We're facilitating many of our client projects remotely at the moment. Learn more about our expertise in this area.

TransferWise: using creative thinking to disrupt banking

Uncategorised

Enough people have sworn about the state of banking, the bonuses, the unfair charges. Every once in a while, an entrepreneur will decide to use creative thinking to remedy a real problem experienced by real people, everyday. That’s how TransferWise was born: the currency exchange benefiting people, not banks.

Skype’s first employee Taavet Hinrikus took the disruptive ethos involved in making Skype a household name to the banking industry. Could he disrupt banking in the same way that Skype had disrupted telecommunications? He and his friend Kristo Käärmann regular spent time jumping between the UK and Europe and realised they could exchange money – Euros and Sterling to suit their rent and mortgage bills – between each other and be much better off for it.

Their knowledge of finance and communications saw them launch TransferWise: a community of people who want to exchange currencies without paying high bank fees. Now expats, foreign students and businesses and well as other people with a regular need to change currency can wire money securely, conveniently, and at a very low cost. The handy home page calculator even shows an example of how much more money you will get versus the same exchange at a bank.

The website explains: “To find a suitable exchange rate, the friends picked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters. At TransferWise, we simply call it the real rate. (By the way, banks and currency brokers never use this rate with you.)”

Is this type of creative thinking to solve a real life problem scalable? Given the imaginable increasing need for it and the growing ease and comfort with which people use the internet, not to mention the distrust of banks, demand is evident for creative thinking to disrupt banking.

Note: many thanks to 100%Open for inviting us to their Spring Union event, where Taavet Hinrikus was a speaker.

You may also like…

Using Scenario Planning to think about the future

Using Scenario Planning to think about the future

Because of the sheer variety of ingredients involved, there isn’t one defined future that is set in stone and that will apply to everyone in exactly the same way. Use an approach like Scenario Planning to consider alternative futures.

How we run remote workshops using MURAL

How we run remote workshops using MURAL

Collaborating online gets less attention than straightforward video conferencing but it’s where the action is. Here’s how we use one of the most popular whiteboard apps in our meetings and workshops.