Meet the First Foundry Cohort: Introducing Yimba
Powered by FinTech Wales, the Foundry is a unique, not for profit accelerator programme designed to scale the next generation of digital ventures in Wales. This week, as part of a series of interviews chronicling the founders within the Foundry’s first cohort, we had the opportunity to speak with Robert Dowd, CEO of Yimba.
What is the Yimba story?
Yimba was started by three execs; one from banking, one from loyalty, one from online financial services. Our goal was to improve the customer experience of digital banking services focusing on enhancing mobile banking solutions and digital wallets. Unlike open banking, we have developed a multimedia and marketing solution that focuses on connecting consumers to their world using content and brand engagement rather than financial tools.
Our vision is to deliver Personalised and Aggregated services to bank customers making their shopping experience and engagement with the world, more personalised, relevant, and seamless.
Yimba makes digital wallets better by providing useful and engaging ‘add-ons’. These additional services are either developed by Yimba or delivered by Yimba via our partners using our connections into the payment ecosystem.
While our core technology leverages our connections to banks, the networks and to digital wallets, it’s the unique insights we derive from consumers using our platform that is of keen interest to bank partners and to organisations looking to target bank customers. Our suite of analytics combined with payment data from our partners builds a unique profile of consumers that allows banks to deliver more personalised banking services as well as drive more transactions from customers through more accurate marketing of retail offers.
What’s wrong with our existing wallets?
Digital wallets focus on convenience, safety, and acceptance. While these are important components of the proposition, they are not characteristics that are compelling to consumers. Additionally, most, if not all Payment Wallets are a major cost to Banks with no means of off-setting the expense. And, the proposition itself is ‘broken’ from a consumer perspective; in most cases, the card in the wallet does not look like the physical card or plastic.
With a smart phone in everyone’s hand and the platform relatively unused from a marketing perspective, Yimba believes there is an opportunity to fix these problems. We have taken cues from the growth of mobile based payments in Asia Pacific (Alipay) as well as create propositions leveraged from what already works in the West (Co-brand Marketing) to create compelling propositions for consumers and a more useful and profitable platform for banks.
The payment landscape has radically transformed in the past decade. What are your predictions for the next decade?
Digital payment methods will become the dominant way to pay worldwide as they can offer so much more than traditional methods, like plastic or cash.
Customer experience will be everything. Digital experiences delivered by companies like Uber, Amazon, and Apple are setting expectations for consumers and corporate users alike.
Payment providers that don’t deliver world-class, end-to-end customer experiences will lose customers to those providers that do. Data insights are the next frontier for digital payments and this will be key to ensure the best customer experience.
The convergence of social media and payments services will expand in the western markets and follow the trend we have already seen in emerging markets like China. This will create new opportunities for payment providers and their customers – for example, for merchants to engage with individual consumers at scale through such networks.
Most global citizens will have a form of digital identity, increasingly using biometrics like facial recognition, fingerprints, and implants, making payment services far more accessible for those struggling with financial exclusion.
Why did you choose to scale Yimba in Wales?
Being based in Wales it was a natural decision for us to pursue organisations within our community for the growth of our company. However, unlike many other areas of the UK, we feel a genuine sense of support within Wales. From the Development Bank of Wales, who have made a strategic investment in the company, to Fintech Wales for their support in expanding our network of partners and commercial opportunities to the Welsh Foundry who have been instrumental in helping us to shape and refine our proposition as well as accelerate the businesses growth, the support has been tremendous.
We look forward to continuing to work with Welsh organisations as we expand our team and engage with Banks across the UK, Europe and United States.
What does the next 12 months look like for Yimba?
What advice do you have for other FinTech founders?
The most important thing to focus on is the quality of your team but perseverance and positivity is also key. Does the team buy into your product, culture, and business model? Surround yourself with fantastic, positive people. This includes your investors. A supportive investor can be the difference between success and failure, so when making deals, make sure you have the right type of investor for the stage of your company. Creating a Fintech from scratch is challenging and you will need good people to help get you to your key milestones.
Find Out More
You can find out more about Yimba by following the links below to their website or socials: