Luka Ivicevic: At Penta, we’re on a mission to automate business banking. So that business owners can focus more on innovation. We’re doing this by building a digital bank account that’s powerful, easy to use and that grows with your business needs.
Our team and advisors have decades of experience in software engineering, product development and banking at the executive level.
Financial IT: What was the major motivating factor for you to set up Penta?
Luka: As businesses, we waste so much unnecessary time doing our banking.
The branches, calling customer service because nothing ever works, be it the hidden fees, or the manual invoicing and accounting. In a world of AirBnB and Uber, why can’t business banking be just as easy?
We build Penta to give startups a really easy to use bank account that allows them to focus more on their business and less on their banking.
Financial IT: What special value do you bring to your target audience?
Luka: We’re trying to make business banking really easy. You can open a bank account in minutes and have access to the most powerful tools that help you save time and money for your business. Our basic account is free — forever. And once you start growing, we offer you the tools that you need to scale. Allowing you to pay as you grow.
Financial IT: How does Penta differentiate itself in today’s marketplace?
Luka: Today, most banks are digitized and not digital. The digitized banks are building stuff with a lot of old technology, expecting that things will work swiftly and deliver a lot of value to their customers.
Ultimately disappointing high-tech people like me in the process.
However, at Penta building everything from the ground up. Allowing us to be safer because our technology is more modern and robust. Faster, because we’re using and offering the best third party products. And easier to use because we understand how to build a beautiful user interface that makes banking easier than ever.
Financial IT: How do you see the digital banking industry evolving over the next few years?
Luka: The same way we have less horses and bayonets in the army, we will have less branches in the next few years.
But that’s only a part of it. The real difference will be in the products and services that banks will offer directly on the bank account from third parties. From the lowest FX rates, to accounting tools, instant loans and artificial intelligence that gives you great insights into how your business is doing.
The future is in third party products and services being integrated into the bank account. Now, it’s a race to get there.
Financial IT: In which direction is Penta reacting to the industry changes?
Luka: There’s a new buzzword being thrown around everyday. Are they industry changes, or just fads? I have no idea. And I don’t think anyone does.
But our main priority at Penta is to focus on building something businesses want. And often times that means making decisions that go against the current trends — because those decisions will create more value for people.
So, how are we reacting to the changes? We’re staying focused.
Financial IT: What is next for Penta?
Luka: A lot of startups have the philosophy: if we build it, people will adopt it. We think that’s irrational. Because feedback is so important if you want to build something that creates value for people.
We’re being completely open with everything we do. Now, we’re testing with our beta testers, to help us go live in the late spring with a bank account that really makes business banking easier than ever.
You can follow Penta at @getpenta or get access to their beta at www.getpenta.com
Luka Ivicevic is a co-founder and Head of Growth at Penta in Berlin, Germany. You can follow him at @lukaivicev