Will White, fintech advisor and ex-Monzo and Loot, reveals one of the biggest dangers to a fintech’s long term survival. Follow us for more
Thought Leaders in Finance: Will White — Part 3: Every fintech’s biggest existential threat — the third in a six part series.
Within ‘feasibility’, the thing you need to take seriously is which vendors you’re using. If you build on a single licence holder or charter holder, who has problems, your whole business is at risk.
Your biggest existential threat as a business is usually going to be around who is the licence holder or the sponsor bank. It’s complicated, because you have two businesses with completely different risk profiles. You’re trying to move at speed, and focus on your customer and enable the kind of experiences that will mean that your product is interesting, while these guys are trying to protect their licence. And the more programmes they’re working with off the top, the more risk they feel they have.
So you have to manage that relationship really, really well. Pre-launch, you’re not often very connected with them, because you’re not doing any tech integrations, it doesn’t seem to be impacting that much of what the product roadmap is gonna look like because there’s a sort of known set of needs, but when you’re alive, it becomes operationally a large part of your business.
And then from a product side, if you don’t manage that well, it will make them understandably viewers more risky as a programme and therefore your ability to be flexible on the product will become harder as well. Of the feasibility conversations you have need to have, that is pretty much your biggest thing and far too often people don’t get into the weeds of how that relationships going to work and suddenly they find themselves not offering the product experience they want it or having to switch it out and they will lose customers and they will lose trust.
You’re a young brand, trying to do something unusual that a lot of incumbent players don’t necessarily think you’ll succeed. And a simple thing like a half an hour outage is a big problem for your customers which you should take seriously. But also from a PR perspective, it can look pretty disastrous.
Will White was a founding member of Monzo Bank, and COO of Loot Bank. He is currently COO of the LA based neobank Be Money, a Venture Partner at Vectr Partners that's invested in the neobank space, and an Advisor the Aussie neobank Parpera which just raised $1m.