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The challenges and opportunities in moving from DTC into enterprise with Moven’s CEO Marek Forysiak

  • Moven was an early pioneer in consumer digital banking.
  • Over the past few years, the firm has moved into providing enterprise technology.
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The challenges and opportunities in moving from DTC into enterprise with Moven’s CEO Marek Forysiak

Moven was founded in 2011 by Brett King. It was really early in the move to standalone digital banks, which we at Tearsheet like to call challenger banks. Without branches and transacting via an electronic device, the company was an early pioneer. Fast forward to 2019 and Moven is now lead by Marek Forysiak and has added on a new part of its business: Banking as a Service. Moven Enterprise powers digital banking functionality for financial institutions around the world, like TD Bank and Westpac.

CEO Marek Forysiak joins us on the podcast today to talk about Moven’s evolution as a digital bank and how its customers — both retail and now increasingly enterprise — have changed over time, as well. We talk about Moven’s customer acquisition strategy and what the firm is cooking up for the future.

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Moven’s genesis

Moven was founded by Brett King. When you think about Moven’s genesis, it’s the combination of two words with ‘and’ in between — ‘move’ and ‘bank’. When we were thinking about putting together a financial institution and we looked how digital was going to reshape how financial services would be delivered, particularly over mobile. The thesis was ‘banking everywhere except at a bank’.

When we launched in 2011, we were a pioneer in the challenger banking space in the US. It was fundamentally underpinned by a thinking that a bank account should also be smart. We do that by putting technology in the hands of consumers to give them better control over how and where their money is spent.

Moving into enterprise

We launched in the US in 2011 as a direct to consumer business. What we found over time was that there were a lot of other institutions that wanted to leverage our technology.

In 2016, TD said they really liked what we were doing and asked about white labeling our technology to make it available to their millions of consumers. That launched us into the enterprise business, making our platform available as a service to TD as our flagship enterprise client. Over the past several years, we’ve added Westpac, BCA, and Yandex. We’ve become a global brand that delivers the same financial wellness solution to millions of customers — our own and those of other banks.

How banking consumers have changed

The big change is that early on, early digital banks like Moven were focused on convenience, enablement, and real-time insights. These are all incredibly valuable but when you think about a primary banking relationship, it includes things like savings and credit.

When you look at the marketplace today versus what it looked like in 2011-2012, challenger banks are fully-enabled banking solutions bundling all the products and services banks traditionally offer consumers — but they’re doing that with all the conveniences that come from mobile and digital enablement.

Scaling the banking tech stack

We still develop our own technology with our own in-house engineers. We think that differentiates Moven, particularly how our technology gets adapted to different markets around the world. What we did in Canada with TD a few years ago is very different from the US market. So, too, Indonesia and Russia.

Selling into the banking industry

We didn’t get into the enterprise business deliberately by starting as a banking as a service business. We started in the US as a direct to consumer business and the technology was largely purpose built for our needs in the US.

Over the past several years, we’ve invested heavily in the technology so we could address the various delivery models out there. We can easily deliver a solution to a partner that wants to entirely white label our solution. On the other extreme, we’ve compartmentalized all the components of our mobile application, turned them into SDKs and offer APIs behind them, so we can enrich large institutions’ mobile apps — already downloaded and in the hands of their customers — without the need for a full rebuild. That’s enabled us to come in more nimbly, cost-effectively, and less disruptive.

Evolving the company to B2B

It comes with capital. We raised our Series C round about 18 months ago with SBI Holdings out of Japan. That provided us the much-needed capital to mature our global distribution business around enterprise. We recruited a chief revenue officer and a chief platform officer for our enterprise business. Now we cover most parts of the globe either with our own salesforce in place or through value added resellers.

Competition in the market

Competition is out there — Tink, Backbase, and Meniga are all involved actively in delivering personal digitization around mobile to banks internationally. This growing competition suggests that we’re crossing the tipping point where you’ll see large banks make tremendous movements forward.

How Moven differentiates itself

Our differentiation comes from our existing clients and the results we’ve been able to deliver. TD MySpend in Canada has two million customers and that’s Moven driving that solution. We see the tangible results — savings rates for the TD MySpend cohort are up five and a half to six percent per annum versus the non-TD MySpend cohort. The attrition rate is one-fifth. Those are the results that help us differentiate in the marketplace.

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