The Dutchman Hidde Koning and his Italian partner Federico Spiezia have a start-up that should take away the financial hassles for young families.
What is Bittiq?
Bittiq is an app that provides financial support. Bittiq users link their bank account and then the app shows the user how they spend their money each month. The app also provides insight into the amount left until the next salary, and the amount you have to save if you want to buy that beautiful house in five years time. The makers hope to take your money worries off your hands.
The Bittiq app can be downloaded for free from the app store. The free app is designed so that it can improve the product. Koning: “we meet with app users every week to ask what’s going on in their financial life.” They are self-learning that way and this helps to improve the app even more.
Now that the app has been optimized, Koning and Spiezia are in talks with banks and insurers. They want to sell their app as a white-label product to them. “Banks and insurers want to offer a broad range of financial services. Nowadays, the insurer and the customer often only have contact if the customer has crashed their car. But the insurer wants to know how they can be of even better service to the customer. That’s why they want to offer their customers a service like Bittiq”.
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What motivates you?
Hidde Koning wanted to start a start-up in financial services. Initially he had a completely different idea: to develop a service that would help millennials invest their money. He was looking for a partner for that, and so he posted a request. “Federico replied and there was an immediate click,” says Koning.
When the two field studies started, it turned out that the financial concerns of millennials were not at all about whether or not they should be making investments. Families with young children wanted insight into their financial affairs but found this very difficult and time-consuming. That’s how the idea for Bittiq came about.
What makes Bittiq different from the competition??
According to Koning, Bittiq knows what is going on in the mind of the end user. Koning: “The difference with the competition is that we are client-centered and not just concerned with the technology.” So far, Bittiq is the only company in the Netherlands with this proposal.
What difficulties did you have to deal with along the way?
The biggest hurdle in the way was the EU law P2D2. This law makes it possible to share your bank details with a third party. For Bittiq, this law is crucial. That law just took a while to pass. “As a start-up with limited resources, you do not want to face any delays,” says King.
What are you proud of?
Koning and Spiezia have already sold their white-label app to one Dutch insurer. They’re proud of that. In addition, they can look back with satisfaction on the first years of their start-up. Koning says that the versatility in what they are doing makes him happy: “It is the most wonderful challenge I have been able to accept. You’re head of marketing, head of production, head of sales, head of everything. That’s incredibly educational.”
How does Bittiq view the coming years?
Bittiq aims to attract even more Dutch banks and insurers over the coming year. They’re confident they can do that. At the end of the day they want to roll out their idea in Europe as well. This is scheduled to take place over the next five years.
And the ultimate goal?
“Resolve all money worries,” says Koning. “If you can help people achieve their financial life goals faster and more effectively, it seems to me that we have done things rather well.”
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