May 05

Jernej Močnik, Nova KBM: Fintech will mostly affect payment transactions and debit card payments

“Modern technologies are quickly and radically changing the financial industry. Areas where we can expect significant changes mostly include payment transactions and debit card payments, because fintech companies are expecting solutions such as e-wallets, mobile payments and payment transactions in real time. That is why Nova KBM is trying to introduce similar solutions and improvements into its own systems, while at the same time ensuring simple and safe use of our channels and interfaces, faster provision of services, and the best possible user experience,” emphasized Jernej Močnik, director for Corporate Banking and SME in Nova KBM, in the interview. Nova KBM is this year’s PODIM Challenge blue-chip partner for the field of fintech, and the general sponsor of the PODIM Conference for the sixteenth year in a row. We talked to him about the disruptions that we can expect in banking and what innovative startup teams can anticipate from collaborating with the second biggest bank in Slovenia.
 

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Mr. Močnik, how is Nova KBM responding to what’s happening on the global fintech scene, where cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology are being established, as well as simpler, faster and cheaper financial services?

In Nova KBM, we are aware of the influence of fintech companies and their innovative solutions as well as the advantages that they bring to users. These changes are positive for the entire financial industry because they accelerate its development. The advantages of fintech companies are flexibility, innovativeness, and agility. This is why we are carefully tracking activities in the startup environment and are, where possible, gradually changing our ways of doing business. In this, we are establishing partnership relationships with providers of modern technological solutions that enable the bank to achieve higher value added.
 
How radically and in what way do you think banking will change because of the mentioned influences?

In banking, the basis of successful business is trust between the bank and the client, and a quality long-term relationship between them. For safety and success of business operations, banks have effective risk management systems developed. All those are the advantages of banks compared to the new players on the financial market. But we realize that modern technology is rapidly and radically changing traditional financial business models. Areas where we can expect significant changes include payment transactions and debit card payments, because fintech companies are developing solutions such as e-wallets, mobile payments, and real-time transactions. This is why Nova KBM is trying to introduce similar solutions or improvements into its own systems as much as possible. In this, we consider aspects such as simple and safe use of our channels and interfaces, faster provision of services, and ensuring the best possible user experience.
 
When and why did the bank, which has been supporting the local entrepreneurship ecosystem for many years, detect a need to collaborate with startups?

Nova KBM is the general sponsor of the PODIM Conference for the sixteenth year in a row and has been a partner of the Institute for Entrepreneurship Research since 2005. Through collaboration with the Institute, we have been closely following the activities in the segment of startup companies, while last year we collaborated with the Start:up Maribor community to take a step even further, namely by organizing the first banking hackathon in Slovenia. From the aspect of finding new technological solutions and collaborating with startups, we are interested in innovative teams and products that introduce state-of-the-art online and mobile technologies to provide advanced user solutions in fields such as personal finance management, development of virtual bank assistants, blockchain technology, remote business with non-clients, and development of chatbots for use in the financial industry.
 
Can you describe the mentioned areas in a bit more detail and highlight certain concrete examples of use?

In the field of personal finance management, for example, we are interested in predictive analytics for better understanding money spending and potential savings, for predicting the cash flow and advising in its optimization, and of course for developing and offering bank products that are perfectly suited to users. Virtual banking advisers, supported with artificial intelligence, can advise in finance management, help make deals, and connect to a bank employee in case of any confusion or problems in concluding the transaction that can’t be solved virtually. In remote business with non-clients, we are interested in verification methods and solutions that are in accordance with Slovenian law, solutions for remote identification, the analysis and option of using qualified certificates for signing documents, and solutions for concluding transactions exclusively in the electronic form. 
 
What can a young startup team get from collaboration with Nova KBM? What exactly do you offer them and under what conditions?

By collaborating with innovative fintech startup teams, we mostly see an opportunity to together create the best and most innovative solutions for our clients. In exchange, the participating teams will get access to our branched business network that includes more than 500 bank branches and post offices in the network of Pošta Slovenije across Slovenia, as well as access to the entire bank infrastructure and a large number of clients of the second biggest bank in the country. Startup teams will consequently also be able to obtain a very strong reference of collaborating with a bank, member of a global family, and the possibility of new partnership connections and access to international markets.
 
Will you strengthen your activities in the field of finding and establishing contact with startups in the future, and how exactly?

Nova KBM will continue to closely follow what’s happening in the startup ecosystem, and for us it will continue to be important to be present at events such as the PODIM Conference, hackathons and other meetings and events in the Slovenian startup community. At such events, we can measure the pulse of entrepreneurship incentives and innovativeness, especially in IT, where startups bring new and unconventional approaches and solutions that aren’t common practice in banking.
 
What do you expect from this year’s PODIM as the PODIM Challenge partner for fintech? And how should startups address you to attract your attention?

We will be glad if startups introduce themselves to us with the clearest and most concrete possible presentations of values added for the bank and our customers, for example in the form of speeding up or cutting the time of business and IT processes. We will definitely be attracted to solutions for better cost effectiveness and achieving savings as well as, of course, ensuring excellency of user experience, which leads to users recommending bank services to other users.
 
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Ideal banking service for starting your business!

In the form of business collaboration, Nova KBM offers newly founded companies the package of services Business Start, which encompasses the following benefits:  
Free novelties of the Business Start package
  • Paid fee for the PODIM Conference*
  • Individual discussion with a lean entrepreneurship expert (methodology from the book Running Lean)
  • Consultation for successfully obtaining EU grants and resources within the Entrepreneurship centre of Nova KBM.
 
Good price for the package
  • The price of the package is only 5.20 EUR per month (compensation for the online business bank Poslovni Bank@Net) or 62.40 EUR per year. For this value, you also get the abovementioned fee for the PODIM Conference in the amount of 390 EUR and all banking services that you choose in the package.
 
*The number of paid fees for the international PODIM Conference is limited. For the user, the bank can approve the package or those services in the package for which they fulfil the conditions listed in the bank’s rules for approval of individual services. The administrator approves the package in accordance with the bank’s business policy, but they also consider the fulfilment of the required conditions for getting the benefits package and fulfilment of required conditions for approval of individual services from the package.
 
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Get in touch with Nova KBM

The meeting point for fintech startup initiatives in Nova KBM is the information technology sector, where you can establish contact with Jure Kobal (jkobal@nkbm.si), but you can also turn to Martin Gunčer (mguncer@nkbm.si) from the software development department.
 
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More information about collaborating with Nova KBM  
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Author: Stanislava Vabšek, Start:up Slovenia Initiative