Executive Spotlight Series with Richard Steggall from Urban FT

by PaymentsJournal 0

 Urban FT describes its product as a “lifestyle banking application” — what does that mean?

  

 The term “lifestyle banking” highlights our commitment to deliver an exceptionally compelling user experience that not only exceeds what consumers expect from even the largest banks, but also provides features that relate to their daily activities—like how and where to spend money, and ways to save money. We recognize that consumers don’t want to do their banking; they have to do their banking. The lifestyle aspect is a bridge between what consumers must do and what they like to do.

 

 Who are the ideal end users of this product? Who are the clients that might want to offer it — is it 

 just financial institutions or are there others?

 

 Just to be clear, Urban FT is a B2B business, so our clients are financial institutions and others, like co-branded card programs, that need to or could benefit from providing digital banking to their customers or members. Our clients can be financial services businesses of any size, although it’s clear that our sweet spot is regional and community banks, and credit unions—of which we currently support 75. In terms of the end user, it’s any consumer who’s an accountholder at these organizations. Mobile banking adoption, at this point, defies demographics—everyone wants it and everyone uses it. The differentiator is some segments need more education and incentives than others.

 

 Our clients’ customers and members will benefit from the amazing UX we deliver; while customers of large banks will be stuck with the less imaginative and less agile mobile banking programs that those big banks develop in house. Let’s face it, big banks are a vacuum with one end pointing down and the other end pointing up to a management team that has blinders on, limiting their ability to focus on anything that doesn’t strictly align with the bank’s philosophy—and that generally doesn’t include being innovative in approaching payments.

 

 Who are the clients that might want to offer your app — is it just financial institutions or are there others? 

 

 To be sure, our target market is primarily regional and community financial institutions—including our current 75 credit unions. But, it also extends to other providers of transactional banking services, which encompasses some national brands where alternative banking products are complementary adjuncts to their core businesses. An example is a major telco brand—Sprint, for example. Sprint uses our platform to power its digital wallet, called Sprint Money Express. We believe there’s a tremendous opportunity to serve consumers through the non-financial institution market.

 

 4. Where does the Urban FT App fit into the landscape of financial services? Is it an account replacement, a new form of financial services, a mobile wallet competitor to Apple Pay and Android Pay?

 

 Urban FT provides a standout mobile banking app that exceeds the expectations of any banking client. Period. We’re not interested in being part of the payments wallet landscape, and we clearly don’t compete with any of the “Pays.”