[Startup Interview] Christian Heyner, President, 1bank4all
1bank4all is a social fintech startup that seeks to promote the social welfare of poor individuals and communities through innovative low cost banking model.
Christian Heyner the President of the startup talked to Africa Business Communities about entry into ten African countries and why this model is set to revolutionize banking.
Tell us about your company
1bank4all is a social banking start-up. Our goals are to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing fair, ethical and low cost financial services to them.
We are currently applying for a European banking license and once we start operating; 1bank4all will provide a range of financial products including a free online-based bank accounts; credit to the bank’s members; affordable international money transfers and fair exchange rates.
Where is it located?
The 1bank4all Founding Association is based in Basel, Switzerland. But apart from Europe we plan to create social banks in 10 African focus countries as well as in Asia and Latin America.
When was it founded and by who?
The 1bank4all Founding Association was formed in 2015 by myself and Dani Balzer, our CFO and Board Member as well as about 20 other people who liked the idea of a global social bank.
Individuals and organisations can buy shares of the 1bank4all Holding, which will be created on 4th May, 2018. This holding will support the creation of 1bank4all in Europe. We have several interested parties who will soon be able to become shareholders of the holding.
How is the company funded?
As a start-up, we currently receive our funding from investors and members of the Founding Association, who are interested in projects which have a positive social impact.
What are your company’s Unique Selling Points?
We are a Fintech company that prides itself in embracing innovation. One of our major innovative aspects is that of having an online based banking platform. Which means that anyone, in any part of the World, will be able to open and access their 1bank4all account anytime.
Second, unlike conventional banks, our aim is to promote the social welfare of poor communities and individuals. Even though the bank is designed to make profit, it will not be at the expense of the common woman or man.
How has the market responded to your products/services?
We are not yet operational, but we have received a lot of positive feedback and inquiries from interested parties, who cannot wait to use our services.
Who are your clients?
Our target market is basically everyone. This includes people and organisations that use conventional banking services but would like to have cheaper rates; the poor, who are normally not considered credit-worthy by ordinary banks and people who use social banking services.
What are the ambitions of the company?
The ambitions of 1bank4all is to be the first truly global social bank. We are targeting countries all over the world, in different segments and timelines.
At the moment, we are working on entering the market in the United Kingdom and our 10 focus countries in Africa, which are(in alphabetical order): Cameroon, Cóte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
Greater exposure and publicity always goes a long way in aiding 1bank4all’s growth. Connecting to more people who share our dreams and ideas on social banking will help us expand our 1bank4all community.
Additionally, like most start-ups, gaining access to more investment funding will help us grow even faster and achieve our vision of ‘empowering people at the speed of light.’
What is the latest news?
Our latest news is that we plan on obtaining the 1bank4all European license before the end of 2018. And before then, we shall hold three consecutive events on the 26th of April.
The morning event will be the 1bank4all Advisory Board Meeting, at 9 a.m; a General Assembly meeting at 5 p.m for the members and an ‘Investment Meeting for Change Makers’ event at 6 p.m.
Interested parties who would like to know more about 1bank4all or to buy shares of the Holding of the 1bank4all group are welcome to attend the latter event.
Who should contact your company and why?
Anyone who would like to know more about social banking, become a member, join the advisory board or invest in this project is more than welcome to contact us. 1bank4all has endless opportunities to create change as well as expand. People who like the idea of being part of a project that will one day be the leading social bank should come on board.
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with startup businesses in Africa.
Are you a startup in Africa and interested in an interview? Great! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org