Cyril Chiche, CEO of Lydia Mobile App, spoke to EDC’s Samee Zafar. Lydia is the leading French mobile payment company among millennials.
Can you tell us briefly how Lydia mobile app works? How different is it from the likes of Venmo?
Lydia app is a mobile and secure interface to your financial life, no matter where your money is. From Lydia interface, you can check all your bank accounts, do all types of payments, get a loan, or buy an insurance for your phone or laptop.
The big success of Lydia came from its person-to-person feature. A Techcrunch in 2014 called us a “free Venmo for France”. This feature is still a big hit and people in France say « je te fais un Lydia » (meaning I Lydia you) just like for Venmo in the US. But we’ve gone far beyond person-to-person payments.
We’re a tech and product company and a lot of the services we launch are unique in many ways and that’s why people love them and recommend them such as our latest product which is a true shared account. It is a Lydia “sub-account” that you can share with anyone and define in a few taps who can do what, including spending the money of this account. To do so, each person can connect their existing Lydia payment cards to this account and decide to use this account as a money source for them.
The app is popular with French millennials. Do you see other age segments also beginning to take it up?
Lydia was initially and is still very popular with university students as this has really been our go-to-market strategy and today 37% of our 2.5 million users are between 18 and 24 years old. But the fastest-growing segment and now the largest group in our user base is the 25-30 years old group with 49% of our customer base. Following this is the 30-40 years age group representing 11%.
The interesting thing is that we are not doing any paid acquisition and never did so. Our growth is dynamic and represents a natural adoption cycle for financial innovation by the population.
What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time?
My main hobby is my family. I have a fantastic and incredibly supporting wife and 2 boys who are 17 and 13 and when I have free time, which is not often, we do things together. I couldn’t have done it without them so the least I can do is to give them my full attention when I’m with them.
What are your personal non-work related goals over the next few years? (e.g. write a book; climb a mountain)
Take a couple of months off and travel with my family in a slow way but it doesn’t really look like it’s going to happen soon!
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