« Back to blog posts

Entrepreneurship in the Fintech World

Work – Fintech

May 25, 2021

Luvleen Sidhu, the Chair, CEO and Founder of BM Technologies, Inc., joined us for a fascinating conversation about digital banking, taking her company public, and the practices that keep her grounded. She inspired us to start over with both our understanding of banking itself and how to reframe daily challenges as opportunities. 

What is Fintech?

Fintech transforms the traditional financial services industry by embedding it with technology, particularly in customer facing areas, to address pain points and make banking a better customer experience — so banking services are easy to understand, easy to access, easy to use and low cost. 

Fintech as an Act of Service

Service is inherent in all fintech business models. Luvleen’s firm, BankMobile is specifically creating access for underbanked as well as affluent people, helping them to have a strong financial foundation on which they can build for the rest of their lives. The company offers its services to non-banks as well as banks to be able to reach more customers. 

BankMobile is aiming to build a consumer brand in banking. Luvleen wants customers to love their bank. The first year, over 100,000 accounts were opened because she offers easy, convenient, and low cost products and services.  Bank Mobile has been able to build more loyalty than traditional banks because of its ease and convenience and is building a brand people like and trust. 

Traditional retail banking relies on branches that are high cost to maintain.  The traditional banking industry has covered this cost by charging penalty fees for overdrawn accounts, fees for money transfers, etc.  Digital banking does not have this high cost branch structure, so their cost base is substantially lower – a benefit they can pass along to their customers.

Turning Challenges Into Opportunities in Banking

Incubation: It’s very difficult to get a bank chartered and get the capital required to start a bank. Luvleen believed in her mission and the business model and benefited from the opportunity to get incubated by Customers Bank.

Regulations: In this highly-regulated industry, if you make a mistake, you’re on the regulators’  blacklist. BankMobile has learned to navigate the regulatory maze and built the infrastructure and DNA for how to run the company within a regulated industry. She keeps the regulators abreast of the business model. It’s essential to constantly be thinking through risks, mitigants, and the policies in place. 

Customer Acquisition: Her company pivoted models to get a high volume of bank customers at low cost. They can acquire a customer for less than $10. Banking is a field in which everyone is potentially a customer, and there is an opportunity for many to compete for that customer. Banks may have trust and credibility but most lack agility. Fintech challengers try to make customers feel special and approach business as a service.

Bank Mobile has adopted a B2B2C (business to business to consumer) model to reduce the cost of new client acquisition.  The company’s offering is differentiated by enabling non-banks with good tech to enter the banking space. 

Taking the Company Public: It’s very difficult to be a public company, compared to being a division of a larger bank. It’s a new function and role to talk to investors, prepare filings, prepare for earnings calls, etc. Equity analysts are not operators and their questions are asked with the intention to poke holes. BankMobile does not approach their work quarter to quarter but rather is focused on building a long-term sustainable business. Luvleen feels pride in where she is today as well as immense gratitude for the opportunity. She considers it the opportunity of a lifetime.

Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Leaders

It’s important to cultivate a mindset of openness. Do not create limitations or barriers. The worst thing you can do is limit your potential or have limiting beliefs. Try to be open to all creative possibilities, and allow yourself to just dream. It cannot become a reality if you do not allow yourself to dream it.

Take the time to reframe challenges. Every single day is an uphill battle, but you will eventually become immune to it because it will be part of the day-to-day rhythm. Approach each challenge as a moment in which you can create another opportunity. 

Do not give up on balance. It is possible. You can have everything you want, just not at the same time. Accept that there will be moments in which you feel out of balance, but you do not have to give up on anything over the course of your lifetime.

Develop a morning ritual that fulfills your needs. A strong practice that keeps you grounded and sets you up for the day makes a huge difference in your mindset and daily preparedness. Luvleen shared her own morning practice – a Buddhist chant, a type of sound meditation that helps to elicit her most expansive self, start the day with a strong armor, and approach life fully.

During challenging moments, she remembers her father’s valuable advice – never give up.

Other articles:

Parenting with Sanity and Joy

Way of Living – Parenting June 8, 2021 Sue Groner joined us for a Way of Living conversation about the joys and challenges of parenting. She shared her CLEARR method, emphasizing how respectful communication with your child can alter the dynamic in your home, making your child more responsible while you experience less stress. She…

Keep reading »

The Power of Notebooking and Journaling

Way of Living – Literacy June 1, 2021 Stephanie Affinito, a literacy teacher educator, joined us for a Way of Living conversation about the types, benefits, and joys of notebooking. She illuminated how notebooking is an activity that can be tailored to our interests, needs, and hopes, ultimately supporting us to grow closer to the…

Keep reading »

Entrepreneurship in the Fintech World

Work – Fintech May 25, 2021 Luvleen Sidhu, the Chair, CEO and Founder of BM Technologies, Inc., joined us for a fascinating conversation about digital banking, taking her company public, and the practices that keep her grounded. She inspired us to start over with both our understanding of banking itself and how to reframe daily…

Keep reading »

Dementia with Dignity

Wellness – Awareness May 18, 2021 Patti Wick joined us for a powerful yet sensitive conversation about managing the effects of dementia, after a loved one is diagnosed. Patti shared data as well as lived wisdom that can help us to start over our thinking about dementia itself and start over our approach with loved…

Keep reading »

Timely Tech Tips

Way of Living – Tech Date: May 4, 2021 Christopher Hobbick, an IT expert, joined us for an important conversation about how to successfully, safely, and easily start over our digital lives. He shared the details of his upcoming application for estate planning and then provided quick tips for how we can use our devices…

Keep reading »

Bibliotherapy as Self Care

Category: Way of Living – Literacy Date: April 27, 2021 Stephanie Affinito, a literacy teacher educator, joined us for a Wellness conversation about reading as a method of self care. She defined bibliotherapy, illuminated self care, outlined the benefits of reading, provided tips on how to start over our reading life, and gifted us many…

Keep reading »

Finding Hope After COVID

Category: Wellness – Care Date: April 20, 2021 Mark Shapiro, MD, joined us for a Wellness conversation about his experience with COVID as a hospitalist in Santa Rosa, California. He vulnerably shared the personal and professional impact of COVID, his own takeaways and broader advice we can all use to emotionally start over, cultivating preparedness…

Keep reading »

Divided No More

Category: Work – Integrated Self Date: April 13, 2021 Atif Iqbal, a certified leadership and personal transformation coach, joined us for an indelible conversation about bringing your whole self to work; starting over by integrating the personal identity into the professional self.  The Challenges Behind Working with Integrity  Many of us have a professional self…

Keep reading »

Picture Books Are for You, Too!

Category: Way of Living – Literacy Date: April 6, 2021 Pernille Ripp, a teacher, author and educational advocate,  joined us for a conversation about the robust merits of picture books for readers of every age. She invited us to start over our reading lives by seeking the books that satisfy our interests and curiosities –…

Keep reading »

Fifteen with Gene

Category: Wellness – Fitness Date: March 30, 2021 Gene Schafer, an athletic trainer, personal trainer, and founder of ARC Athletics, joined us for a Wellness discussion centered around simple, yet effective exercises we can do in a short amount of time. Our talk felt particularly relevant after the pandemic, which has disrupted so many of…

Keep reading »

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Category: Work Date: March 23, 2021 Sarah Stamboulie, an executive, transition and leadership coach, joined us for a Work conversation about how to professionally start over while remaining in your current occupation or place of employment. She offered advice about how to navigate career development and proactively create opportunities within your organization, while being aware…

Keep reading »

Standing Up to Anti-Asian Hate

Category: Way of Living – Pop-Up Event Date: March 25, 2021 Soyoung Park joined us for an impassioned, vulnerable, and urgent conversation about her experience with anti-Asian hate in this country. Soyoung is a Korean-American teacher educator and a scholar of early childhood. Her presentation was extraordinarily moving, enlightening and informative. It invited us all…

Keep reading »

Humor, Seriously

Category: Work Date: March 16, 2021 We continued our Work series with an informative, hilarious conversation with Jennifer Aaker, a behavioral scientist whose research focuses on cultivating a meaningful life. She shared with us how humor is endemic to professional success, social connection, and personal well-being, and how we can foster more of it throughout…

Keep reading »

Chocolate — Sweet Indulgence

Category: Way of LivingDate: March 9, 2021 Peter Moustakerski, an absolute chocolate guru, joined us for a wide-ranging discussion about chocolate, including its long history, production details, health benefits, ethical considerations, as well as where to find high-quality chocolate on our own. He also led us through a delicious chocolate tasting, offering best practices for…

Keep reading »

Executive Search in Turbulent Times

Category: WorkDate: March 2, 2021 Gustavo Alba, an expert in recruiting and executive placement, joined us for a conversation about positioning yourself in the current job market, partnering with recruiters, and the effects of the pandemic on hiring practices. He offered insider advice and context to anyone looking for employment –   Reflect on Your Strengths…

Keep reading »

Staying Pain-Free While Working From Home

Category: Wellness Date: February 23, 2021 We continued our Wellness conversations with Dylann Craig, whose clinical area of expertise includes orthopedic and sports rehabilitation, physical therapy with manual techniques, functional and corrective exercises, and neuromuscular re-education. With the drastic changes to people’s work setup over this past year, 50% of Dylann’s caseload are problems with…

Keep reading »

Nutrition Myths

Category: Wellness Date: February 16, 2021 Next in the Startover series, we spoke with Sydney Greene, a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition for recovery from addiction, disordered eating, negative body image, and chronic digestive issues. Throughout our conversation, Sydney stressed that ultimately, food choices are individual and personal. Your eating habits can be customized…

Keep reading »

Breaking Through Financial Boundaries

Category: Wealth Date: February 9, 2021 Our first Wealth event featured the expert Justin Charise, a financial advisor who leads a comprehensive financial planning practice. He explained the benefits of working with a financial advisor, addressed our questions regarding the new tax plan, and shared tips for making sound financial decisions that are responsive to…

Keep reading »

Breathing With Bryan

Category: Wellness Date: February 2, 2021 We launched our Startover series with a conversation with Bryan Mirabella, a certified instructor in Restorative Breathing, Oxygen Advantage, and the Institute of Motion.  He offered simple ways in which we can change our breathing and shared how it can transform our sense of well-being. How to Breathe Breathe…

Keep reading »

Upcoming events:

  • Breaking Bad Pandemic Eating Habits

    Wellness - Eating Habits

    • What prompted Jiying to startover? How does one make a dramatic career change?
    • How can I break bad pandemic eating habits and get back on track?
    • What should I do when I’m tired of cooking and out of fresh ideas?
    22 JUN
    8:00 PM ET
    45 minutes
    With: Jiying Zhang
  • How Indigenous Worldview Can Change Our Future

    Way of Living - Culture & Values

    • Why is worldview reflection important?
    • How is our original Indigenous worldview different than what guides most cultures today?
    • Is comparing worldviews a dangerous binary?
    6 JUL
    8:00 PM ET
    45 minutes
    With: Four Arrows
  • Neighborhood News in New York

    Way of Living - News

    • What is your personal story leading up to when you took over Tribeca Citizen, a neighborhood e-newspaper?
    • How has it been to report during the past year, and what are some headline observations on people and businesses during the pandemic?
    • Looking back at your career, including at Tribeca Citizen, could you highlight a couple of interesting stories that you enjoyed covering?
    13 JUL
    8:00 PM ET
    45 minutes
    With: Pam Frederick
X

Stay Up-to-Date on Startover

Sign up to be stay informed about what is going on in the Startover community—new events, features and personal stories.