Former Finastra chief digital officer joins fintech startup W.UP

Former Finastra chief digital officer joins fintech startupW.UP

European financial software developer W.UP has announced today that Balázs Vinnai is joining the company as investor and president, effective from 15 September 2018. His main focus will be helping international banks become champions in digital sales and get ahead of digital-native rivals.

Prior to joining W.UP, Balázs Vinnai served as chief digital officer of Finastra, the world’s third largest financial technology company.

As vice president, he was in charge of delivering innovative and engaging digital banking solutions.

W.UP is the go-to digital sales company for banks in Europe and beyond. Since its foundation in November 2014 in Budapest, the company has seen exponential growth. The fintech startup generated a revenue of close to 7 million Euros in 2017, thanks to its innovative solutions that help banks enhance user experience with highly personalised, meaningful interactions and take digital sales to a new level. Its digital sales and engagement software, Sales.UP, won “Best of Show” Award at this year’s FinovateEurope, the largest showcase of the best fintech solutions on the continent.

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The new president will devote his time to engaging closely with customers across Europe and the Middle East. As an investor, he will also provide further resources for ramping up product development.

In the front line of the digital world war

Today, the question is not whether the financial sector needs to go digital but who will sell more products and services in the digital space. As shown by McKinsey, origination and sales generate 65% of global banking profits, totalling about $1,152 billion in 2016. These profit drivers are threatened by increased competition from digital-only challenger banks and big technology firms like Amazon and Google. Banks will have to take urgent action to keep their profitability and get ahead in the digital sales game. Otherwise they will become mere commodity providers with very thin margins within a few years.

“Time is ticking away for banks. I’ve seen hundreds of digital transformation attempts and most banks are struggling to get real results. It’s quite clear what makes or breaks these projects. First and foremost, understanding customers and their needs is still not their main focus. By now, most CEOs are well aware that they have to digitise their offerings and business models if they want to stay competitive. But if their middle management isn’t on board, the entire organisation gets stuck. And those banks who do decide to embark on this journey spend millions at big-name suppliers on slow and complex projects just to work around their legacy systems and avoid risks. Rather than look for new solutions that would make a real difference on the customer engagement side,” Balázs Vinnai explained.

He added: “My role will be to give banks the exact support they need to avoid these traps along their journey to digital transformation, and W.UP is the perfect fintech solution provider to make this process a success. Creating relevant and personalised banking experiences instead of blatantly pushing products is the only way to achieve real growth in digital sales. W.UP provides easy-to-implement solutions for banks to create such experiences for their customers and, compared to big IT vendors, they also have the flexibility to translate strategy into fast execution and success.“

20 years of fintech experience

Vinnai (41) has a law degree, and was co-founder and CEO of IND Group that became the leading developer and provider of digital banking solutions in Europe and the Middle East. After 16 successful years of growth and expansion, IND Group was acquired in 2014 by international financial software provider Misys, where Vinnai became vice president responsible for digital channels. Before joining W.UP, he had served as chief digital officer and vice president of Misys successor Finastra. He is also the co-founder of Codecool, the leading coding school in the Central and Eastern European region.

“With 20 years of entrepreneurial, management and fintech experience, Balázs Vinnai knows the industry inside out, and has an incredible ability to inspire, energise and connect with customers, partners and thought leaders across continents. He knows exactly what brings real value to financial institutions in the digital arena, and I’m sure his knowledge and relations will help us succeed,” Béla Bodnár, founder-CEO of W.UP, said.

For photos and more information on Balázs Vinnai, click here. You can watch and embed our latest video interview with him on how banks can keep up with new competition here.