How Penta is building the business bank of the future

Efma feature

17 May 2018

Lav Odorovic, CEO and co-founder of Penta, tells Efma what benefits Penta’s free digital business bank account offers to companies in Germany.

What do SMEs want when it comes to business banking and how does Penta help?

Fundamentally, business owners simply want a bank account with all the basic features, a quick and fast way to open that account and friendly support. That’s exactly what Penta provides today via its free digital business bank account. Over the next few weeks and months we will start to release more features – such as multiple cards, multi-account access and low-cost foreign transactions – so we’re likely to attract a whole new type of business owner that has more specific needs.

What key features make Penta better for SME banking than more traditional banks or other digital players?

Our research has shown that traditional banks are offering outdated products, so SMEs in Germany are having trouble accessing the financial and business products they need to run their businesses better. For example, these businesses want automated accounting applications that connect to their bank, such as DATEV, and they want to be able to issue multiple debit cards to their employees and set limits and permissions. Traditional banks and financial institutions are also exploiting businesses by overcharging them thousands of euros every year because of hidden costs and high fees for foreign exchange.

Penta’s mission is to put an end to that by helping German business owners to save time and money when banking. To do this, Penta offers free digital business accounts with products for insurance, low-cost foreign exchange, smart invoicing, automated payroll and cash-flow management. We put all these products into the Penta account so business owners can pick and choose which tools they need the most. This means our customers can spend less time banking and instead focus on their business, all while saving a significant amount of money per month.

Where is Penta available and what plans do you have to expand the service in future?

Currently, our main focus is Germany and we want to do our best for German business owners before expanding to new markets. We lifted our waiting list three months ago and we’ve experienced a tremendous amount of growth since then.

What key topics will you be covering in your presentation at Efma’s SME Banking Summit?

We’ll be explaining how we’re approaching building a digital business bank account and talking about how our growth channels differ from traditional growth channels. We’ll also focus on how we’re creating an overall user experience that will put us a century ahead of traditional banks.

How do you think the business banking will evolve in Germany and the rest of Europe in the near future?

We believe the future of banking industry will develop on two fronts: first, there will be a growth of user experience-focused integrators, and second there will be more vertical products that can be instantly plugged into the integrators via application programming interfaces (APIs).

Traditional banks offer their own outdated products, so challenger banks see space to offer their new solutions (often as good copies of the most adopted FinTech companies). The problem is that over time, it will be very hard for any bank (whether traditional or challenger) to keep up with the pace of innovation and add value with their own individual solutions. Due to economies of scale and networking effects, this will be especially true if banks create products that are not offered to the rest of the market.

We believe that the sharing and API economy in banking will ultimately win – it will ensure that business customers always have the best product at hand from their financial service provider. 

Meet Lav Odorovic during the Efma's SME Banking Summit. Watch the program and book your seat now.

Penta_App_&_Card.png (594 KB)

Keywords : Card , API/Open banking , SME/Corporate , Digital/Mobile channels , Fintech

Geography : Germany