What’s FinTel? Interview with Andy Hallam

Everybody hopes that 2021 will be slightly better than the year we have just had. Not that everything was bad, especially for fintech that has proven resilient. Fintechs were not wiped out in numbers by the pandemic. Good startups managed to raise big funding rounds and products hit the market at pace. But before we head off to what could be another record year for the fintech industry, we asked a few questions to Andy Hallam, UK CEO of mobile network To The Moon Mobile. They have just launched an innovative mobile fintech service in the UK. It is a first-to-market combination of super flexible tariffs and built-in crypto wallet: FinTel, if you love acronyms.

Tell us more about To The Moon Mobile and why you have decided to launch a fintech venture?

Initially, we wanted to create something fundamentally new for the UK market; something that no one had done before. We began to think about which services on the market are most in demand now and which will be needed in the future. This is how the idea of creating an ecosystem was born: combining a mobile network and fintech services under one roof. We are now providing mobile operator services and a crypto wallet. And as you know, the cryptocurrency growth trend is gaining momentum, with experts predicting further growth in Bitcoin.

Can you explain a bit more about this first-to-market hybrid of mobile and fintech aka FinTel?

Firstly, no one in the UK offers a telecom and fintech ecosystem – we call it FinTel. In addition to our mobile services operating on the EE network, we are the first mobile network to feature a built-in crypto wallet. By combining these services, we are giving our customers an easier entry point into the crypto world. Therefore, making cryptocurrency more accessible and convenient.

Secondly, we are the flexible bundle network. We believe mobile users should only have to pay for what they need in a mobile service. This is why we don’t restrict our customers by offering several plans with limited choice. To The Moon Mobile customers can set up their own bundle. They can choose the exact amount of data that suits their need using the bundle slider scale on the website or in the To The Moon Mobile app.

Now to the fintech side of things: tell us about the crypto wallet functionality? What sets you apart from the other wallets?

We believe cryptocurrency is a currency of the future. In launching To The Moon Mobile with a built-in crypto wallet, we want to make it easier and safer for our customers to both familiarise themselves with and use cryptocurrency in everyday life. From storing money in cryptocurrency to paying for mobile and other services. What sets us apart as a FinTel service company is the convenience and cost-savings that come with combining mobile services and a crypto wallet. All within one app. This also means our customers can contact us with their queries or support needs via any channel – from a chat with a live operator to a call – and get through within 30 seconds!

What are your views on crypto in the context of PayPal’s announcement and the recent Bitcoin rally? Are we close to wider public adoption?

We have long believed crypto to be a currency of the future. We’re now seeing a growing number of mainstream brands beginning to recognise this. While still in its relative infancy, we are of the view cryptocurrency will remain a valuable asset to current and future investors. As such, we expect it will continue to attract wider adoption from brands and the public alike.

Any plans for the future or FinTel product roadmap you want people to know about?

We have ambitious plans for the year ahead. Most importantly, we will be continuing to expand our FinTel ecosystem to combine the services our customers need today and in the future under one roof. As part of this, we have signed a partnership with banking-as-a-service platform Dzing Global to provide customers joint mobile and digital payment accounts, virtual and physical payment cards, on-line and off-line payment methods, worldwide remittance services and other customer-centric functionalities.

We will also continue to develop as an innovative mobile network. We will be introducing a host of new services, such as eSIMs and a referral program and, of course, we will continue to build on our super flexible range of tariffs.

Our near-term plans also include the evolution of our crypto-wallet. With this will come the ability to pay for mobile services with cryptocurrency, to make cryptocurrency deposits, and the creation of cross-offers between mobile services, crypto-wallets and debit cards, which will allow our customers to get more from each service while using our products.

Finally, we’re aware cryptocurrency is a relatively unknown concept to many people. As such, we will soon be starting a To The Moon Mobile blog about financial literacy, cryptocurrencies, and simple steps to start investing to help make these opportunities more accessible to everyday people who are unfamiliar with the topic of investing in cryptocurrencies.