May we introduce: Nils-Hendrik Hump from bux.
Working in the FinTech sector is like coming and going, requires a high degree of professionalism in a thoroughly relaxed working environment and is above all characterised by innovations as well as good, clever and future-oriented ideas, according to the widespread consensus. But who are actually the brains and doers behind these creative thought processes, at the interface between finance, digital technologies and entrepreneurship? In our series: The faces of the FinTech industry we regularly ask a person from the payment and banking industry the same ten questions. This time Nils-Hendrik Höcker answers our questions.
May we introduce…
During our everyday work we meet exciting people who work in the same environment, who we meet only once or from time to time or who we have already grown very fond of in our private lives – each of them has a story of their own. We have a few of these People from our nearest FinTech environment to give them a face. To share why this industry is much more to them than just another way to pay their rent. We would like to briefly portray and introduce these people and their vita in a very special category and have designed a questionnaire that is always the same.
This time Nils-Hendrik Höcker answers our questions. Since October 2020 he has been head of Germany and Austria at Buxthe Dutch neo-broker.
Who are you, what do you do?
I am Nils-Hendrik Höcker, the Country Head for Germany and Austria of BUX. I mainly focus on the strategy for BUX in Germany and Austria, on partnerships and communication in both markets. The goal is to develop the company and especially our flagship product BUX Zero.
At BUX, we attach great importance to adapting to local conditions and the investment habits and needs of our users in each of our markets. Germany and Austria are core markets for us, and my appointment at the beginning of October 2020 will significantly strengthen our local presence.
When did you first notice the word FinTech?
The first time I heard the word Fintech was when I was in charge of business development at Delivery Hero. That’s when we started partnering with Adyen and PayPal, which was 2011, so I inevitably stumbled upon the term.
Nils-Hendrik Höcker: “Fintechs are faster and more agile
What were your first contacts with the payment and banking industry?
My first contact with banking was the opening of my first own bank account. A few years later I was on eBay a lot and discovered PayPal for me right at the beginning!
How do you define FinTech?
For me, Fintechs improve all activities in the financial sector – and at the same time open it up to the general public. This is also our claim at BUX.
What do you think established companies do better than FinTechs?
FinTechs are faster and more agile when it comes to developing new features, and in my opinion they are also closer to the customer with their ear. Nevertheless, the established companies have a liquidity advantage that they can use in marketing, for example.
“The incumbents have a liquidity advantage that they can play at marketing.”
What can you learn from FinTechs?
FinTechs find new ways to be active in the financial world. BUX manages to offer trading completely free of commission, something an established player would never have dared to do, or even thought of doing so for cost reasons. FinTechs set new thought processes in motion through software and technologies – and thus considerably improve services.
Problem “Spaghetti System”
Why do established (large) companies actually find it so difficult to go digital?
I think that there are many different reasons. One is that everything that is digital is still considered entertainment or “gadget” by many companies. Some of the incumbents may not even have realized that digitalization can increase sales.
Moreover, it is of course the case that the technical infrastructures of incumbent companies are outdated and it is very complicated to change the whole system from one day to the next. This is the famous “spaghetti system”. Over the years the technologies and codes have been supplemented and extended with newer features, creating a huge construct of different data systems, which is neither transparent nor efficient. But to build everything from scratch is almost impossible for these companies. Their customer base is already familiar with the old system and building a new system costs a lot of time and money.
What would you do professionally if you were not working in the payment and banking industry?
From where I stand now, I would probably work in science. I believe that fact-based and data-based action has a lot of potential for positive change in the world. The field of research that interests me most is artificial intelligence.
Which company would you like to work for one day?
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.
Who would you like to have a beer with?
Stephen Hawking! That would have been great. His attitude to life and his research are both very inspiring to me. But unfortunately, that’s no longer possible…