#figoInside: Pickware introduces its Shopware plugin for automatic comparison of banks
This time on #figoInside: Samuel Vogel, CEO of Pickware. Pickware was released to the public for the first time in 2015, making life much easier for retailers – whether online or in the brick-and-mortar store. Since May 2016, the product has been the official ERP system of Shopware and now operates under the name “Shopware ERP powered by Pickware”. One of its many innovations is a plugin that automatically compares and assigns outstanding invoices and incoming bookings using figo’s technology. This saves online retailers a lot of time, to say nothing of nerves. In the following interview, Samuel Vogel tells us exactly how the idea for the plugin came about, what advice he would give to a bank CEO, and what role figo plays in Pickware.
Short and sweet
1. The future of FinTechs is …
2. Developers and banks are friends. Yes? No? Maybe?
Yes! At least they will become good friends in the future, because digitization is moving forward and banks too have to jump on the bandwagon. Developers are absolutely necessary for this.
3. PSD2 makes banking better. Yes? No? Maybe?
Yes. Security is very important here in Germany and the opening of banks was long overdue.
4. In 2035, there will be no more bank branches. Yes? No? Maybe?
No, I think there will still be some.
5. Mountains or beach?
Both. Variety is the spice of life.
Starter: When did you first come up with the idea for your service? What were you doing?
We work hard to meet customers’ wishes and look for where demand is greatest. After we had already expanded our service offering various plugins for shipping and storage, we saw the next opportunity in the area of finance. In addition to inventory management, this is an important element in the everyday life of an online shop retailer, where there is much need for improvement and automation. For one of our plugins, the automatic bank reconciliation, we looked for ways to link account information and entered into a successful cooperation with figo.
World Improver: What does your service make a little bit better or easier?
Online retailers have to manage many orders and particularly with advance payments and invoice orders, automatic assignment of incoming bookings hugely simplifies daily business. Eliminating manual, regular checking of incoming bookings and balances saves our customers a lot of time in everyday life. They can work faster and more efficiently, and then focus on better customer service, for example, faster shipping.
Convincing Talent: Who was the first person to convince you that your idea is awesome?
In our development and prioritization of new ideas we always try to look closely at customer requirements and wishes. So, we knew that there was a lot of interest in a bank reconciliation plugin and did not have to convince anyone of the need for it in-house. In addition, the benefits of automatic bank reconciliation are also obvious – especially if everything fits together as seamlessly as in a system like ours.
Spreading Wisdom: What would you tell a bank CEO if you had a coffee with him/her? What should she/he do better or differently?
We are currently experiencing exciting times because a lot is changing and many innovations are taking hold. Of course it is not optimal to jump on any trend immediately. However, we would advise a bank CEO to anchor the culture of innovation more in their company. Digital developments come slow for most banks. They would benefit from a cultural change in which all corporate levels commit themselves to driving innovation. We have the impression that thus far, most banks have been unable or unwilling to implement this culture of innovation.
Door opener: Briefly explain your product/service and what role figo plays in it. What does figo make possible? What would be difficult or impossible if the figo API were not integrated?
With our plugin for automatic bank reconciliation, all incoming bookings are displayed in the Shopware backend and automatically compared with advance payment and invoice orders. The payment status of the order is automatically set to “paid”. No manual upload of a CSV file or special HBCI/FinTS access is required at the bank. figo offers us the absolutely necessary interface to import transactions from the bank account into the shop system. The advantage with figo is that all banks are connected and we can offer the service to all our customers.
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