Exactly one year ago a Dutch IT start-up was founded. But this wasn’t just a start-up like many others. It was Bunq: a start-up with a banking license! This company was founded by Ali Niknam, a 34 year old entrepreneur who became a millionaire with his company TransIP. Bunq is trying to disrupt the banking industry with their own app, which makes it possible to transfer money to other users of Bunq. This can be easily done without an IBAN number, the app makes use of the telephone number or email address of the user. Bunq makes banking fun by enabling users to add pictures and emoji’s when transferring money.
Another interesting feature of the app is that it’s possible to ‘go Dutch’, which means that you can split bills (everyone pays his own part of the bill). Bunq has a different company structure compared to traditional banks. You will barely find bankers in their office, most of the employees are young IT-professionals (like us). The company culture is very informal, even the CEO is wearing a t-shirt. But is Bunq really able to disrupt the banking industry? Especially millennials are making use of this platform instead of traditional banks. At the moment it is more of a complementary service to your traditional bank, but this can change in the future. Some experts predict that banks won’t exist in about ten years, but I don’t think that it will go that fast.
However, traditional banks are not really innovating and fintech companies are gaining market share. As Peter Drucker said: ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ Traditional banks are not flexible enough to innovate, even if they know that it is necessary to change. At the moment, Bunq is not making profits yet, but they are focussing on companies as they can offer them cheaper transactions than traditional banks. Nevertheless, Bunq is a promising start-up and it will be interesting to see if they can beat the banks.