Stoyan Kenderov and I had a truly rich and candid conversation about the evolution of banking innovation and regulation, and though he appears ten episodes into Barefoot Innovation, it was Stoyan who first suggested I record our thought-provoking discussions and offer them as a series of podcasts. Thank you, Stoyan, for your encouragement! In this interview, we travel everywhere from communist Bulgaria to the emerging coding culture of mid-1990s Germany to today’s nucleus of innovation, Silicon Valley. In his current capacity, Stoyan leads Business Development and inorganic growth partnerships at Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group and its product brands Mint, Mint Bills, and Quicken.
As a child who literally disintegrated every toy he and his brother were ever given, Stoyan was born a natural disruptor. His vast curiosity has already taken him half way across the world, and he is ready to pass on his vision and wisdom to the new generation of financial consumers. (It was a real treat to hear how an innovator is teaching his young daughters about financial responsibility!) Stoyan and Intuit incorporate cutting edge behavioral research to create products that are simple, easy-to-use, and shorten the learning curve of traditional financial instruments.
Year after year, Intuit is recognized as one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” and Fortune World’s “Most Admired Software Companies.” With the acquisition of Check, and the creation of Mint Bills, the company now offers users a way to search for and set up bill reminders, see what bills are due and pay them with a single click so that they never miss a payment. Wired.com agrees that getting started with Mint Bills is easy; maybe Mint Bills can even help consumers forget that “bills are the worst!”
Prior to Intuit, Stoyan held executive positions at payments, telecommunications, and mobile companies such as Amdocs, XACCT Technologies, KPN-Qwest and pioneering German, Dutch and Austrian Internet service providers. He co-founded two start-ups and participated in four successful exits. He is an advisor and mentor at Village Capital – the financial services accelerator and impact investor, and he also invests personally in early stage financial services start-ups in Europe, India and the US.
I so enjoyed this conversation with Stoyan, and I hope you are as Intuit as I am. And, finally, here’s a bit more to exercise your financial (and listening!) skills:
See my previous blog post for more on serving the “underestimated” consumer and how behaviors can change under conditions caused by shortages of a key resource like money, time, or food.
Professor BJ Fogg of Stanford’s behavior model and how to motivate and trigger responsible consumption.
The CFPB’s Project Catalyst.
The Center for Financial Services Innovation’s brief on household cash flow challenges.
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