Gamal Moukabary is an engineer by training, a company builder by passion, and a believer in strong institutions. He studied electrical engineering and wrote his PhD in mechanical engineering. After having founded and lead a Public-Private-Partnership for eGovernment in Germany, he also worked with McKinsey & Company, serving tech companies and governments in various countries. For 6 years, he was the CEO of Regis24, a German Credit Agency, until he had the privilege to co-found Bonify in 2015. All founders of Bonify have been friends for a long time.
1. Tell us about your role in bonify?
I am the Co-Founder and CEO of bonify. bonify enables customers to benefit from their credit scoring and financial data. The company gives customers free and easy access to their credit score and enables them to correct incorrect entries. Then, it offers tools and personalized recommendations to help to optimize the customer’s financial situation.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
After I worked at McKinsey, I went to a credit agency Regis24. I joined Regis24 not in an early stage, but in the growth phase, and I was privileged to lead the company for six years and then decided to move on and take higher risks. I love to take risks and to make big bets. So I decided to start my own new company together with friends. That was 4 years ago. bonify now has more than half a million users, and the trend is rising. We are on the right track and help our users every day to improve their financial life.
3. How do you think technology is redefining Finance Space?
Digitization in the area of finance is still in its beginnings in Germany. This is due to user behavior. Germans are very skeptical when it comes to digitizing their own finances. But
if banking can be made easier thanks to technology and consumers can develop confidence in the technology, this will fundamentally change the financial sector.
4. Do you think giving access of credit information and allowing people to add more information to it was exactly what people wanted?
Yes, definitely. In Germany, there is a large credit agency that makes users pay to get insight into their own data. However, we believe that everyone should have access to their own creditworthiness data.
We can see the success of our concept from the growth in our user numbers. More than half of our new users already enter their online banking data when registering. This gives us permission to access the bank information. We have a total of three important data sources: The information provided to us by the users, the credit agency data and the transaction data from the bank account. Combining all those three factors give us, or specifically our customers, more insights into their real credit worthiness than they ever had in the past.
5. How do you define your finance manager tool?
Our financial manager is a great addition to our credit report. Because creditworthiness and finance are so closely related, it was a logical decision to make this tool available to our users.
Our financial manager now has many features. The account overview shows all transactions that can be filtered by category, date, usage and amount. The analysis function allows our users to quickly and easily see how much money they have spent on household or shopping, for example. The account radar notifies the user on request about set limits or income such as expenses. And last but not least, the user receives savings offers for electricity, gas, car or telecommunications companies.
6. As you store very important financial data, how do you assure data security?
Data protection is an important topic at bonify. This already starts with the registration. Our registration process takes place either with the ID and the mobile phone TAN or with the online banking account. This is the only way to ensure the secure identification of a user and no one else has access to the creditworthiness data. Our sophisticated data protection and security concept has been tested and certified by TÜV. In Germany TÜV is a modern service provider for technical testing and expert opinions, consulting as well as certification. All data is digitally encrypted and stored on high-security servers in Germany. Product offers that partners send to users are also made anonymous. Of course, user data is never sold and never passed on to third parties without express consent.
7. What advice would you like to give to the Startups?
Always pay attention to the relationship of trust within the team. Hire the best people you can find on the market. </a Prepare yourself and your environment well for an emotional roller coaster!
8. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
We have a great, very international team. We have a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, so bonify is constantly evolving. I know that I can trust my team to make responsible decisions.
9. Which Book are you reading these days?
Principles by Ray Dalio and Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.