Niknam set up bunq in 2012, inspired to reinvent banking in the wake of the financial crisis.
Today, bunq is one of the most well-known challenger banks across Europe, with millions of users across the Netherlands, Germany, France, and other European countries
Next up, it is launching in the US market, a tough nut to crack where other European fintechs have struggled.
In this podcast, Niknam, a serial entrepreneur who set up his first company when he was just 16, offers his insight into some of the latest fintech news stories.
This includes revealing his dealings with fintech regulators in light of strained relations between rival neobank Revolut and UK regulators.
“Maybe Revolut’s relationship with the regulators is good and this is just a way for Nik to get free publicity,” Niknam says.
He also offers a damning view of the current commercial potential of crypto and blockchain applications.
Talking about bunq, Niknam reveals the challenger bank is on course to make a full-year profit for the first time, as challenger banks across Europe face increased pressure to swing into the black.
He also shines a light on bunq’s plans to launch in the US, and how it might be bolstered by a new funding round.
On the European challenger bank market, he tells us why he thinks bunq’s subscription model will win out against free-of-charge rivals.
“Any business that wants to survive needs to be profitable,” he says, in a dig at rivals who have amassed millions of customers but remain unprofitable.
Finally, Niknam addresses criticism about his management style, saying those employees who criticise him didn’t meet the grade.
On disgruntled ex-bunq employees “venting” online, he says, “We always find it a bit sad that people don’t discuss it internally” but “it’s a free country”.