Petr Baron for New Money, Greece: We believe in building lasting relationships with our customers
20.05.2022 Share +
Entering the Greek market was one of the biggest highlights for us in the last few years and making sure our operations there are running smoothly and that we are offering customers the excellent services we are famous for is a top priority right now. Petr Baron talked to New Money Greece about why we entered the Greek market at this precise moment and what we are planning to do there in the near future. Read the full interview below:
- What made you expand to the Greek market at this moment?
We have taken the decision to enter Greece after an extensive analysis of the progress the market has made in terms of internet banking penetration, card usage, government digitization together with the macro indicators that after a decade long of recession are looking very positive.
We also identified that alternative payment options like Buy now, Pay later (BNPL) and general purpose loans are confined to a very specific profile of customers, leaving major customer segments underbanked and underserved. At a time when the market is rebounding, and merchants need more than ever the necessary tools to increase their sales and the loyalty of their customers the options in the market are limited to just the smaller share of customers that have a credit card.
TBI Bank, being the biggest BNPL provider in Southeast Europe and the region’s challenger bank, has been an innovator for many years in terms of financial services and customer experience and we have the solutions for merchant partners to increase their sales, be that in a physical store or online, and their customers to purchase on the spot and spread out their payments over time. Testament to our expertise are the 14,000 cooperating merchant partners ranging from big multinational retailers to small entrepreneurs as well as the millions of customers that have acquired their products and services using TBI Bank.
- Who can benefit from your services and what is the key differentiating point of TBI Bank compared to traditional banks?
As I mentioned before, TBI Bank is a challenger fintech bank that uses technology at its core to offer fast, transparent and relevant solutions to its customers, be that B2B or B2C. We support merchants in giving the solutions to sell more and increase loyalty while customers get the products they wish. There are hundreds of thousands of customers that for several reasons like, for example, age or other socio-economic characteristics are being underbanked and underserved by traditional banks and TBI Bank has attained significant expertise in serving this clientele while giving our merchant partners the comfort of a reliable partner.
Another important differentiator is the ease with which a merchant cooperates with TBI, as we have streamlined our operations so that within couple of hours a retailer can be onboarded and start providing BNPL payment plans to customers, be that through a physical store or an e-shop and at the same time we provide marketing resources and data that is especially important for SMEs. We also offer the same convenience and reliability to our end customers – our platforms are intuitive, easy to navigate by any age group and embedded in the shopping journey online and in-store. Customers also can manage their payments and loans, do top-ups via our mobile app, thereby getting full control of their finances.
- Traditional players are usually criticized for their fees. How are you planning on positioning TBI in the Greek market?
Our primary activity in Greece will be that of BNPL and general-purpose loans. In this area our platform and our pricing are based on transparency, we always make sure that customers are not only aware of the interest rate they will pay but they also see the total loan amount and monthly instalments before they decide to proceed with the payment plan. We never ask them to pay more than what they have agreed to at the time of the signing of the contract.
In general, we believe in building long and lasting relationships with our customers, be that B2B or B2C and this is based on transparency in terms of pricing which after all is at the core of a financial service. We also embrace the freemium model of pricing when it comes to payments where customers can have a free set of transactions and pay a premium for more advanced ones.
- In 2022 you will launch general purpose loans and the NEON card. Please elaborate on how they are going to work.
This is correct, we are currently launching our BNPL payments and by June we will offer to the Greek public our general-purpose loans with tailor-made pricing and features. Our loans will be available to TBI Bank’s existing customers as well as the open market in a fully digital manner with approvals on the spot. Later in 2022, our mobile app will be available for our customers where again the option of loan top-ups and payments will be possible together with our NEON debit card that will be available both virtually and physically.
- In which countries is TBI present and what are your plans?
So far, TBI Bank is operating in different European countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, and Lithuania, with Bulgaria, Romania being our main markets of operation. Now, adding Greece to our scope. Of course, we are always looking for new opportunities for further development and expansions but at this moment our team is focused on successfully starting our operations in Greece and strengthening our leadership position in the BNPL segment in Southeast Europe. In these unprecedented times we will also continue to provide support to Ukrainian people who are looking for safety.
In our international team we have 40+ Ukrainian colleagues with whom we are in constant contact and ready to provide any logistical, financial, and emotional support. Thanks to our dedicated team many of them, together with their families, are already relocated to a safer environment. TBI also was among the first companies in Romania and Bulgaria to donate to Ukrainian refugees. We donated 250,000 euro to local NGO-s dealing with the refugee crisis and provided all our employees with an additional paid leave day per week for volunteering.