In this interview, we talk to Leitha Matz (https://www.linkedin.com/in/leithamatz/), Co-Founder and COO of the personal finance app Zuper (https://www.getzuper.com/). Zuper is headquartered in Munich but launched already in Germany and Austria. They are looking to expand in the European Union. They are in the process of getting an EU Banking License and looking for partners to cooperate like robo-advisors, insurtech, and other finance-related apps. If you want to be a partner, reach out here (https://www.getzuper.com/imprint).
We recorded the interview at LendIT Europe 2018 in November.
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Announcer: Welcome to startuprad.io your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene with news, interviews and live events
Joe: Hello and welcome everybody this is Joe from startup podcast and YouTube blog from Germany. I do you have another guest here with me it’s Leitha, right?
Leitha: Leitha or Leitha as you like
Joe: You are from a company called Super
Leitha: Super, yeah
Joe: It’s like super with a Z
Leitha: Yes indeed and so we named it this because obviously, it makes sense to the German market where we launched but it can also be said internationally I think.
Joe: Yeah that’s a great idea you are from the German market and you’re headquartered in beautiful Munich.
Leitha: We are, we’ve headquartered Munich the product we launched in Germany and then we rolled out to Austria we’re looking to go across the European Union in the next few years
Joe: You need any additional licensing for that?
Leitha: Yeah actually we are currently looking to get a specialized license so that would be an EU banking license so that covers us for a lot of aspects of for example PSD2 legislation. And it makes it ensures that we have the trust of people when they come into our system as well so that’s also important.
Joe: And we already talked about your banking license but what does your startup actually do?
Leitha: So what we do is financial coaching and the reason that we started doing this is that we see that that finance is becoming compartmentalized in a number of different environments as we move forward, so if you think about where’s your money right now is it in one bank? It’s probably not, it’s probably in PayPal, it could be in Apple pay your money could be in a variety of banks. Here in Germany well actually we’re here in London but in Germany people have about two to three bank accounts, they have about three payment cards and really nobody has time to log into that many apps to figure out what their financial wealth is…
Joe: And usually you do have an online broker to keep your security for your client?
Leitha: Oh certainly, yeah so it gets really difficult…
Joe: [Crosstalk 00:02:25] Advisors so it gets split more and more
Leitha: And people feel kind of out of control, they don’t feel like they really understand what’s going on
Joe: Mm-hmm and you’re helping with that?
Leitha: Yeah and so that that is our idea is that you need a place to understand what’s happening in your accounts, you need the right nudge in the right direction every now and then and you need a look at, what is my financial health and so we offer a financial health score and that’s a little bit like in the United States you get your credit score from Experian or you get the credit score that shows you kind of where you are and you have some insight into what you need to do to improve that score. In Germany it’s a very black box, you have Schufa but Schufa isn’t really giving you any information on how to improve your score over time.
Joe: It’s only you can have like they send you your own data
Leitha: You can see like if there are errors in your recording of data but there’s no advice on you know you could actually improve this if you had savings account if you were making regular payments so we are giving transparency to those aspects of the system.
Joe: I see and you’re a standalone app or you’re working with banks other companies?
Leitha: Currently were a standalone app the idea that we have though is that we can be so much more powerful with partnerships so the banking license that we’re getting is a specialized license and that means that we will be doing small loans like up to the size of a car perhaps and we will be doing deposits for savings accounts. Beyond that there is so much more to people’s financial lives and that includes insurance and that includes investment so because we have people’s financial past, we can learn what the correct next step in their path is. It’s not so difficult to figure that out we don’t even need AI for that part but we have these triggers that say oh it’s really its time for you to move into investment, you have too much cash and at that point we have the call to action, so we’re going to need partnership in our system to make sure that that call to action can be answered.
Joe: like for example Robot advisors?
Leitha: Yeah exactly, so we are now creating partnerships for functionality in insurance, if you’re paying too much for your insurance there’s a great opportunity to switch it. There is an opportunity for us to see what you’re doing with your energy costs and to save money on switching your energy and then certainly within insurance, I mentioned insurance and then investment. So, when we create a partnership we can kind of seamlessly move users into that path, once we identify that it’s the right thing for them.
Joe: And basically, you’re their gateway to their finances?
Joe: We’re being split between like multiple different providers insurance companies right and you’re looking for the classical players out there to work with like banks, an insurance company, asset managers?
Leitha: We’re not going to be doing the larger loans like mortgage, I mean people are going to need mortgage loans so we’re going to be using partnership for that because we’ll be able to identify in partnership with the user what their goals and dreams are, if they want to say for a house that’s something that we want to make possible but our system is going to be too small to actually fulfill that. So those are where the partnerships that we’re creating in the future we have those calls to action we just need to connect the right systems at the end.
Joe: Great everything else anybody would know you can go down here in the show notes, there’ll be your LinkedIn profile as well as the company website of Zuper
Joe: Thank you very much
Leitha: Thank you this has been wonderful
Joe: Yeah my pleasure
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