From the US and LatAm to the Far East and Europe, winning Open Talent Turkey 2018 has given Moneymo international ambitions. The mobile shopping platform has chosen to make its entrance into Europe in Spain, citing its sizeable economy and ecosystem.
It’s common for startups to meet challenges as they seek growth. Through the activities of its Open Innovation division, BBVA aims to bring down barriers for startups looking to collaborate with the bank. Not all corporates share this ambition though, according to Moneymo’s managing partner Barış Bayoğlu, who reveals the mobile shopping platform has faced “countless” obstacles. “The most difficult one is the ego of large enterprises,” he says. “At the beginning, all large financial institutions and merchants ask the same question: ‘We can do it in-house, why do we need you?’”
Bayoğlu reveals that some of the corporates who said that to him did indeed try to develop a solution in-house – only to eventually call Moneymo back when they realised they needed external support in the shape of the startup’s platform for integrating mobile banking apps and e-wallets with merchants to form a mobile shopping hub. “It combines all a retailer’s online and offline sales channels, covering the complete customer journey: payment, ordering, campaign and loyalty services,” details Bayoğlu.
Although Moneymo experienced “ego” at some large enterprises, BBVA was not one of them. Having discovered Open Talent – the world’s biggest fintech competition, run by the bank, Moneymo applied and was subsequently named the Turkey Open Talent winner for 2018. Discussing why he believes the business claimed victory, Bayoğlu puts it down to speed, with even the biggest competitor banks and merchants set to benefit from accelerated integration.
Together with BBVA, Moneymo calculated which the most valuable merchant partnership for them to work together on would be. From there, working together has been a smooth process. “The Innovation team was very supportive and assisted us very well, and were creative through the journey with the bank, especially in convincing different departments,” says Bayoğlu. Helpfully, what was once its biggest barrier for growth was removed with the help of BBVA. Following Moneymo’s win in the competition, “the biggest financial institutions and merchants started to take us more seriously and became willing to work with us,” he adds.
Bayoğlu explains that the current primary target for Moneymo is to dominate its existing market and capitalise on the 15 million active mobile banking users across Turkey, where it has scope to integrate across 25 Turkish banks and e-wallet offerings. “Our next goal will be to cover all of the 50 million credit card holders in Turkey and move our business to Europe, the Far East, and the US,” details Bayoğlu. Despite revealing that there have now been meetings completed with over 300 merchants and 50 financial organisations worldwide, Bayoğlu acknowledges that it was tough getting the ball rolling at home. “In Turkey, it was very difficult to convince banks of integration, and it took two years for us,” he continues. “The first two are Garanti BBVA in Turkey and Koopbank in Cyprus. Now, we have seven banks and 20 merchants waiting on our shortlist.”
Given that BBVA’s roots are in Spain and Moneymo is looking to expand across Europe, the mobile shopping startup has aspirations to tackle the bank’s home market as a priority. Bayoğlu feels that Spain possessing a larger economy and ecosystem than Turkey, as well as a culture that is typically more welcoming to innovation – something that he believes is common across the continent – will be among key benefits. “As we have already developed some important connections in Spain, and as the market seems to be ready for a model like Moneymo, with existing examples like Zara, we believe that it will be the best entrance to the European market,” he says.
As it stands, Moneymo is preparing for launch with Garanti BBVA, three large Turkish retailers, and the Cyprus-based Koopbank. An additional agreement with a Dubai distribution company for MENA will expand the mobile startup’s reach even further, and Bayoğlu is focused on continuing this growth. “Our target is to become the payment integrator to touch each and every payment and shopping transaction globally,” he says. “We believe that our collaboration with Garanti BBVA in Turkey will lead us to integrate with BBVA globally, in the 30 countries that the bank is active in. There are great opportunities for us to grow our collaboration in LatAm as well.”