What is your background?
“Before creating Bunq, I was in charge of TransIP, the biggest webhosting and domain name provider in the Netherlands. Eventually I decided to start a new adventure. So, I gave the talented people at TransIP space and autonomy. I have always been very IT-oriented, but I consider myself an entrepreneur. I started my first company at the age of sixteen. My specialty is making sure all the invisible – but essential – processes work properly.”
Who is the target audience for Bunq?
“That’s a question of mindset. On the one hand we have the group of people I call the idealists: they want to change and improve the current state of banking. These people the best for us, but are driven by a desire to change the world of banking. The idealists are about 20 to 30% of our users, but they are very important for our image. On the other hand, we have the users who are drawn by our easy-going, new user-experience. They value convenience and, strikingly, are often oriented internationally.”
What is Bunq’s revenue model?
“The model is simple. As a customer, you pay a monthly fee. The online version of Bunq is free. If at some point you need a card, you are in fact paying for a subscription. This costs € 7,99 per month for private users and € 9,99 for each professional user.”
What has the feedback been thus far?
“The high level of involvement and feedback on our online community reflects a lot of excitement and positivity. Of course, we have also received criticism, but, more often than not, this was done in a constructive manner. People expressing criticism often did so out of a certain, specific need. These new demands are taken into consideration for the further development of Bunq. Approaching criticism this way has made people feel connected to Bunq. They feel appreciated and a real part of the Bunq-community.”
Do you have any competitors?
“In foreign countries we can see companies doing similar things, but always with small differences. You could call traditional banks competitors, considering they try to copy us a lot. For example, ABN AMRO’s Tikkie is based on Bunq’s payment request mechanism. But I think our easy-going user-experience is very different —and we listen to our users’ demands.”
What is Bunq’s greatest challenge?
“Achieving sufficient renown with our target audience is difficult as a small company. People experiencing our app often fall in love with Bunq — and stay loyal. Becoming well-known does remain challenging, however, and luring users away from traditional banking is hard to do. I often hear the phrase: “Just another bank”. That statement couldn’t be any further removed from the truth. Battling that misconception is our biggest challenge.”
As a small bank, how do you earn the lasting trust of customers?
“Who do you trust more: a banker or a technerd?”
What trends do you expect in finance for the next couple of years?
“I think the banking world will change a lot. The last couple of years very little changed; there weren’t any innovations. Sooner or later, depending on regulations, consolidation will take place. Many new parties will collaborate. Everybody will double down on their own strength. This will create an intricate web of companies, working together to cover all angles.”
What is the most valuable consequence of your AIA participation?
“It was an amazing opportunity to meet other companies that were trying to innovate and find creative solutions in their area of expertise, such as healthcare. At Bunq we come up with innovative solutions every day, so it was interesting to be confronted with different perspectives.”
What advice would you give participants of AIA18?
“The Accenture Innovation Awards offer a perfect opportunity to meet interesting companies. Through listening to other innovators’ stories, you will be able to find the inspiration needed to fuel your own innovation.”