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Lunar set to eclipse traditional banking

Lunar joins the Norwegian fintech cluster and we had a chat with Country Manager, Eilin Schjetne who visited us in the Fintech Hub at Media City Bergen. With more than 20 years of international experience from companies like VISA, Nets, and DNB, Eilin has now returned home and is set on making the danish banking-app, Lunar, the next big thing in Norway. They are already off to a good start and are building up their presence and are already looking to hire a diverse team that will be located at Mesh Youngstorget.

Let's get to know Eilin!

Tell us something that's not on your LinkedIn profile:

That I'm from Bergen! People are usually surprised when they learn I'm not from Oslo.

Guilty Pleasure:
Loud music! I have two kids that have got me hooked to "Russesanger" that I can dance along to.

Favorite Twist Chocolate:
Marzipan, because I don't eat it often and it reminds me of the holidays.

What's your ideal vacation?
A mix of city and beach. I've lived in Singapore for 3 years, and it's hands down my favorite vacation destination.

What could you talk about all day?
Probably banking.

Any book or author that has inspired you?
The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation
. It's about finding balance and peace of mind in a busy everyday life.

So what's the deal with Lunar?
Our philosophy is that you should get the best each bank has to offer, and that's why with Lunar you get a complete overview of the banks you're already using, with the option of sampling value-adding services from us. In other words, you don't have to choose either or, because you can get the best of "all" worlds.

You're currently upping the headcount in the team in Lunar - what are you looking for when hiring?
First of all, I believe in hiring the candidate that's best suited for the job. With that said, the finance sector is still largely male-dominated, and I would love to see more women come into the space. My advice for women contemplating a career in finance is to be more sales-oriented both in interview processes and in their job execution. Don't be afraid to take on demanding roles, and talk to other women about their experiences. Personally, I've been met with nothing but respect in my career in the industry and I am happy to share my experience with others.

Apart from that, I'd say that Lunar's employee profile is quite diverse. We have a mix of both junior and senior professionals with a strong drive to develop banking services in a completely new way. Lunar is built from scratch, which means no pesky tech legacy, and very little tiresome bureaucracy - making it easier to drive change and innovation. I think these factors play a crucial role and attract a younger workforce to us.

So you're reinventing banking - what does that mean exactly?
We're reinventing banking because it's important in people's lives, but not everyone realizes this. That's why we've had a focus on a younger target group than most banks right from the get-go. TikTok has been a great way for us to reach and interact with young people by partnering with Influencers to teach youngsters about making sustainable decisions about their personal finances. Another way we're standing apart is by having an increased focus on the SME market for banking services. This is an incredibly exciting area for us, and one that is often ignored by other banks.

We're also big on "emotional banking", which means designing UX and communication in a way that creates positive emotional responses that resonate with our users. We don't want to communicate like a typical bank, but rather use a language that people are familiar with and use in their everyday life. Banking doesn't have to be confusing and boring!

There have been strong claims previously from both challenger banks and neobanks stating they will change the way we do banking. How will you succeed where they failed?
It's a common misconception that Lunar is a neobank or challenger, but in reality, our ambition is to be a complete bank for the Nordics custom-tailored to each country. It's extremely important for us to be tightly connected to local banking infrastructures such as BankID in Norway, and its equivalents in the neighboring countries. We're building a Norwegian bank in Norway, a Swedish bank in Sweden, and so on because we realize the importance of tapping into the distinct differences in each country.

There is a lot of focus on how fintechs can partake and do their part within developing a more sustainable future and industry. How does Lunar work with this?
Sustainability, in general, is high on our agenda and we mean it's important to take social responsibility. For one we have launched "Project Blue" where you can choose to help clean the ocean for plastic waste each time you tap your Visa card, and you can visually see the impact of your contributions. We're also putting an emphasis on physical and mental health by organizing meditation sessions several times a week, and we've hired both a running coach for our employees and a nutritionist who's going to compose a sustainable Lunar diet for us!

What's your take on collaboration within the fintech industry?

The world looks to Norway when it comes to how we do banking and the trust we have from our customers. A lot of this can be accredited to the openness and willingness to collaborate in the industry. We've become members of NCE Finance Innovation to tap into this ecosystem which is exactly that - open and willing to collaborate. We're looking forward to getting in touch with other members of the cluster!