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Travis Ledwith started the 'bank of the future' whilst still at LBS. Find out what he learned.

My business partner and I met during our MBA studies and quickly discovered a shared interest in using the latest digital tools to help people manage their finances. As our discussions continued—in and out of the classroom—we thought about what the “bank of the future” would offer and the role it could play in the lives of customers.

Before long, we were using what we learned in class to start a new retail bank in Europe. There, poor customer satisfaction and a lack of innovation had left an opening for smaller, more agile financial institutions. What began as an academic exercise became real in 2013, when we decided to leave the corporate world and focus on building our company, FLIP, while finishing our coursework. Here are some of the lessons we learned along the way.

Assume Nothing
An MBA helps sharpen your ability to spot opportunities, but having a great idea is just the beginning. To prove our business case, we went to Entrepreneurship Summer School. The program paired us with a mentor who encouraged the use of market research to test our idea.

What we discovered was reassuring. While nearly 80 percent of people regularly use digital banking tools, the majority visit a physical branch only a few times a year. This behavior encouraged us to build a bank for today’s mobile consumers with such features as an app that lets customers upload checks without physically depositing them (commonplace in the U.S. but largely unavailable in Europe), and software that will use past behavior to predict if you’ll run short in your account.

Written by Travis Ledwith (EMBAGA2014). To read the full article, click here


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