Interview with Hubert Knapp Founder of LQID
What’s your company’s USP and what solutions do you offer?
LQID is positioning as a challenger bank. We believe there needs to be a better balance between technology and human experiences. We have found that people are moving forward digitally faster than the businesses that support them. It’s ironic that people love technology and are more digitally connected than ever before, but feel increasingly isolated.
At LQID we see an opportunity for a socially connected economy that is driven by entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business and the mass market consumer. In fact, these groups are one and the same. LQID can help entrepreneurs start and grow their own small businesses, and help people improve how they manage their money. This will help build a better relationship with their bank.
At the heart of all of this is creating a better human experience – an experience that embraces the convenience and speed of technology, with the reassurance and peace of mind of being able to speak to a real person when they need. People really value that.
What are the major challenges for your business?
One of the major hurdles, which we are now very close to overcoming, has been achieving regulatory approval to operate as a bank. We chose to launch in the UK because of how well-respected its regulators are so it’s a challenge we were expecting, and we’re now very keen to start launching our products.
We think digital-only challenger banks are great for some people but haven’t managed to reach the majority of consumers. We want to bring the benefits of new technology to a wider market by retaining all the usual ways of contacting your bank. Widespread bank branch closures across the UK have left some communities without easy access to a local bank. We think our approach to digital branches can help to keep banking grounded in communities while updating it with new technologies.
How does your business extend financial inclusion and social impact?
Our impact will be tested as we start launching products. We’ve carried out research into what people think about banking and what they want from their bank to make sure we improve their experience.
People have told us they need better service across the board, want to access their bank at a time and place to suit them, and need banks that can help them to improve their finances. We believe that using our proposition will help some people move out of the overdraft trap and others kick-start a new business opportunity.