Interview with Darren Hughes (director of CASHOFF Europe)

In this video we are talking with Darren Hughes, director of CASHOFF Europe, who is responsible for business development in the UK. CASHOFF is a global company that develops a white-label service for improving the usability of banking applications.

Topics of the conversation: 

  • How did COVID-19 affected CASHOFF?
  • How to research new markets?
  • Current services on which CASHOFF is focused (data analytics and cashback)
  • Brand-funded cashback as a way to increase loyalty
  • Personalizing the relationship with the user
  • Where to collect data except OpenAPI?
  • About trends on superapps
  • When will we see widespread payment using QR codes?
  • About Darren’s experience
  • Why is openAPI beneficial for banks?
  • Why should banks partner with external startups?
  • Why are the solutions of various banks different from each other?
  • Transforming of banking services for the business segment  
  • Traditional guest tip

Key insights:

  • Difficult times can be passed by different ways. CASHOFF, for example, actively researches new markets, competitors, existing solutions in order to understand their situation, especially before entering new regions.
  • During such researches it is important to look at the available functionality and try to answer the question – how to take it to the next level, because loyalty to the bank directly depends on the number of features in the applications. 
  • During the pandemic, it is important to pay special attention to current clients so that everything works smoothly and everyone is satisfied by the partnership. It is also important to pay special attention to potential clients, to speak to them in the same language (thanks to research), to have a full understanding of what they are doing and what they need.
  • An interesting marketing for brands is to finance the cashback to users without linking to a particular store. For the user, this gives flexibility, which increases engagement in the product. CASHOFF offers this option for grocery stores and supermarkets, because shopping there is done frequently and the volume of transactions is quite high, unlike, for example, the purchase of shoes.
  • Open-API in Europe allowed CASHOFF to implement the aggregation of account data, expenses, loyalty programs, electronic wallets, loans within one application, which is certainly a convenient way to monitor finances for users. 
  • For the bank, whose application displays such data, it means increased loyalty and engagement, as well the availability of additional data for user analysis. Also, if the bank knows about savings or loans, it can make another offer. 
  • Personalized relationships with users today are extremely important and this trend is only going to develop in the future. Today, personalised offers, even in the UK, are still not at a high standard. For example, Darren has been receiving the same offer of credit from his bank (within the application) for about 2 years already. 
  • According to research in Europe, 74% of customers would give more personal data to companies they trust in exchange for discounts on products they are interested in. In fact, clients say – “Get to know us better, talk to me personally. Do not send me mass spam offers, make them relevant and I will buy from you and trust you”. 
  • Predicting user behavior with the help of Data Science and ML provides an opportunity not only to remind about the importance of buying certain products, but also to offer related products.
  • Mass adoption of superapps in different countries is highly dependent on the mentality of the population. Just like cash or payment with smartphones – different regions have varying opinions about these options.
  • Turkey, Australia and Brazil are also implementing openAPI to boost technology and competition, while providing users with a better service. 
  • External startups, with secure access to bank data, can offer and implement solutions much faster than internal bank resources. Those banks that do not adapt to current realities can be pulled down by outdated software.
  • Profit margins of traditional banking services are constantly decreasing, and competition (including FinTech startups) is growing. Therefore, in the next 2-3 years there will be more and more additional functionality within applications, which will allow banks to earn revenue. This is a question of life and death for all banks without exception.  
  • Since each bank is different, FinTech startups must be ready for possible modifications of their product, depending on the needs of target audience. 
  • Banking services for the business segment are also changing. Many market players have not had significant innovations for more than 10-15 years. Trends will be similar to b2c products such as data analytics, aggregation of data from different sources in one place, detailed revenue and expense analytics, etc.
  • Traditional guest advice: Do not rely on one marketing channel only. Darren had this mistake and when that channel started having problems, they lost 90% of the new leads in one night. It is always necessary to diversify channels, even though others may cost more. The more channels you use, the better. For example, many companies that relied only on exhibitions lost their sales during the pandemic. 

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