A conversation with Daniel Döderlein, CEO at Auka
Daniel is an award-winning serial entrepreneur with a background from several IT and Telecom startups. He founded one of Norway’s first domain and web hosting companies at the age of 17. A regular on the speaking circuit, Daniel has recently been invited to speak about upcoming banking disruption and mobile payments at Google Next in Europe, Paris fintech forum, Viva Tech and London Fintech Week.
BRW: What sets Auka apart from other fintechs?
Generally we see a lot of fintechs applying “makeup” to their existing solutions. Some are successful, most are not. I believe that relates to a lack of problem solving. You have to find a problem and create a good solution backed by stellar execution. We defined our problem with the mobile payment solution we created. Enabling people and businesses to pay and get paid with ease, without any need for hardware. Digitising money and making it universally available and useful is our mission. The results so far speaks for themselves. We have served millions, empowered thousands of businesses, delivered financial results to the extent that we have paid out dividend to our shareholders. We have won multiple awards and have obtained and retained our own license since 2012. Our technology has been licensed by more than 100 financial institutions. I think that sets us apart from most fintechs
BRW: What are the advantages/disadvantages being a Norwegian fintech selling technology to banks in other regions?
Norway and the Nordics are stable, trustworthy and transparent countries. That resonates with our values and ways of business. I think this gives us an advantage as many companies out there over sell their solutions and abilities, while we focus on selling what we have proven already. Norwegians are known for being honest, straightforward and to the point. I hope and feel that our current and future customers value that. This attitude saves them time, getting to the important points faster. The Nordics also have a good list of successful companies – including many unicorns in the technology – and financial services sector. As a small region with a higher success rate than many other regions on average, we benefit from high quality attention and conversations from the get go.
BRW: Most banks accept that third parties will provide banking services to consumers. Accepting that, what are the three main challenges facing banks?
1. Someone else will become the primary interface that customers use to deal with their financial services.
2. Someone else will know more about the customer, making it harder for the bank to see the whole picture vs. what the third parties may be able to.
3. With more players in the market, there will be more choice for the customer to choose from. This means banks must innovate and compete on product diversification vs. the commodity service sales they have mastered. This requires a fundamental shift in mindset and culture, and that takes time
BRW: You are known to be more than willing to predict the future in banking. How can you be sure that Auka have the solutions to help bank prosper in the future?
Predicting the future for mobile payments is not that hard. In fact we are not predicting it, we have built it and proven it already. What we are saying is that what has already happened in the most mature markets will eventually happen everywhere. So we lean on facts, giving potential customers a glimpse of their own future based on what has happened elsewhere. Learning from this we have figured out that the best way to predict the future is to create it. We have done that once, and will continue to do it for the next generation of services, also for what’s next, after mobile payments.
BRW: Why do you believe banks are best positioned to keep dominating financial services?
Again because its been proven in the Nordics. In China the banks could have done their own AliPay, but they did not. So Alipay did it. Now that has become the downfall for the Chinese banks, at least in terms of payments and commerce enablement. So if the banks do what has been done before, but fast, they can win the attention of the customers. This is the first frontier but they need to act fast.
BRW: There’s loads of webinars every month on this subject. Why should bankers listen in on this one?
We are sharing facts and experiences from the most successful markets. These are not predictiona but valuable insights from the movers and shakers who have already transformed the most modern markets on the face of the planet. Also we have a great panel, that should make this not only useful, but also funny, dynamic and interesting.
Join Daniel Döderlein on 14th June for a webinar entitled ‘Profiting From Mobile Payments: How Do Banks Make Money From Mobile Wallets?’ at 3PM London/10AM New York