N26’s head of product is building a better bank

Fintech startup N26 recently reached a new milestone as it now has five million customers. The company launched onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt five years ago.

The premise was simple. A young startup wanted to build a bank that didn’t suck. Given the company’s impressive growth rate and its 4.8-star rating in the App Store, it’s clear that N26 is on the right path. Some people finally found a bank that they like interacting with.

I interviewed N26’s Chief Product Officer Georgina Smallwood about how she leads product at one of Europe’s  biggest consumer startups. In this wide-ranging discussion, we talk about her role in the organization, how the product and design team communicates and how she finds inspiration for game-changing ideas. The interview was slightly edited for clarity and brevity.

TechCrunch: How did you end up working for N26 and in that position in particular?

Georgina Smallwood: I’ve been in tech for almost 15 years now, mostly on the marketplace side of things. I’ve been really focused on the advertising marketplaces, properties, classifieds, things like that. My product career took me from Australia to Hong Kong, where I set up a business there under another company. I did lots of different things and ended up in Germany working on the IPO for a company called Scout24, which is a property classifieds business. That was about four years ago. After I left, I went back to Australia. But I think that because I’ve worked in Germany before, we had a couple of connections in common.

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