Interviewed By The Asian Banker Live
Matthias Kröner, head and chief executive officer of German digital bank Fidor, speaks about Fidor FinanceBay, an online marketplace where consumers and suppliers can meet, and how it will try to cover all consumers needs, and the expansion plans of the company.
Here is the transcript:
As you said, it is a marketplace. It is, of course, a Fidor tradition, a digital marketplace. It is an open marketplace and it shall be a trusted marketplace. So, if we explain that step by step, it means that the customer, the consumer can find a series of different solutions, different offers as we bank, as we may say a holistic product experience there in order to cover all needs he or she as a consumer is facing.
Exactly. And, so, we are in the organising role. So, we are the marketplace managers, so to be. On the one side, yes, you have to demand side. On the other side, you have to supply side. And suppliers could be then, fintech companies. As we all know, emerging more and more. It could be also incumbent banks saying, “Okay, I have maybe a small product, a niche product that is what I want to offer there.” So absolutely, open to this. At the end of the day, it is the objective to create a maximum value for our consumers.
At the end of the day, these guys have the limit, have to say I said a holistic approach so if you want to see that, it can be brokerage, it can be insurance. It can be whatever. It can be even (inaudible) services like maybe you find different PFM solutions there. So, it's not only restricted to only a financial product like a loan or and an account, or an insurance. It can be money-related also.
You understand in sense, it's something like, you know, well I know, it's always high fugitive exactly, if I always say something. More of you know, if we look closely to something like Amazon, being a marketplace in different areas. You know Amazon started with books, we know that. But there's nothing you'd cannot buy now from Amazon. It' more or less, that they buy everything from Amazon and we also know that Amazon really now takes away a lot of traffic from Google. And they have a great achievement in doing so. On the one side, on the other side, we have the analogy of having the appstores like google play or apple appstore infrastructures again. Here we go, in which you can find a different huge number of solutions or product offerings whatever you just want to have, you know. It's first of all, it's simplified way, second, it's an easy way to approach it.
And France. And France to come. In the Middle East, we have one office in Dubai which is out of our European perspective. You know, ideally halfway to Singapore, by the way. And it's a perfect bridge actually into a huge number of emerging markets. What I find to be extremely interesting because in particular those emerging markets of huge opportunity for any kind of digital banking. We spoke about that the other day in Singapore. Oh, we spoke, we speak about it every time in Singapore whenever we discuss that. So, yes, I think it's the golden rule is not the matter you found the companies, it's the matter where you scale it.
The Australian environment, it's we find to be extremely challenging. So, first of all, yeah, three reasons: very mature, not a huge market, not a big market, and for us, from Europe, now first of all, even in Dubai, it's a long ride to go there. So, you need to have your local organisation in a very established way to really service that market so that even your customers can be satisfied. So, that's a big challenge on the one side. So, on the other side, we're moving along with our Singaporean activities. We have the pleasure and honour that we are partner to the polytech high school in Singapore. So, the students in polytech high school can now getting trained in how to setup fintech companies in the APIs of Fidor, and sandboxes and so on. So that is already, that's a very, in particular love that cooperation.
And just imagine, this is kind of closing the look actually once we talked about the polytech high school and the students learning how to set up fintechs on the one side. And the same time, operating a marketplace. In which you then could maybe offer your fintech. Right, so, see this is the ecosystem we are trying to create there.