Each month as part of our GO! Figure content series we will be spending time speaking with brand leaders to get their opinions on a different topic directly affecting our industry.

This month for our Brand Q&A we sat down for a chat with Christie H. Kristensen, Chief Marketing Officer for Nordic API Gateway, about challenger brands in the financial industry.

GO!: Hi Christie, first off for the benefit of our readers could you please tell us a little about yourself, your experience and your role at Nordic API Gateway.

CK: I have been living in New York, London, Paris and now Copenhagen and have always had a strong focus on Marketing and Partnerships. I lived in the UK for seven years where I worked for various SaaS and digital-focused companies such as Creativepool, Haymarket Media Group and the fintech company, World First which was acquired by the Alibaba group. In 2018, I moved to Paris to work for the Match Group before coming back home to Copenhagen to join the innovative team at Nordic API Gateway and Spiir.

At Nordic API Gateway, I have a great team around me where we focus on building a strong acquisition engine which includes various activations. We’re all growth hackers and are looking for the next thing we should test while working closely with sales and product teams.

GO!: How would you describe your brand in regard to traditional branding all the way to disrupting the market?

CK: Nordic API Gateway is the single leading open banking infrastructure in the Nordics with 99% payment and data (PIS and AIS) services and premium APIs. We are live in the Nordics and soon we will be across Europe. With our “deep and wide” go-to-market strategy, we work with Tier 1 banks such as OP Financial Group, DNB and Danske Bank to retrieve account information and perform account-to-account payments and service multiple industries such as ERPs and accounting to fintech and startups.

GO!: What benefits or negatives do you see from challengers brands in your sector?

CK: The fintech industry is booming and we see a high volume of new solutions and services launch each week. Following open banking, the competitive landscape has changed for the better and this will and already is benefiting the end-user.

This is a fantastic time and environment to be in as a Marketing expert. You’re always surrounded by great ideas and new ways to build services and attract new users. I personally work very well in a high-phased environment which keeps you on your toes. My team and I work very much as a growth hacking union and focus on keeping on top of the new movements, features and products.

GO!: What are the next steps for brand challengers in your sector?

CK: This year will be a very important year for financial services and for payment providers, banks, accounting firms etc. to own their interface. Within account-to-account payments, we see a heavy movement and interest in our live interfaces now in the Nordics and soon across Europe. Building convenient services and solutions and making the user-experience as smooth as possible is a big part of it followed by the safety and cost.

E-invoicing, account-to-account payments, real-time payments are all possible thanks to PSD2 – AI will also be a big part of this. Our own Spiir app is a great example of how to use account information (AIS) and how we’re helping young people get a better understanding of their financial behaviour through presenting their data in a meaningful way, so they have the tools to make the right decisions.

GO!: What would your advice be to marketing peers and brands who want to disrupt the norm?

CK: Similar to the pressure and the movements towards building relevant services and products, it’s equally important for marketing and communications to be relevant and use data in a meaningful way in order to build the best outcome.

Knowing your customers; who they are, where they are and how you should communicate with them is important to stay relevant.

GO!: Thanks for your insight in to marketing in the financial sector Christie.