“We use data to help people make better financial decisions, take the stress out of personal finance,” says Hidde Koning of Bittiq, as he empathises with the difficulty of dedicating large amounts of time weekly/monthly to administering one’s personal finances. Having only opened its doors last summer, the company has made it its mission to take the grit out of the daily grind– by simplifying the process of financial management.
Big Plans, Small Beginnings
Founded last summer in Utrecht by Hidde Koning and Federico Spiezia, the 5-man strong Bittiq team remains small, but extremely driven. Both Hidde and Federico had wet their feet in different niches in finance before making the transition to fintech; with Hidde previously working with ABN Amro and the hallowed tiles of the trading floor and Frederico hailing from a background in privacy and financial law.
Hidde is proud of what their company has achieved of so far. Backed by Venture Builder Holland Startup, he happily recounts the company’s first big break — winning insurance giant Centraal Beheer’s fintech start-up pitch competition. The Bittiq app, which works by categorizing all expenses, managing monthly income flows and subscriptions, and uses the power of analytics to show how user can save accordingly, was a hit with the judges. “We’re the first and only app in the Netherlands that can connect to all major Dutch banks,” Hidde beams.
New dog, old tricks
When asked about Bittiq’s target demographic, Hidde gives a surprisingly pointed answer.
“We’re targeting young families” he quips, “who struggle to find the right balance between career, family time and financial management.” When prodded further, he adds that the company is planning to expand their user base to encompass working class individuals and millennials, both of which have tighter pockets and similar expenditure patterns. “One of the unique selling points of our app is that it allows users to keep track and manage existing subscriptions, such as gym memberships, mobile plans and energy tariffs — all through the same app. It reminds the user what they’re currently paying for and lets them cancel subscriptions at will, too.”
Upon further discussion, Hidde acknowledges some challenges along the way, but believes they are easily surmountable. “Bittiq can benefit from PSD2,” he answers, “but it has been delayed for the second time, bringing about a lot of uncertainty.” On the bright side, he feels that the company isn’t up against any significant competition at the moment as the app “provides a unique mix of financial insight, savings, and actionable suggestions”. Indeed, Bittiq was the 2nd most popular finance app last April in Google Play’s trending charts in the Netherlands.
Touching on Bittiq’s ambitions, Hidde explains that the company will be doubling down on their efforts in Holland before expanding abroad. “We will capitalise on our strengths, which is understanding each customer’s personal financial situation,” he repeats. The company are also planning to raise new funding to support growth, and plans to partner with finance institutions to create new and better customer experiences.
He ends with several optimistic thoughts on what the current and future state of financial services, with a special emphasis on the delayed PSD2 and its implications on personal finance. “Financial services are going to be more personalised in the future. The advantage of PSD2 is that it lets you really know your customer (KYC). Banks will be disadvantaged as they often have set products — even though consumers have individual needs, and this is where start-ups like Bittiq enter the picture”.
You can check out Bittiq’s website here.