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Neobanks and the next step: P.F.C. 06 September 2021

Kevin Albrecht, Co-Founder and CEO at P.F.C. in Sweden, talks about the bank being a product company at heart. 
The demographics of neobank users are often surprising; it is not only young people who are signing up, but also older age brackets. What is the standard profile of your target customer? What has been key to your customer acquisition success?

 We want to empower users who are about to start their financial life. We primarily serve users between the ages of 25 and 40, but have also attracted a number of older users. We’re big in forums for Swedes who move abroad at an old age and have a funny following among people who own campervans.
 
There is sometimes a perception that neobanks are convenient for travel purposes but people maintain a different primary bank account for most of their banking needs. How do you convince people to use neobanks as their primary bank, where they keep a majority of their money and turn to for all of their financial needs?

 The past year, where people have limited their travel significantly, is a testament to the fact that we solve problems for our users that go beyond occasional travel. We’re still functioning as a complement to banks and have chosen to use that to our advantage. More concretely, that means being able to offer authentication and top up services that Swedes already trust, thereby increasing trust in us.
 
While neobanks have shown impressive numbers in terms of customer acquisition, the transition to becoming profitable is proving more challenging. How do you make the necessary leap to becoming profitable while still maintaining the pace of your user acquisition?
 
We’re a product company at heart and will manage this change like a true product company: iteratively, consistently innovating our product, and doing so together with our users.
 
Being a bank without branches, customers only interact with you digitally. How do you ensure an excellent customer service experience with interactions being 100% digital? Are there certain advantages or challenges compared to banks that need to manage physical spaces?
 
We solve this by having humans communicating with our customers. We do all our customer service in our in-app chat and measure our success not on speed but on how much our users love us, how much feedback they provide on our products and to what extent they trust our recommendations.
 
What are your international expansion plans? Could you describe the regulatory or technical challenges to becoming a truly global neobank?
 
We aim to empower users with that exhilarating and sometimes overwhelming momentum that sets in as you begin your financial life throughout the Nordics to start.
 
How do you see your bank evolving in the next five to ten years? And more generally how do you see neobanks competing in the future banking landscape?
 
We will become a full service bank and serve users throughout the Nordics in the near future.

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