Many people bank online these days, but most banking apps and websites are pretty generic. They let you do the basics like see your account balances, make deposits, and transfer money, but personalized solutions and services are mostly absent. Parker Graham joins Startup Savant to talk about his startup Finotta, which can help banks turn their mobile apps into true “digital branches” that can meet customers’ individualized needs.
- Startup Savant is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
- Parker Graham joins Startup Savant to talk about his startup Finotta.
- Finotta is a banking technology company that’s bringing personalization into banking for the first time.
Room for Improvement With Banking Mobile Apps
There’s no doubt that mobile banking apps and websites have changed how we bank – many would say for the better. It’s a whole lot easier to transfer money or deposit a check from the comfort of your own home than driving to a physical branch of your bank and standing in line.
However, Parker has noticed that when it comes to banking apps, there’s a lot of room for improvement. “So right now, banks have done an incredible job,” he said during his interview on Startup Savants. “I’m sure we all have a memory of a banker or a bank scenario where you’ve got some nostalgia baked in. Maybe it’s the bank that you grew up next to, the one down the street … I remember opening up my first accounts there, and, really, that’s where the experience for me stopped. I’m in that millennial grouping, where I do everything digitally, and Gen Zers, the group below me, they’re even more digitally native than I even am.”
That said, banks haven’t quite figured out how to develop relationships with customers electronically through mobile apps. That means customer service on an app can leave a lot to be desired. “What’s been really difficult for banks and credit unions … is making that transition from the physical branch customer relationship to the digital branch customer relationship,” he said.
From Mobile App to ‘Digital Branch’
Parker was inspired to start Finotta to help banks make this transition. “We really look at the phone – the mobile app specifically – as the digital branch for the bank,” he said. “Our goal as a company is to help [banks] figure out how to personalize solutions and services for customers in that digital branch just as well as they are doing in the personal relationships they build in the actual physical branch.”
To accomplish this, Finotta offers a platform that helps a bank offer personalized services, much like a social media platform that offers personalized content.
“For the first time ever, we’ve really brought that same [social media] methodology into banking, where a bank’s mobile app with our technology can actually bring you products and services that … you need at certain points in your financial journey,” Parker said. “Maybe you’re trying to pay off debt or build wealth and really don’t know how to actually do those things efficiently. Our technology helps a bank actually tell you exactly what to do in those instances.”
He explained that the company’s platform is embedded into a bank’s mobile app or website. “It’s basically a button that sits on the home screen,” he said. “Once the user clicks on that button, our experience gets jettisoned and brought into view. It’s white labeled so the user doesn’t really see a difference or a change, but ultimately, it does a lot of radically different stuff than what somebody’s used to in a banking application.”
For example, Finotta can identify products and services that a customer might need from the bank or a third party, such as a student loan. “Student loans are a huge problem, and we’re an easy way for a bank to provide you a student loan refi and also help monetize the bank in a new radical way,” Parker said. “So the experience has a badge system [and] a financial health leveling system. So we’re trying to make that difference in the world right now.”
The Startup Savant Podcast
The Startup Savant podcast is a business podcast created by The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC). Listeners can hear the stories behind startups, as told by their founders, that are in the midst of growing their companies.
Ethan, an entrepreneur, hosts the Startup Savant podcast, bringing disparate skills and life experiences to each interview, and providing listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem.
Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds, making their startup idea a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savant podcast.
Graham Parker joins Startup Savant to discuss founding his startup Finotta. He talks about what inspired the idea for the startup, how things have gone along the way and the company’s plans for the future.
You can find the Startup Savant podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.