We spoke to Founder of our customer SPARQ Danila Belokons to discuss their COVID-19 experience, the future of fintech, and the highs and lows of his company’s journey.
When was SPARQ set up, and who was involved?
The main idea of SPARQ came into sight in 2018 when the gap between Fintech and Traditional Banking sector became very noticeable because of the rise of bank challengers and neobanks. The project is led by fintech innovator and enthusiast Danila Belokons whose life has been connected with banking since childhood.
Who exactly is your audience?
Sparq is developing a unique product that will include various gamification techniques and UX designs to keep our main audience intact — millennials and gen z. Although we’re creating the culture and the application around the values of the mentioned demographic groups, we believe that people of all ages will be able to use Sparq to make their lives better and upgrade their financial experience.
Can you share any stumbling blocks that were experienced in the early days?
As the professional racers say: “if everything’s under control you’re going too slow”. Launching a startup can be smooth only if the team is ready to face challenges and flexible enough to adapt the changes. Regarding stumbling blocks, it was really hard to establish and stick to a clear vision and strategy in a rapidly changing market. Building everything from scratch: internal communication and daily operations, effective structure, long-term partnerships — it all takes a lot of time and effort. Kudos to Railsbank for such a quickly established cooperation with us!
What are the things you are most proud of in your company’s journey?
We are really proud of the team, technology, and the company culture we create on a par with the product. We all are on the same page in the company, working both smart and hard. We have great synergy, we’ve found our working pace and have passed the first leadership crisis, thanks to large fintech companies, our advisors, and universities that share their experience and knowledge with us.
In April 2021, after months of validating our concept and testing our app, we are really proud to offer our customers a new banking application, which comes with a SPARQ bank account, the ability to earn QPoints, and free and instant money transfers across the European Union. The app will be further developed in the coming 2–3 months to deliver many more exciting and useful features.
Looking outside of SPARQ now, how do you see your industry developing in the coming years?
There is a rising trend in the Fintech field. The market is still in the early phase, so there is so much to be done here. Mostly the development of the industry comes from the perspective of automatization and the adoption of the fintech trends by regular users and the people who are not used to fintech.
We are in a very volatile position at the time of this interview with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Can you share any survival tips for businesses?
As I’ve mentioned before — we should adapt. It takes courage to take decisive actions. My survival tip is to share the real picture of your business with your team ASAP and focus your activity on helping others in these difficult times.
And finally, what do you see as the future of fintech?
For us the future of fintech looks very fascinating. All thematic areas in fintech will significantly change the way we interact with finances today. Digital currency, mobile money, new network-enabled markets, new payment platforms and marketplaces, the implication of quantum computing, cybersecurity, and regulation.
In the future, there will be absolutely new data-driven standards helping us to manage resources more efficiently!