand what are the dynamics of online sales and online advertisement. They still try to sell very basic products. Credit cards, mortgage, car loans, but these types of products are not something that the people are dreaming of. You probably never dream that ‘I want to get a good mortgage’. This is not a classic dream, more like a nightmare.’ – Balazs Vinnai
And how are they helping banks to achieve this goal?
‘We are just using the existing data, what the banks already have about their clients. We enhance this data and we are analyzing behaviors.’ – Balazs Vinnai
The role of the bank – an invisible financial life facilitator
Have you ever wondered how great it could be to receive customized offers from the bank for your exact problems? For example, get favorable exchange rates automatically for an exact timeframe, based on the flight ticket you purchase.
‘This is a huge shift into where banks aren’t purely a utility for people, but they are really facilitators of their lives. They’re making things easier for them, they accomplish to survive through an issue like COVID we have today, although this was hard to predict. I guess it is the next step for banking to introduce this.’ – Marcel Klimo
According to Balazs, if banks could become an invisible part of transactions such as mortgages and insurance, it would remove a number of significant obstacles that currently exist in common consumer purchases.
‘My vision of the future of banks is that banks should be invisible.’ – Balazs Vinnai
Inside the Vacuum podcast explores the lives and journeys of founders and technology leaders as they work to overcome challenges while building products in an ever-changing world. This episode was hosted by Marcel Klimo from Vacuumlabs.
Listen to the original podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or on Spotify.
Here is a rundown of the episode, if you want to jump ahead:
- 00:20 The story of W.UP begins 20 years ago
- 05:29 How cheques and cash still dominate the world
- 10:47 Know your bank customer using W.UP
- 19:20 Banks should be invisible
- 22:34 How to disrupt fintech today
Useful links from episode: