Interview | Jeremiah Rosselli, CEO of N26: “Reinventing the banking experience in the face of traditional players who are struggling to evolve”. N26 is a growing neo bank that just raised $ 900 million. Jeremiah Rosselli, who has held the position of Managing Director of N26 for France and Benelux for five years, has agreed to present the project and its future development prospects.
Can you briefly introduce N26 to me?
Jérémie Rosselli: For the record, the company was originally called Papayer, a payment card that parents could offer their children. But it turned out that parents preferred to keep the card and use the functions for themselves.
Today, N26 is a neobank accessible online and via mobile. We have been able to develop our knowledge of the payment industry; noting, moreover, that the clientele there is fragmented. To this day, there are still opportunities to be seized and many needs to be met.
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The way is simple: we have to rely on both new technologies and the strength of our ecosystem. It is thanks to these strengths that we can reinvent the banking experience in the face of traditional players who are struggling to evolve.
We bring – in real-time – more transparency, agility, and autonomy. This is a must in a world where everything is done with your smartphone and via applications: opening a bank account now takes the same time as buying a plane ticket or making a medical appointment on Doctolib.
How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
J. R .: We set ourselves apart from the competition in our effort for transparency and our way of doing banking and finance. Our means of communication and our mobile application are used to do this pedagogy to restore autonomy and leeway to our customers. This transparency also involves the ease of use of our product, with no obligation and no hidden costs.
We also have a telephone customer service available from 7 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week. This is important for us because too often, a bank advisor calls to sell a product but it is never available in return. to answer customer questions.
Traditional banks seem to suffer from inertia, but many of them now have several digital services and offers …
J. R .: It is true that these banks have all vaguely developed their digital subsidiary. In reality, this is more of an epiphenomenon because inertia is always felt. Surely because they do not wish to cannibalize all their historical clientele.
As a tech firm that makes banking, there are three key challenges for us: first to have our banking license to operate like any bank and above all to ensure its profitability without depending on a third party, then to quickly achieve a critical size necessary to last and finally use the full potential of a tech company to do better and faster than the competition.
Our approach starts with the customer, then we think about who will be the best partners. But once again, the inertia of the big players remains a drag. When we looked for our partner to offer consumer credit in our offers in France, we consulted widely. It took at least six weeks before the traditional players gave us an appointment when in 1 month we had finalized our partnership with Younited Credit, which has been supporting us for 4 years now on this product.
What are your development prospects?
J. R .: N26 is positioning itself as a full-fledged bank that is becoming a key player in the sector. As an approved bank, we have exceeded two and a half million customers in France. When we arrived in France in 2017, we had just under a hundred new customers per day and we now have 2,000 per day. We are present in 24 countries around the world and the next goal is to set up in Brazil.
We raised $ 900 million last month from our current investors and new US funds. Our valuation reaches 9 billion dollars and allows us to become the second-largest bank in Germany after Commerzbank.
How to ensure the consistency of your activity between the different countries in which you are present?
J. R .: It is true that customer expectations are not the same depending on the country in which we are located; regulations either. The challenge is to define how our innovation potential can benefit as many people as possible and how to optimize our resources to continue to innovate.