Service Navigation

Success at Deutsche Börse FinTech Hub, part 2: dwins

12 May 2017

Success at Deutsche Börse FinTech Hub, part 2: dwins

Benjamin and Alexander Michel, CEOs dwins

The FinTech Hub is an initiative to support the fintech community in Frankfurt and in the Rhine-Main region. Alongside dedicated consulting and networking services, it also offers fintech start-ups like dwins co-working spaces and a modern event location. We spoke to Alexander Michel, one of the founders of dwins.

The company employs digitisation and artificial intelligence to identify savings potential, thereby assisting customers in the optimisation of their finances. Their mobile finance app “Finanzguru” will be released in the third quarter of 2017.

Mr Michel, dwins was founded by you and your twin brother Benjamin. Please tell us something about the two of you. 

We are Benjamin und Alexander Michel, the two founders of dwins, and, as already mentioned by you, we are twins. The company’s name alludes to that but is also a portmanteau from the phrase “digital wins”. My brother completed a combined work-study programme at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and Postbank. At the latter, he was responsible for the bank’s “Postbank Finanzassistent” app.

While working towards my degree in economics and international management, I was already able to gather experience in the start-up community. After spending some time abroad, I joined my brother at Postbank. In cooperation with the bank’s customer relationship management (CRM) team, I analysed more than 1.3 billion transaction data entries and developed automatic categorisations. The project made us recognise the potential offered by banking data.

That was the starting signal for us. We founded the start-up to develop products more quickly and with an increased focus on customers’ needs and requirements. In September 2016, Sandro Sonntag and Florian Hirsch joined us as co-founders with a technical background. Both have extensive experience in the banking and insurance sector and are experts in the field of secure IT architectures for banking apps. With our complementary skills, our team is now extremely well positioned.

How did you come up with the idea for dwins?

It all came out of our project with Postbank’s CRM department, which I just described. The very first project we implemented with our start-up was a bank account switching service. To switch an account from bank A to bank B, a customer is required to inform all payment partners of the new bank details and to modify standing orders and regular debits accordingly. Our service does all this automatically by gathering the relevant information from the payment transactions of the old account. Over time, we have perfected this process and have built a high level of expertise in the analysis of payment transactions for checking accounts and credit cards. We will use this expertise for our Finanzguru app to provide customers with an overview of their finances and current contracts. In addition, we can identify savings potential and realise it with minimum effort. Our ultimate vision is to make managing your finances convenient and simple. Nobody gets up in the morning thinking: “What a great day to take a look at my finances and insurance plans!” But it is unavoidable, something everyone has to deal with. That is the reason why we offer our service, to make things easier for the customer.

How does dwins work and who is it interesting for?

Our product, Finanzguru, is an app available via iOS or Android store. Through a secure connection, the customer connects his or her bank account with Finanzguru. We then analyse the banking data. As a first step, we then create an overview of all contracts, of what is debited monthly, every six or twelve months. Customers can manage these contracts directly, i.e. they can access, let’s say, their mobile phone contract and see their client reference number and cancellation period, as they are derived from the banking data by us. Before the contract is renewed automatically, our contract alarm reminds the customer to terminate the contract to ensure better conditions. The customer can then terminate it simply by clicking on a button in the app and then either automatically receive a better offer or switch providers. It’s an easy way in which we enable our customers save money.

I just described one of Finanzguru’s core functions. The second one is personalised savings tips, such as recommending services which check a customer’s utilities statement. In many cases, customers are being overcharged and are thus entitled to a reimbursement. Our analyses might also lead us to conclude that a customer lives in Frankfurt and has a contract with Mainova, an electricity supplier. Based on the rent they pay, we can determine square footage, project power consumption and look for cost-efficient alternatives. Our app allows customers to enter into a new contract with just a few clicks. We receive a commission and the customer saves money.

What is your core target group?

We only provide services to online banking customers. That’s a prerequisite. Our core target group is 25 to 45 years old, lives in their own household and therefore inevitably has a number of running contracts. With age, your family situation changes as well: children are born, which means more insurance contracts. It becomes harder to keep track of things, which in turn increases the importance of a personal helper.

Why did you decide to join the Deutsche Börse FinTech Hub? 

For fintech companies in Germany, Frankfurt is absolutely the best location. There are so many institutions here with the required know-how as well as a certain ecosystem. We are very lucky to have been accepted to the FinTech Hub because we receive invaluable support from Deutsche Börse. The FinTech Hub is a tremendous opportunity for us. We applied and – kudos to Deutsche Börse – were working here two months later. We also appreciate the opportunity to exchange our views and experiences with other founders in this environment. After events, we enjoy having a drink with the other founders to talk about topics such as financing rounds and experiences with venture capitalists, which is extremely insightful and exciting.

What are the next planned steps?

Last October, we won the Deutsche Bank Hackathon. We have been in talks with Deutsche Bank ever since and will be able to publish further details within the next few months. Our Finanzguru will go live in the third quarter of this year, and we will continue to develop our services in cooperation with our customers, who will remain at the core of our efforts. Our objective is to maximise convenience and comfort and to find the best solution for our customers. The key question in all our efforts is: “Would I recommend this product to my best friend?” We can only be proud of a product if we can answer this question in the affirmative. 

All the best to you and thank you!

Additional Information

Contact

Internet hotline

Service times: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. CET

+49-(0) 69-2 11-1 16 70

info@​deutsche-​boerse.com