Starting today you can use Bankbetyg.se to navigate yourself through the banking jungle. The service is designed for empowering consumer decision-making by presenting bank fees, card terms, mortgage rates and more, in a manner that is easy to grasp for anyone (if they succeed we might just have a nobel laureate here). Comments and reviews will also contribute to a broader view on how the consumer experience differ between Swedish banks.
“The banks aren’t easily compared against each other. Confusing price lists and home pages make it hard for consumers to get the full picture of costs and benefits.” Joacim Nitz, Co-founder
I had a quick chat with Joacim Nitz, one of the founders.
So Joacim, what is the background of the founding team?
Me and Andreas Öberg have been working together for almost 9 years at a financial company in Stockholm. I work with graphics, layout and UI whereas Andreas is a software developer. In 2009 we launched our first product, Smartbudget, leading us to start our company, Tycero. We have created several other financial related websites and also an iOS game for kids which has been downloaded about 60.000 times to this day.
When did you start working on this and how has your ride been up until now?
We have been working with Bankbetyg for about 4-5 months during weekends and evenings. The pre-launch, or beta you could say, was very well received and we have got many grades and comments together with suggestions for future development from our users.
So what makes your site different from the competitors?
There are already several services today in Sweden where the user can rate and comment on companies and services, and even banks, even though it’s mostly a certain bank office you rate. So what is so special about Bankbetyg? Well, first of all, Bankbetyg is not just about sharing your opinion, it’s also about comparing and educating yourself about the differences between the banks so that you hopefully can get enough information to make good decisions.
Tell us a bit about your business model and your main challenges
It’s a bit too soon to reveal our plans regarding the business model, and nothing is set in stone. The most important thing right now though is to focus on making a really great product that will do good for the consumer.
[...]not be the place where you would go and trash talk a bank, pointing at a certain event and whine about it. You never give a fair grade when you are angry.
One challenge we have is to not be the place where you would go and trash talk a bank, pointing at a certain event and whine about it. You never give a fair grade when you are angry. At the opposite side we have bank employers who might think it’s a good idea to write an overly positive comment and set the highest grade possible. We’ve had that, but it’s not always easy to spot.
Another challenge is to present the information in the best possible way so that the customer can understand what they see and are comparing. It’s also crucial that we got our facts right. With each incorrect fact, be it a credit card rate or a phone number, we loose credibility to the user. We have actually had a few banks showing interest in Bankbetyg by hinting us about small errors or missing information they’ve spotted.
Now that you have launched the service, how do you see the year of 2014 unfold for you?
2014 will be a year of learning for us where we will see what we do well and what can be improved. We will launch more functions connected to banks which will further more give the user a chance to compare and choose the right bank and service. We also hope to decide for a sustainable revenue model.