Founded from the ashes of the 2008 global financial crisis, Meniga took inspiration from popular physical fitness and leading social media apps to offer solutions that help people lead healthier financial lives.
What is Meniga – what problem are you solving?
We are a diverse team of coders, developers and data scientists who provide banks with white label solutions for digital banking and rewards. This enables banks to create delightful user experiences through the clever use of data. Specifically, we focus on transaction data. Transactions tell the story of people’s financial lives. Transactions are the heart of business and transactions are for banks what songs are for Spotify and shows are for Netflix. We empower people to lead better financial lives. We partner with banks to help them drive customer engagement and enable them to create new data-driven business models leveraging our white label solution. Finally, we deliver a highly effective marketing platform to businesses which gives them valuable customer insights and the ability to run highly targeted marketing campaigns.
Co-founder Viggó Ásgeirsson describes Meniga as a ‘child of the financial crises’ – How does that shape a company?
The company was founded in 2009 in Iceland when the financial crisis was at its worst. The lessons learned during the crisis have been invaluable for us, with the most important being our core mission which is to help people to lead better financial lives. There was a real need for people to take charge of their finances and our founders stepped up and enabled them to do this through the Meniga solution. The experience of being born during the financial crisis has also kept us grounded as the company has been growing. Additionally, many of the very talented people that lost their jobs in the crisis joined the Meniga team.
Meniga has sought inspiration from fitness apps such as Fitbit and Strava - what benefits does that bring to a financial application?
Being inspired by fitness apps, and also by leading social media apps, while having the ambition to improve upon them, keeps us at the top of our game when it comes to delivering the best possible banking solutions and apps.
There are many parallels that can be drawn between physical health or fitness and financial health. It is tough to develop the habits required for meaningful change in both cases, but with the right motivation & information delivered at the right time and the constant encouragement to do better.
Open Banking has had a difficult birth in financial services – who will, eventually, emerge as the real beneficiaries of Open Banking?
As Amara’s law states, we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate its effect in the long run. Open banking has the potential to transform the banking sector, as banks that discover and implement permission-based and data-driven business models will benefit greatly from open banking. This will enable banks to gain a 360° view of their customers and engage with them in a more personalised way than before. However, they will face stiff competition from challenger banks and tech giants which are leveraging customer data in innovative ways. The ultimate beneficiaries will be banking customers, who will find it easier to compare banking products and services and be able to access a holistic overview of their finances. To us the most important part of open banking is providing people with innovative and value adding use cases of open banking, something many companies are failing to do.
What advice would you give new startups in this space?
To have a strong vision of what value they want to deliver to their customers. Strive relentlessly to achieve and communicate such vision. Finally, remember that instant success takes many years of hard work!
We have an array of craft beers and independent music at FinTECHTalents – Give us a great song to listen to AND tell us your favourite tipple.
Hard to choose but let’s say Little Talks by the wonderful Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men and Punk IPA from Brewdog!
Meniga will be presenting as part of FinTech Stories at FinTECHTalents this November.