In 2014, the Berlin start-up Raisin founded its interest rate portals Raisin and Weltsparen. It quickly became clear that open banking technologies can be used to implement completely new business models and quickly scale them. Raisin-CPO Maik Ludewig reports on lessons learned and explains what he understands by customer-centric banking.
For us at Raisin, Open Banking is first and foremost a term – no more, no less. It is only when we breathe life into technologies from the customer’s perspective that they are given a raison d’être. In this respect, however, Open Banking will become the linchpin of our entire business model. Without the components we subsume under it, we would simply not exist. The financial industry’s “APIfication” allows banks, FinTech’s and third parties to exchange data in real time. Networked ecosystems pave the way for smart banking: the customer can execute transactions via a central application and interface, and contains products and offers that suit them. So our fully digitized product retains a personal component, which we believe is critical to success. Open Banking, thus, ultimately serves to improve the customer experience. The customer perceives this as transparent and convenient. It offers them added value, not least from a monetary point of view.
With global savings, we have set ourselves the goal of being the leading, central provider of savings and investment products. By providing their investment products to private and business customers on our platform, we help partner banks acquire solid funding, reduce costs, meet regulatory requirements and broaden their reach. We design the platform economy as a win-win situation in order to achieve sustainable success. As a product, we understand everything that someone asked themselves during its conception: “Can I satisfy a user with it?” Over 150,000 loyal customers, assets beyond the eight billion euro mark and a net promoter score of 73 show us that we are on the right track with this strategy. On Weltsparen.de one can select from more than 250 different offers. 60 banks already use the Raisin platform.
Does not only apply to Open Banking: Five Lessons Learned
Convenience: Not the brand, but convenience and ease of use bind customers in the long term. They expect an “Effortless Customer Experience”. Customer identification and compliance-compliant verification should not be a hurdle for them. A central, convenient login for all services, qualified contacts and the integration of all digitised savings and investment products in one shop maximise convenience.
Transparency: When it comes to money and this is to be invested via a new channel, customers are particularly sensitive to risks. We therefore pursued an “Open Door Policy” right from the start, which visitors are welcome to take literally: Everyone who visits us in Berlin is given a friendly welcome. We create security and trust on our platform by striving for maximum transparency. With us you will not find any hidden fees and hardly any asterisk texts. Experienced client advisors answer investors’ questions in an understandable way. Registration and savings account management are free of charge and the rules for our welcome premium have been deliberately designed to be simple.
Tech Invest: Our platform is our “capital”. This is why we take technological precautions rather than making improvements. A quarter of our development capacity goes into infrastructure. Our technological advantage benefits us both in recruiting specialists and as a competitive advantage over our customers, for example in the speed at which new functions are made available on our platform.
Iterative testing: We regard our customers as part of the development team and therefore involve them as early as possible in product design. We regularly ask them for their opinions, test prototypes, launch MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) and introduce innovations and optimizations in small steps based on customer feedback. In the dynamic digital banking environment, a big bang approach would be suicidal. Rather, we can set the pace because we place the customer at the centre of our conception and development and always remain in contact with him.
Adaptation: World saving and raisin will never stand still in development, just as the world never stops turning. We are constantly developing the platforms to adapt to the dynamic market conditions, customer expectations, new technological possibilities and regulatory requirements. Autonomous, self-organized teams implement clearly defined development goals on their own responsibility. In this way, we not only ensure clear work processes, but also keep motivation high. What’s the saying? “Nothing is more constant than change.” We live this as a corporate culture.
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