Accessible Banking for Millions of People

David Jimenez Maireles has witnessed the digital transformation of banking firsthand. In this Meets session, he shares the exciting journey from his beginnings in consultancy and traditional banking to his immersion in the world of digital finance.

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Through his work at prestigious financial institutions and fintech startups, our guest has been instrumental in launching neobanks that have brought banking services closer to millions of people.

Santander and ING Direct: Online banking pioneers

The consultant began his career studying law but was soon drawn to finance. He started working for Banco Santander in 2010, after the acquisition of Sovereign Bank, which allowed the Spanish bank to enter the US commercial banking market.

This involved replacing their online banking system and implementing the bank’s corporate technology. Additionally, a research process was established to study the financial technology sector in countries like South Africa, Australia, and Turkey. The findings were presented quarterly to the Technology Committee, along with several innovative proposals.

At this point in the interview, David and Juanjo joked about the fact that one specific proposal was shelved: the creation of a savings goal, a feature later implemented by Banco Santander through Coinscrap Finance in their micro-saving module.

David Jimenez Maireles,
Consulting & Business Development at D19 Advisory

Our guest explained that in 2014 he was recruited by ING Direct to oversee the launch of a new digital onboarding process. At that time, the race to be the first was fierce, led by the Dutch bank and BBVA.

After discussing the intricacies of the process and comparing it to the previous system, which involved a messenger delivering a welcome pack after verifying ID, he shared a striking fact: the time it took for a user to sign up decreased from 3-5 days to 24-36 hours.

Of course, they won the race against BBVA.

Expanding Fintech Horizons: From Berlin to Saudi Arabia, via Vietnam

Raisin: The european investment platform

Two years later, an exciting opportunity arose in Germany: leading the expansion of an innovative investment platform in Spain. Raisin, capable of integrating white-label solutions within banks, allowed Spanish users to deposit their savings in other countries, offering much higher interest rates than domestic banks.

Juanjo wanted to know more about fintech’s business model and the advantage of pivoting from a B2C to a B2B model, which opens these technological developments to thousands of users.

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TNEX: A Digital Bank Designed Like a Video Game

“In Southeast Asia, more than half the population is unbanked. However, they spend over 5 hours a day online,” David remarked. When he received a call from a friend in Vietnam to create a neobank from scratch, he didn’t have to think twice. He and his partner moved to the country and quickly began an unprecedented creative process.

Their gamified banking concept revolutionized the market. By collaborating with the leading local video game company, they designed an attractive, user-friendly platform with unparalleled engagement. They not only focus on the recreational aspect of the experience, but also on taking care of users’ health and promoting their financial education.

💡 David Jimenez said…

In addition to designing two mascots to ease platform interaction, they introduced gestures like drag and drop to increase user engagement.

The features list is extensive: from personalizing accounts with the user’s photo and identifying them with bubbles of different sizes (based on the number of transactions) to digitalizing local customs and creating in-app user chats.

Don’t miss the podcast with all the details!

Stealth Digital Bank: An Oasis of Innovation

Juanjo noted the similarity between TNEX’s step rule and B100, though he also pointed out that it is impressive they have implemented it years before the Spanish neobank. “The bigger the bank, the more bureaucracy, more committees, and more time for decision-making,” David asserted.

In Saudi Arabia, David launched a new digital bank, focusing heavily on regulatory interactions. He spent nine months working on product and design departments and establishing collaboration agreements to improve the bank’s processes.

Personalization and well-being: The future of banking

Juanjo inquired about David’s new consulting role. He explained his focus on helping startups and digital banks leverage his extensive knowledge and experience. Now, it’s possible to use available data to grow faster, David said.

He also emphasized the third wave of banking digitalization, focusing on customer needs. “A bank that doesn’t evolve dies,” the consultant stated. Then they discussed the importance of anticipating user needs through available data and providing genuinely useful services in their daily lives.

“Making the customer feel important, protected, and secure throughout their life journey. It’s not the same being a student, renting a house, or getting married. Banking is usually static, but our lives evolve. The sector needs to shift to a Netflix or Spotify-like experience that adapts based on behavior,” David indicated.

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The AI revolution in finance

Our CMO insisted on how interesting the talk was turning out to be and, as a usual closing of the talk, asked our guest the question:

What technology do you think will revolutionize the financial sector in the coming years?

“Just like the iPhone changed communication in 2007, the first users of Chat GPT said it felt like magic. AI allows us to do what we’ve always wanted: be there for someone before they need a product, create segments of one, and treat customers in a hyper-personalized way,” David highlighted.

“We’re still in the supervision stage, but AI-based digital banks will harness the efficiencies and improvements this technology offers.” With these words, David concluded his contribution to our Meets session. Juanjo wished him the best in his new professional journey and thanked him again for his participation.

Thank you to our entire community. We’ll see you soon in another edition of Coinscrap Finance Meets. Stay tuned to our social media!

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