Neo-Bank

Yapeal defines the new banking and takes the community on board

Yapeal setzt auf die Community

Yapeal is building a bank that will redefine the banking of the future where a large community can observe how the Neo-Bank is created – and has a say. We visited the "Yapeal-makers" at their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

Yapeal, whether it is a bank, banking app, modern financial service provider or something completely different remains a matter of consideration. However, in the eyes of the Yapeal-makers, the fact that banking has to be redefined is not a question, but a necessity.

Yapeal users are Yapsters. Who develops Yapeal, too. The boundaryless between users and creators is extraordinary and creates differences. The approach is not the same as between the community and developers, rather in the product itself. A product that is not conceived from the viewpoint of a bank but built for the community and further developed together with the community. 

Yapeal works with the community, not for anonymous audiences 

Target group definitions of people classified into rigid segments or clearly defined target groups often remain theoretical and impractical. In addition, target groups and people have taken the liberty, within confetti generations, of being free to behave completely differently, than defined and planned by marketing strategists.

That's why Yapeal’s approach does not consider at all about segments and audiences. Yapster’s marketing strategists purposely don't take an expert status but listens, observes, and invest in the community - being a part of the community themselves.

The creators of Yapeal define the community as family and friends. Family and friends talk to each other and help each other. Communication features and interaction at Yapeal plays a key role through learning from others, sharing tips and experiences, achieving common goals and more. The exchange between the community and creators is of utmost importance. Yapeal is created to work in a community-driven way, with people and users of the community the core of further development. 

Therefore, that's why every imaginable topic gets its own hashtag at Yapeal. From #YapChallenge to #YapstersNeverStopLearning to #WeAreTheFuture, etc. Everything is on board and ready to help the community anchor thematically in the right place.

Who is a Yapster?

In addition to the creators: Everybody of a universe of 2.5 million potential users in Switzerland. Anyone who wants to oversee and manage their finances through a single app that is fun and intuitive without having to work for it. The app is free of hassle in configurations and detour-clicks - just use what's needed now catered to the individual uniqueness as the YapApp adapts accordingly to each Yapster.

Yapeal appeals to people who have a certain amount of money available each month regardless of whether the regular income is very high, comfortable, or rather thinly padded. They all share a common time frame: from payday to payday where within these 28 to 31 days, similar events happens to everyone: money is transferred on the account, money is spent, money is saved or deferred, periodic bills have to be paid, a friend waits for the repayment of the 40 francs from their last meal together, the tax bill that has long been suppressed is still due and, ...etc.

Yapeal enables those who wants to manage all this comfortably, without having to think of everything.

What Yapeal can do

A mobile app, the YapApp, opens access to sophisticated blockchain-inspired technology that works with the user and works for the Yapster. Some of the features selected by the creators to whet the appetite of the Swiss people to become a Yapster:

  • Onboarding: of course, online within few minutes
  • Lifestyling Intelligence: the app knows the lifestyle and habits of its users, therefore acting intelligently and individually
  • Financial Amigo: the app oversees the running budget, opens and fills savings purses, monitors expenses while traveling, warns against overpayments, knows when the tax bill arrives, plans too - and more
  • Yapster-to-all: send money or request money, split and share bills, worldwide, in multiple currencies - with Yapstern and with non-Yapstern
  • Family Shizzle: Pocket money for kids, online approval for shopping for kids on shopping spree, check bill of kids and pay with one click (or not), collect the parents' invoices and send them to the one-click release - and more
  • Card Control: Configure the PIN online, lock or even temporarily freeze the Yapeal card, contactless payment on and off, intelligent geoblocking, expenditure control

And otherwise?
The planned offer includes Swiss bank account (multi-currency eligible), savings accounts, overdraft facilities, payment transactions, debit cards and mobile wallets for Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and wearables.

Open Banking
Yapeal thinks in open dimensions and APIs. What a Yapster wants to see, manage and organize with external features and features via Yapeal can be docked and integrated.

Transparency
Yapeal focuses on transparency, even during the development phase. Therefore, Yapeal is currently operating with the note:

"Yapeal is a project to build a bank. It is not yet a bank and is not licensed as such by Swiss authorities."

Details can be found describing design, functions, and security through Yapeal’s recently launched website.

All fine, but is it a bank or something completely different?

In November 2017, our editors asked in connection with FinTechs and the startup DNA of Challenger banks: What is a completely new type of bank, which is not a bank? Yapeal gives, among other protagonists, an answer to this question, which may turn out differently than expected:

For the people and thus the community, it does not matter in the long term which term is used for something which easily solves all their money and financial management problems. People are increasingly thinking less in bank or non-bank grids - and certainly not in dimensions like FinTech, Neo-Bank, Digital Bank or whatever. These are terms that only occupy us as editors and experts from the financial sector. 

People just want "something" that takes on the role of a finance bro, a pay bro, a reliable partner who cares and makes all that is needed right now. Simple, comfortable, versatile, thought-provoking where the user can act flexibly without having to think about technology, configuration, hurdles or limits. 

The YapApp is that "something". The user retains the direction and uses what he needs. Yapeal makes it all easy and comfortable. The technological helpers, the algorithms, takes place in the background without the user needing to know about them. YapApp is personalized and always readily available, intuitive, inviting, ready to interact to fulfill the user’s needs.

Therefore, the question is not whether Yapster is a bank or something completely different. It is what the community wishes. And because the community has a thousand faces, it’s what a single user needs right now.

From the idea to Yapeal to the Yapster: The roadmap

The roadmap in the picture with the central stations: From the first thought, through the founding of the company, to the phases of staged live switching of the various functions.

How did fifteen founders come together to put everything on the same card?

Is Yapeal a fun startup on the green field, who wants to implement a smart idea and let's see how far it goes? Rather not, the founders have clear plans and equally clear goals. The makers have as a team and individually many years of experience in financial institutions, big banks or card companies and have the necessary skills in all major disciplines. Taken together, there is a team with new ideas, know-how, competence and execution power at work.

In addition, all members of the current team are among the founders and co-owners, inspired and driven by a common vision they have in mind. Most have exchanged a secure and well-paid job in the financial industry against the vision of giving banking a new face. 

In other words, they are serious, passionate and are having fun with what they do. Presented and seen from the editorial point of view during the visit to Yapeal in Zurich are the following faces of professionals and doers.

By the way: Yapeal has filled most key functions except the CEO role that is still being sought preferably female. If a CEO has the wish to act as a visionary, doer and banking pioneer, she will find here an interested communication partner. Although preferably female this opportunity is not closed for a male CEO and will be considered if he is as good as the best woman.

Our interview partners

During our visit, we were inspired by the entire Yapeal team. Inspire understood in a sense that also the non-spoken tells an extra story. A story that can help with writing articles, the spirit of a team, the relaxed atmosphere coupled with a forward-pressing determination to pack between the lines.

We then discussed plans, goals, facts and details with Andy Waar (CMO) and Christian R. Meier (COO). Taken together, over 45 years of marketing, banking and technology experience at the table, actively leading Yapeal into the new banking era.

Andy Waar und Christian Meier von Yapeal
Andy Waar, CMO (left) and Christian R. Meier, COO (right) | Photo: Sonya Fricker, MoneyToday.ch

Watch how a bank is created

Or just a "thing". One way or the other, it is exceptional when creators involve their community so early in the process. Typically, the communication starts shortly before the launch - and zack, it is there, the new bank. Yapeal is deliberately taking other paths here, too, because the startup not only lets the growing community watch, it can and should have its say. Believing that no bank, neither a traditional nor a neo-bank, knows better than the community, what people lack, what they want, what they need and what they will actually use.

What is cleverly staged leads quickly to a dialogue with the market, on the other hand it establishes a high standard and puts the makers under pressure. If the promise comes before the product, it must be delivered at certain intervals. However, this courageous decision to self-created performance pressure also offers opportunities. If it is possible to have a large and, above all, involved community on board before the product enters the market, the terrain is ready for a strong launch. This can have a very positive effect on the start, growth and further development of the product. Because users are not just customers, but rather Yapsters and thus just family and friends.

Interesting approach. We, too, from the editorial office will watch, dig deeper and talk regularly about the project, its development and its makers.

This article is also available in German