Founded by the former banker Indrek Neivelt and the IT expert Linnar Viik, Pocopay offers users simple and fast money transfers in the Eurozone, cost planning and saving. ‘Your money has to be safe, but safe does not have to be complicated’, is the principle of the company.
‘As long as twenty or more years ago, Bill Gates said that the world needs banking, not banks. In other words, the services we receive from banks today do not need to be services by banks – people want to run their financial transactions comfortably, to borrow money or to save for the future. Which kind of establishments offer those services, is in fact secondary,’ says one of the founders of the new payment service and CEO of the company, Indrek Neivelt. According to him, Pocopay aims to offer a complete alternative to everyday banking. Changing bank accounts has never been easier.
Commercial banks these days have accumulated many different products and aim to serve every kind of customer. This results in very high general running costs and a large number of staff, who are sometimes difficult to motivate.
‘To date payment and transaction services have not been seen as being particularly profitable and hence not much innovation has been seen in those areas. Whereas today we are used to a few large, but clumsy banks offering all services, the trend is that more flexible and customer-comfort orientated companies which specialise in certain banking services are coming onto the market,’ adds Linnar Viik, founder and Council member of Pocopay. ‘It is the ambition of Pocopay to be the leading and most innovative banking services provider in the Eurozone. It means that our account owners are able to do their banking faster and more comfortably than via their current bank accounts and also to use services which they haven’t dreamed of until now,’ he goes on.
Pocopay is a new-generation payment bank, where the entire activity takes place in a mobile app, not even on a webpage, never mind about a physical high street bank location. The founders emphasise that in creating everyday banking services they have made user comfort and speed their top priority. Transfers to Pocopay users take place within seconds; with Pocopay you can tap and swipe to make transactions happen, you can split your bills in restaurants, and request money using email and simple QR codes.
A unique account with an IBAN can be created via online identification, contact-free Pocopay Mastercard also speeds up payments in shops and even replaces things like the London Tube ticket. By managing the app, users can change their own card limits and block and reopen their cards. Although a bank card with a Near Field Communication (NFC) interface, which allows a card to connect with, say, a smartphone, may not have wide options for use right now, it is another good example of how Pocopay is one step ahead of the game, as more and more shops in the world are transferring to the option that customers no longer have to insert their bank cards into a terminal whilst making payments. ‘We want to use all the latest existing technologies to make it really user-friendly,’ says Neivelt.
Today you can open a Pocopay account in Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain and Finland, and in the near future in other European countries. The company, which is registered in Estonia, first expanded into countries which have the most similar legislation. So if you are using Pocopay in Spain today, you can send money to a Pocopay user in the Netherlands or Estonia in an instant. There are no transaction costs, and indeed, the only cost is a monthly fee of €2.90, no matter how much you use it. Recently Pocopay released all 18-26-year-old users from the monthly fee and for them all internal bank payments and up to 30 inter-bank payments per month are also for free.
Target group: young people
Such a special deal for young people is no coincidence. Neivelt says they aim to appeal to the people for whom using smartphones is a natural or even inseparable part of life and who view the service costs of commercial banks for transfers as being too high. These are most likely to be young people or even those who are young at heart!
Pocopay is also working to enable parents to open accounts for their under 18-year-old children. ‘Parents also need our services, as sometimes it may be urgent to transfer money to your child and Pocopay transfers only take seconds even if the parent happens to be in another country at the time. In addition, children can send money requests to parents for example together with a photo of new shoes and the price tag and then the parents can make a decision as to whether to send the money or not,’ he goes on.
There are more innovations on the way with Pocopay. For example, users will soon be able to pay their communal bills by making a digital photo of the bill from which the smartphone then reads the necessary details and makes the payment for you. Neivelt also speaks of the possibilities of intermediaries of banking services coming onto the market who will accumulate the offers by different European banks for housing and consumer loans. Today, banks offer their own products to clients, whether it be insurance, mortgage, consumer loans or some other product. But to draw a parallel from shopping, would we as consumers really be happy if we could only buy the shop’s own-brand label in a supermarket?
‘In the future, people will be able to choose between savings from various different banks all over Europe and in order to deposit a saving one will not need to go to the bank in person; instead everything can be made via a computer or mobile phone. Today such a service is offered by Savings Global, now called Raisin. Additionally, with loans it is no longer the case that people are tied to their own bank – the client puts in their key data and will receive offers from many banks. In conclusion, there will be more intermediates who put these offers together and make an overview for the customer in a user-friendly way.’
Indrek Neivelt confirms that in the first month of operation, Pocopay has attracted a lot of interest and especially from finance sector specialists and designers. ‘We already have a circle of friends who support us, share experiences and introduce us to others. Our ‘’ambassadors’’ are in Helsinki, London, Paris and even Los Angeles,’ he says.
Pocopay Can Be your Primary Account for Everyday Banking
Open your account by identifying yourself, by sending some photos of your ID card and a ‘selfie’. Take some time to let Pocopay people analyse your request. To activate your account, you will need to make a transaction from your (previous) bank and you are ready to use Pocopay.
1. Split bills. You were dining with your colleagues, the bill was meant to be split but somehow you all forgot. Asking about it a week later would be awkward; Pocopay takes care of such situations with an elegant ‘split’ function. It also works well with joint birthday gifts.
2. Ask for money. Asking for money is a delicate issue and sometimes it does not work out as intended. Pocopay has created a format that helps you ask for money without the awkwardness. Ask for money from your contacts, add a picture of the thing you need money for, but remember that we also have a really simple ‘no’ button in the unlikely event of needing to deny such requests.
3. Quantum speed. Almost. Between Pocopay users money moves as fast as you can say ‘hello!’ Transactions to other banks will take the same time as they usually do between banks. By the way, you can also transfer money quickly to your Pocopay account from your debit or credit cards with other banks.
4. The world is your playground. Between Pocopay users you do not have to worry about countries. The rule is simple: if you are a user, the money you send arrives instantly.
5. Set money aside. If you want to save for a trip or buy something nice you can create a special account for that with one swipe and start saving immediately.
6. Real payment cards. Our Mastercard debit cards work in shops and online and they are contactless. If you have not had an NFC card before, you will be surprised how comfortable your next trip on the London Underground will be.
7. Even if you don’t know their details… How many IBAN codes can you remember? Do you even remember your mum’s? At Pocopay you do not have to. You can start transactions even if all you know is a person’s email address or phone number.
8. Yep, it is safe. You get a real account that is audited, verified and tested constantly. Pocopay is supervised by financial supervisory bodies and does everything to keep your money safe. There are no hidden fees – Pocopay has a transparent monthly fee of €2.90. Some costs may apply to transactions that are related to other banks or partners.