Q&A- Investors / Corporates

7 Questions with Clemens Grond of Telefonica

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself – both at work and leisure.

Clemens is Product Manager at Telefónica Germany driving innovations in mobile banking, payment and security. In his role he has been responsible for delivery management of O2 Banking, a mobile banking service launched by Telefónica Germany and Fidor Bank in 2016.

Prior to joining Telefónica, Clemens worked for small e-payment companies as well as for large multinational corporations throughout Europe and Asia. Having lived in multiple countries for years he recently settled down in Munich with his family and enjoys the mountains and beer gardens in Bavaria.

2. What prompted Telefonica Deutschland to launch a mobile banking offering?

Telefónica’s aim is to enable customers to use the achievements of digitalization. O2 Banking was created to support this goal by optimizing the way a bank engages with customers: providing a mobile-centric, seamless experience combined with various benefits.

3. How did the partnership with Fidor come about, and where do you see it going? 

The idea of a mobile bank account paying interest in Megabytes came up during discussions between Fidor Bank and our Telefónica Financial Services team.

With both companies located in Munich we quickly agreed that a collaboration can give customers the best of two digital worlds: quick and easy banking services via a mobile app, combined with innovative additional services from their O2 mobile contract. Within weeks we setup an initial test system, analyzed feedback from trial users and developed the solution further until initial launch of O2 Banking in July 2016.

Based on the insights gained from the initial market experience we will further shape the proposition and overall solution and jointly explore further business opportunities.

4. Is this a one-off experiment or is financial services part of Telefonica’s long-term strategy?

A relevant market trend is the appearance of digital applications that make our customer’s lives easier and more secure in many areas. Adding a mobile banking solution to our Telefónica digital product portfolio is not seen as an one-off experiment but rather as another step to enable our customers to handle important elements of everyday life via their mobile phones.

5. What trends and potential areas of collaboration do you see between the European telecom and financial services market?

Financial service and Telecom companies can utilize their individual assets to bridge the financial and telecommunications worlds by facilitating mobile banking and payment solutions across Europe.

6. What type of FinTech startups could be relevant to telecoms like Telefonica?

Relevant FinTech startups offering services supporting our customers in their digital mobile lifestyles. FinTech startups with amazing ideas are also invited to apply for Wyra, Telefónica Deutschland’s startup accelerator (de.wayra.co).

7. What are you expecting to take away from the FinTech meets Telecom event?

Firsthand information exchange with FinTech startup and Telecom representatives about similar partnerships between startups and large corporations.