• Dec. 9, 2016, 7:32 am

Mambu fills service gap to cater to the unbanked

Mambu's Eugene Danilkis

Mambu’s Eugene Danilkis

Fin-tech startups built to disrupt tend to focus on the areas where they can clearly differentiate themselves. To adddress the other ones, they turn to Mambu.

Mambu provides banking technology via the cloud that can be customized to unique client needs. Over the past four years they have worked with more than 100 clients in 30 countries.

Mambu’s Eugene Danilkis explained financial institutions engage with their clients at three different points. The first is via their website, which clients may access via mobile technology or even through their social media pages. The second is during the approvals process while the bank conducts its Know Your Customer procedure. The third is relationship maintenance through the acceptance of payments and the provision of additional products.

Banks struggle with the first and third points so Mambu ties them together, Mr. Danilkis said. This was a conscious decision dating back to 2009 when Mambu’s founders began researching how to employ technology to assist the unbanked. They began meeting with banks, micro-finance organizations and traditional technology vendors to learn how such services were delivered.

mambuMambu discovered a service gap. Legacy banking technology was too expensive and slow to do what was needed to meet the needs of the missing middle.

“It is challenging for banks to adapt to the needs of the unbanked,” Mr. Danilkis said. “Their existing technology is old and it is hard to improve things on top of it.”

Startup founders have seized upon client acquisition and maintenance as the two areas prime for disruption, Mr. Danilkis said. The middle third does not differentiate, so Mambu concentrates on that part, leaving the disruption for the entrepreneurs.

That middle area involved plenty of unseen work so everything comes together when people access a banking platform. Customers want one simple banking experience,whether it be online or via mobile, and tying the different aspects of the banking experience together is hard, especially when the expected standard includes providing real time information.

Cloud technology helps the process in many ways, Mr. Danilikis said. It is cost effective, secure and scaleable which is especially important because only the richest financial institutions can afford to build those processes out entirely on their own. That provides them with the ability to onboard more customers.

Mambu also has an incentive to provide quality ongoing service, Mr. Danilkis said. They operate under a subscription-based pricing model. This reduces the client’s financial risk and fosters a closer vendor/client relationship, highlighted by a visible roadmap support team and no fees for hardware services.

“There is a different alignment of incentive,” Mr. Danilkis said. “End-to-end relationship management is an important part of being a SaaS (software as a service) provider.”

The totality of the vendor/client relationship involves a high degree of trust, which is easier to develop in some countries than it is in others, Mr. Danilkis said. The United States is at the forefront, followed by Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Some cultures which have experienced authoritarian rule are slower to accept the SaaS model, Mr. Danilkis said, with some areas of Eastern Europe being prime examples.

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