(upbeat music) - Thanks, everybody, I'm very happy to be here. I wanted to introduce myself by introducing somebody else.
Anson, is what I call him our Chief Imaginer. He was our first employee, actually at my company. My company's called Ferocia.
Anson, I've been working together for I think about eight years now on various different products.
So I'm actually an imposter today.
He's actually the person that should be speaking but he's travelling at the moment so he couldn't make it so he asked me to step in. So I'll do my best.
Basically, when we started, there was just two of us, me and my business partner and then when Anson came they were three.
And so Anson and I have worked on the product since day one, so I'll probably got some good stories to share. And also just give you guys some insights I thought I might start with other than introducing Anson, I'm might also just introduce Up for those that don't know just maybe a quick question, put your hand up if you have an Up account, anybody? So a few people already know about Up.
I actually we took a big (mumbles) doing a lot of conferences.
I went to a conference the other day as one of those boring sort of bank conferences. And I asked if anybody had Up and like, literally every single person in the room had it so, and they were like competitors, so that's fine. So my company Ferocia actually partnered with Bendigo Bank nearly eight years ago, not to build Up originally, we partner with them to build their mobile internet banking.
And so I thought it was just worth mentioning, that sort of history and where we've come from, when we moved into that space, the iPhone and sort of just been...
Just sort of, getting its legs, I don't think it was in was in Australia yet. And so I think we had to wait to like 3G or whatever. And so it was very early days.
And what was happening was that mobile was starting to become a thing because the iPhone launched in the U.S and maybe it just come out in Australia or whatever. And it was sort of people getting traction. And say for example, Bendigo is the fifth largest bank in Australia and the big four banks are like 25 times the size of Bendigo in age, so you got the big four banks. And you got Bendigo and they had 75,000 mobile users. So mobile was like nothing really a 1.7 million customers. So now there are about mobile very much.
And we came along and said, mobile is the future, we should build an awesome mobile app.
So we did that.
We now do about, I don't know, one billion dollars a month through the platform. We have 800,000 monthly active users.
Yeah, so it's big, it's awesome.
And so that makes us all the money so that we can do the things maybe we wanna do. We won awards all the time, we aint bored with it, but we win awards and things all the time.
Every year for the last five years, we've won Best Mobile Internet Banking System in Australia. And then we had this idea to build Up and again, I want to cover all the history but in a Nutshell, we worked for four and a half years with big banks in Asia and in Australia to try and build a digital bank and then never got to customers hands.
So, there were numerous organisations that had all sorts of big budgets like we had one project we did, we have $400 million budget, it's like small budget.
They said these start with one country and we want you to roll it out to 10 countries, and said they just saw on a check for 400 million. So it look like you think that's great.
But actually working in those organisations and trying to integrate with their systems trying to get prioritised resources, they call people, like, all that sort of stuff is absolutely crazy. So we decided to start our own digital bank, and yet people kinda like it.
So I just thought it was good, following introduction to say, what has Up done? We launched in October last year.
So it's only been nine months since we launched. But we quickly did some partnerships.
So one was we said the Bendigo.
We struggled to work with these big banks.
There was no way when we started to get a banking licence really in Australia. You could get one but if you had a couple hundred million dollars, and if you had a core banking system, or sort of stuff. And the last banking licence for those who don't know, was issued about 28 years ago in Australia. So, since then we've had ANZ come as a foreign bank, and we've had some other banks like HSBC and City Group whatever setup sort of foreign subsidiaries. But essentially, there's been no new Australian banks and you might think of Maybank or you might think of UBank or whatever.
And they're owned by the large financial institutions. So we've had sort of no fresh blood and it would be hard for us to do that.
So we talked to Bendigo and said, since we've been building your mobile bank, and it's totally awesome, what if we partner together? And that we're very brave in actually taking a punt in a small startup, which is based down here in South Melbourne. At the time, we were less than 20 people.
And we said we wanted to build Australia's fifth biggest bank.
So they sort of looked at us and said, "Hey, we're Australia's fifth biggest bank." (audience laughs) And I said, Well, that's okay, Because if everything goes to plan, then in 20 years, we'll buy you.
We just sort of these jokes.
Anyway, so we partnered with Bendigo and they've been absolutely amazing.
And we actually, because I have a banking licence, so we found out very quickly, you can't borrow a banking licence.
So you have to be like a subsidiary or all this other crazy stuff.
So, we wanted to remain independent.
We were a fiercely independent, and we're all engineers. So at about at the time, I think there might have been 20 people out of the 20 people, there were three people that don't write code anymore or don't do product anymore. And that's me, I'm a developer and graphic designer before that, but I just don't do that anymore because I'm too busy doing other stuff.
And then my business partner who's never written any code or done any product in his life, and then the chef, everybody else is an engineer, or product person or a designer.
So that means that everybody was very hands on. So, with that in mind, we basically said, how do we go about using technology to solve the problem of banking? And so we got into production, we teamed up with Google Next and Google is... We're launching their new cloud platform, and they were going to launch in Australia. So we heard some rumours and then launched in Australia, we spoke to Google and said, We wanna be the first bank in the world to launch in the cloud on GDP.
And they're like, sounds cool.
So we worked on that.
We got to production in a few months, and then we operated in production sort of in secret for a year.
So that we could demonstrate to the regulators that we could run a bank.
So this is a little bit about us.
This is just a quote I thought was really interesting, I didn't even know this person.
Every Malaysia, and they're just making comments about what's going on in Australia.
And this was sort of a few months after we'd launched, is to say, if I was a big bank on look out because Apple is coming and that's really nice. So what happened was, we launched things went pretty crazy. I just highlighted here that by June...
So in about February, about sort of four months after launching, we announced we had 50,000 accounts, 30,000 customers, and then and these are the real numbers.
And this is not like just a made up slide.
And then by June, which was just like maybe five weeks, six weeks ago, we announced that we had 100,000 customers. So the population in Australia is 25 million, there's 18 million adults.
For us to get 100,000 customers eight months, that means we're the fastest growing digital bank ever, except for one that we found in China or Korea actually was a little bit quicker.
But, you Monzo, you Revolut, you N26, your Sterling, all these cool digital banks around the world, obviously took a lot longer than that.
So for example, Monzo in the first year, I think it was something like 70,000.
They got a population of 65,000 in the UK.
So basically we're killing it.
So the purpose of today's presentation is how we doing that? And how do we think about enhancing 'cause of the adjacent possible.
How we thinking about doing things differently and using our product as, our marketing engine using our product in sort of excellence as a way for people to, get on to what we're doing and then become advocates.
So, how do you measure these things, we don't do NPS and that sort of stuff.
I mean, we might one day, but this is just a screenshot from I can say 22nd of April. But basically, for the first sort of five months of the year, we were in the top 10 in the App Store. And at some point, we were the second fastest growing bank in Australia just behind CommBank.
So it's pretty amazing to sort of come from nowhere. And then people are saying, Well, how do you do that? We just thought to be good to share some of that knowledge. The first thing is that we don't go after like a demographic, like we just build awesome shit. And then everyone loves it.
So we don't I go.
Okay, we need to build something for a female skew in metropolitan areas that age between 17 and 20. We just don't do that crap, right? It's just not interesting.
(audience laughs) So what we did do is because you have to get money to do this stuff.
So we're sort of self funded business.
And we have to talk to our stakeholders, you know obviously MasterCard, we've been together as Google's, as Apple's whatever.
And say, we need to fund some growth and everything and pretty much the answer is not always no. So we had to put some marketing plans together and blah, blah.
And one of the things we did was we said, okay, we wanna target archetypes rather than demographic.
So we're just gonna say, we wanna go for software developers, why? Because we're all software development.
So we just start with it mates, and then we'll just let them know and then they'll let their mates know and so on. So we did that to start with.
And it turned out that there was a real male skew, and they were very young, but maybe not super young, maybe in the mid 20s to early 30s.
And then we went out sort of beyond that and started going after creatives.
So we said we just want people who understand what we're doing.
Understand good product, understand product design, understand what it means to be customer centric and that sort of stuff.
So we just started speaking at conferences or participating conference and we do computer gaming conference.
And this is maybe there's a bit of bullshit but the day before, it seemed like we had no Computer Gaming customers right? But then we did this conference packs of 100,000 people over three days at Jeff's Shed and we did this awesome presentation, we competed with the world champion Mario Cats and two of our guys beat him in one race but he won overall.
And then we had the Esports Champions of Australia come and play us in Mario Cat and everything and we built some technology to do a live school board of Mario Cats.
Really cool, if you haven't seen it, you should check it out.
And so we did that at a gaming conference.
And everyone was like, Who the hell are these guys? They're building this awesome gaming stuff? And they're building a bank.
The next day 33% of our customers were gamers, (audience laughs) right? So that's a bit the bobby bullshit, but that's how it felt like.
It felt like, sort of if you can find people that know what you're doing and resonate with what you're doing, it doesn't matter who they are or what gender they associate with or what age they are, or where they live, or that sort of shit.
It doesn't really matter.
What matters is that they care about your product and they become passionate advocates of your product. So as a consequence, our largest age group at 19 and the median age.
So 50% of our customers aged between 16 and 24. Any bank in the world would kill for that customer base, why? Because in the next five, 10, 20, 30, 50 years, we gonna grow up with those customers as long as we can, keep them happy and maintain them. I just wanna be interesting for you guys to say, one of the cool things that we do.
One of the cool things we do, is identify our merchants so that when you, and I'll show you some of the stuff.
When you're looking at, and if I start reading every time someone yell at me, because I'll just keep talking.
But when you start looking at, say banking, as pretty boring, but what we do is for five years now, we've been building technology to identify the merchants and then actually expose that information to customers. But we do some cool things that others have not thought of yet.
Like if you go to Coles and Woollies or 7Eleven, or pretty much any one of these ones, they don't have one location, they might have 1,000 or 2,000 locations and so we aggregate all of that, and then show you everything, all of your spend that bakers delight or all of your spend at Subway or whatever.
So I'm just gonna be interesting for you guys to say with that customer base, the type of customers and then society that we have around about 500 thousand merchants across the world now that we've identified.
The likes of Google and Apple, and they got some great mapping technology and all the rest of it.
And those guys sort of looked to us now and say, oh shit, how do you get such awesome merchants, but we've been doing it with billions of transactions over five years. And that's how we did it.
So we took that technology, we made it even better, because we turned it into a technology that would allow us to identify the merchants, which is cool.
But then we actually made it so that we could auto suggest the merchants that have if you did you just buy a burger, in Hungry Jacks or whatever. And then we have a crowdsourcing solution that sort of pops up and ask the customer.
What is this? And then the customer can choose, they can upload the logo, whatever.
And they can tell us, this is a coffee shop in Brunswick that we don't know about and Google doesn't know about, and Facebook doesn't know about, nobody knows about it. But this customer buys their coffee there every day. So by doing that we actually have grown our merchant database to over 500,000 customers and 65,000 or more of them now are identified, which is pretty amazing.
So the way we explain it to people as we say that we're technology-led and I don't wanna confuse everyone and think oh, there's tech guys.
Like what I mean technology in that sense.
What I mean is, Skype is not a telecommunications company, but the largest telecommunications company in the world. Uber is not a taxi company, but they're the largest taxi company.
So you've heard that story before.
It's exactly the same in banking.
All the other digital banks in the world and the ones in Australia are all run by ex-bankers. So the thinking is banking, how do I build a better bank? Actually, our thinking is, how do we help people live? How do we help people have an awesome experience? How do we build technology that solves problems? So coming at it with a design mindset, coming up with a product mindset, coming up with a technology mindset, I just call that technology-led 'cause it's too hard to describe to everybody, all the different adjectives and pronoun.
So it says, I think that it's just something to have a think about.
And then that sort of frames how we approach building product, is that we think about how do we build something to power people's lives, and then money is just something it's just the currency they using to live.
It's not actually, nobody wants to do banking, right? So when you think about that, then you gotta think about customer, and you can be customer-led and customer centric. That's fine.
You can be designed-led and everyone is talking about that nowadays. You read the books and go to the conferences, whatever. And you can be technology-led.
And we think actually all of those things together, when you combine them, there's a sweet spot right in the middle.
And if we can focus on that sweet spot, and we can solve the problems using those sort of tools, then we can actually deliver something that people love. And when people love something they tell other people about it, and so that costs us nothing.
This is the way we sort of think about who we are and what we represent, is just to explain in proper words, what I just said, is if you have empathy for your customers and your staff for that matter, and your competitors, if you think about people in a sort of humans in humane way, if you try new things, and if you're happy to experiment, and you're happy to partner or collaborate, you just put all those things together.
And what it leads to is a level of optimism, a lot of people that may get very excited about things and think that we can be the fifth biggest better Australia. But you have to have that big hairy goal, but you have to have that level of optimism and confidence and curiosity to be able to achieve it.
So anyway, so we think that sort of represents our culture and who we are and who we stand for.
And I've been saying for quite a while now, we never wanna to be bigger than 30 people. We're about 37 people today.
And so we sort of crack through that.
But I'm gonna talk a little bit about why that is. This must be boring.
So we're in South Melbourne, and we do cool tech stuff. So the average sort of bank in Australia had 15 days, 15 days of downtime in the last year.
And for us, we had two and a half minutes.
So yeah, so the way that we think about technology, as we built this technique, this maybe a little bit techno stuff, but some of you might be interested.
We built this technology to operate on the cloud. And we can spin up an entire banking platform in 45 seconds. Now who cares, right? Well, we care because we spend it up all the time, and we make thousands of them.
And then we run automated regression testing across the entire network of every single use case, every single device, every single operating system that you can possibly imagine.
We do that entire process in 26 minutes.
Now, we've worked with a lot of banks over the years and most banks would take weeks or months or whatever to do that.
And use humans and all assist stuff.
So we do all that automatically.
And we run that whole thing in our office.
And then we have all the tools that we use. And so 'cause we can do that in 26 minutes, it means that we can sort of reduces the barriers to change, because we can do that then twice an hour, which is 48. Let's call it 50 times a day.
So 50 times a day, we can release to production. And that's where the fully tested software. So we spent about 45 seconds, we spin up thousands of them, we test everything in parallel.
And then we deploy that.
And we do that we had a goal to do that five times a day, we actually deployed in November last year, on average, over the month of November of 10 times a day, software updates to customers, right? So not many companies in the world can do that little in the bank.
So we think that's important, because we think that means that we can achieve excellence in everything we do.
And even if we mess it up, we can just fix it up 10 minutes later, while we can just quickly fix in maybe an hour. But now we can quickly fix things up and get stuff to people all the time.
And so that means we can experiment.
So what I want to do is take you through a little bit about Up and then talk about more of the product stuff here. Hope we've got a good time.
Are we good? Yep, awesome.
(audience laughs) Okay, so the first thing is sign up.
So the signing up process for any service where you have to KYC a customer to get 100 points of ID, that sort of stuff, whatever, it's cumbersome, it's difficult, it's horrible. So what we did is we broke it up into its elements into the components and each screen, you only do one thing. So rather than having a form and gotta fill in all this other crap.
So you just got one.
The average time to sign up.
So we've had over 100,000 customers sign up to the Up. The average time to sign up for a regulated bank account with a high interest over, with a transactional account, and a digital wallet, either Google Pay, Apple Pay or the other pays. The whole time to do that, the average is two minutes and 12 seconds.
So that means that the barrier to entry is very, very low now to set up a bank account. We also think a little bit beyond signing out. We also think about sort of off boarding and reboarding. So we want to make it really, really easy to off board,. Because if we're not doing a good job, we don't deserve that customer.
So our job is to do a good job to deliver features, functionality, customer experience, design, product, all the cool things that people love, and that I wanna recommend to other people. And if we do a good job, they will stay.
If we don't do a good job, they'll leave, and we should make it really easy for them to leave. And then if we make it easy for them to leave, you know what? Maybe one day they'll come back.
So this is something to think about in the way that you think about the customer lifecycle.
We do these push notifications and a big deal, others do it too.
But now other bank puts the time on it, or the logo of where you just bought something or your balance.
Now we have no username and password to access Up. So we use biometrics and we encrypt every single thing we would say, it's the most secure bank in the world. And people will argue, and you can't say publicly, people want to hack you and all this other stuff.
But we made this awesome bank.
But what we then do, is that we don't have any need to login, you just actually open it and away you go.
And you don't need to have like a quick balance feature. So the way we tried for years to build a better quick balance feature.
How do you make it faster, swipe or pull down? How do you make it whateve? And all the banks are trying to do that.
We just got rid of the feature entirely.
Every time you spend, let's say 10 times a day, we put the balance on the push notification, you always know your balance.
So you don't need a push notification.
So we reinvented the wheel thinking how do you get your balance? We just always know it.
And it's not something you want to think about. But it's something you can know subconsciously. So what I said before about helping people live rather than bank, no longer do you need to go open up your app, find out what your balances, whatever.
He actually just know all the time, what your balance is and you can try it for yourself and see how awesome it is.
That's a small thing but it makes a really big difference. So this is the thing in Australia, the new payments platform, and when it was released, it's a little bit like the NVN is that in order for it to have traction, you need everybody to adopt it.
You need it to be supported and need to be rolled out. So with the big banks control, the big four banks in Australia control 85% of the market. So if they don't implement something new, then nobody uses it, right? Because 85% of people don't have access to it. So when NPP was announced the New Payments Platform there's a technology that sits over the top of a bill by the BPAY guys called Osko, and Osko lets you pay someone with their mobile number or you can use an IBM mobile number or email address, instead of their BSP and account number.
So that's really cool, but no banks do it.
Well, no banks did it.
I would say two years ago.
So we for Bendigo became the first bank in Australia to have 100% compliance of inbound and outbound real time payments. And then when we thought about building up, we said, why would you build a bank that takes overnight or three days or whatever to settle a transaction? Doesn't make sense.
Everything should be real time.
So we build a conversational payments, which is totally awesome, you haven't seen, you should try. A conversational payment system that's like your WhatsApp or whatever to talk to your mates.
You can use emojis, no associate and it sends money with your message.
But it sends money across the new payments platform using Osko by default.
So when you sign up for Up, if you already say, for example, got tricked into setting up a pay out deal with one of the big banks, then it would be very difficult for you to get out. So if you wanted to, for example, move, leave one of the big banks, or want to pick on them, specifically which ones but any of the big ones, if you wanted to leave them, let's tell them before we off boarding, it's very hard, right? You can't do it alone, they won't let you do it in the app, you gotta ring them up.
You gotta wait on hold for provenance, is too bloody hard. So once you've registered your mobile number or your email address with the bank, you're stuck. You can't do anything, it's horrible, right? So we just have a little button that you just push and just turn on and off.
This is for that, right.
But the other thing is that they're not meant that most people couldn't sign up for Up, because they had a CommBank or an ING account or whatever. And you can't use the route on payment system without a pay out day.
So what we did is we thought stuff that.
And we went to the regulators and we got an exemption to get an approval, so that we could actually generate a pay out day for every Australian.
So now you can sign up for Up and you get an auto generated pay out day.
And if you already lost your email address and mobile number to another bank, it doesn't matter, you can still use real time payments. So this is thinking about a little bit differently. We had to get obviously the exemption and everything 'cause it wasn't part of the of the rules.
And of course, everyone will copy, but that, we're not worried about that.
We just think it's awesome.
So I just said before about knowing where your money goes, we've been doing this stuff for for quite a long time. If you know the time of day, if you know where it was you bought it.
And if you know the name of the company that you bought it from instead of SAP Africa. I mean, this looks awesome.
And everyone's like, oh, yeah, that's what every bank looks like.
But actually five years ago, no banks look like that, not here or anywhere in the world.
And still banks don't have an address or some do but not many, or time of day.
And when you buy that sort of two items of lucky at Joe's, you've got no idea what it is when it comes to as Acme 786 ZYQ.
You don't know what that is.
And so when we then say to you it was 2 a.m, and it was in Fitzroy and it was jazz.
Suddenly you go, oh shit, I know what that was and you don't think it's a fraudulent transaction or whatever.
So it's very important.
And also another thing is nobody likes Excel. I mean everyone loves Excel but nobody really likes it. And (audience laughs) everyone loves mile but everyone loves zero and I know you all love accounting, right? Accounting is for fun.
Okay, well, I used to work with an accountant. He used to say that to me every day.
So anyway, it's not and everyone hates it.
And a text Tom is horrible.
So we just made one taxonomy.
And then we just made it so that it automatically categorises all of your transactions for you.
That's it, done.
Now if your transaction can be categorised, will prompt you and say, hey, what is this? And you can categorise it yourself.
So by having that auto category, you can do all sorts of awesome things.
Like I said before, we can say which side bank is the light? Our bank is the light because I bit by the bread at home, and so he's like bite on the way home, I can eat bread, I'm allergic.
But I buy it for the family.
But what you'll notice is that I spend $2,000 on bread right? That's a lots of money.
And it sounded like $1, 50 a life or something is now. But what this tells me is every single bakery that I've been to and the Baker's lot brands, and I'm going to do brumbies and everything else right across Australia. Which is totally awesome.
But you can see here it says Tally propriety limited, so I would never know what the hell that is. Actually also I've got two kids.
So we got a Red Rooster and makin sometimes, when I'm cooking.
(audience laughs) So we get a different red roosters.
And of course, you never know the transaction what it is or anything, and eventually we built Up.
And I was using it in production, by then they were 25 of us.
And so it was just 25 people using it.
And I'd go and I'd pay with my Apple Pay.
And I'd get a push notification with my balance and it would say that you bought this thing. And it popped up and it said that I bought it from the just group.
And I thought it was like just jeans or something. But because I was sitting in drove through at Red Rooster and I just paid and it went pipping, I knew that the Just group was the name of that franchise, right? So you don't need to know that stuff, because we just work it out for you.
It's totally awesome.
Because we have all the categories and everything, you can create all the monthly summaries, you can have automated spending insights.
And we get people writing to us every single day on all across social media, through our customer support everything right to us and just saying it's totally awesome.
I don't have to do anything, provide all the answers for me.
And that's because they can live their life and spend less time banking.
So there's lots of other things we do.
Like there's no one else that does this yet. But we do upcoming bills.
So we look at your payment history.
And then we predict all of your future spending. And then we say to you, hey, it looks like you're paying your phone bill every month and is $150, let's plan out for the next year paying a phone bill for $150.
And so we add all that up and then we work out how much money you need and then will prompt you in advance and say in three days time your electricity bill is due, or will say to you, hey, you don't have enough money for your phone bill.
Do you want to transfer money from your spending account or whatever or from your savings account.
So we also thought that like making a savings account was really difficult, and ING was by far the market leader in the space. But we looked in Australia, and we looked at the market and we said, people wanna say, but it's just too hard.
So we made it so that you can open a regulated savings account, a bank account just instantly, and there's three banks in Australia that you can do it with.
So it's not like this is the first one.
But we did it totally awesomely, we show you the interest rate, we show you how you're tracking towards earning your interest rate.
And we make it really easy for you to use emojis. So like, it's awesome.
But what it means for people now is that everybody has their own personality. And when you look at the cyber screen, you can see people's personality coming out based on the savings.
So saving up for a trip to Hawaii or saving up for a surfboard or saving up for my lunch money, you can see sort of different personalities coming out in the way they say.
And so we made it that you can just make as many servers as you want.
And you can just make them instantly, and we pay interest on all your servers.
Now you say so what? Or you might want to read the T's and C's because no other bank in Australia will pay you interest on all your savers, they pay interest on one saver. They'll pay interest on one saver if you achieve the certain targets and things.
So we just want to make it really easy for anyone to save. We do transaction roundups, we're the second bank in Australia to do.
We actually were the first to do it but we weren't in production yet.
So ING launched this and then we went to production with ours, and I'll just talk to you a little bit about that as well because we've got some other cool things we do with roundups.
And so we've got the digital wallets we're the first bank in Australia to have instant Apple Pay. And the big banks coming in all the time, and they say, bullshit, bullshit.
But actually, if you download an app from the App Store, and you sign up a bank account here in less than three minutes, and then you want to activate your digital wallet, our vision was that you're at a coffee shop. This is like years ago, you're in a coffee shop, and you hear about App, or you mate tells you or whatever, or you see a promotion. And by the time you walk to the front of the queue at the coffee shop to buy your whatever, week decaf latte, you can pay for it instantly with your phone, that was the idea, right? And so we achieved that in about four months. And we launched with instant Apple Pay.
And there's no other bank in Australia that you can set up your Apple Pay instantly without either having the card because they want to do it with inactive cards. And of course the card has to be an active so they can post it to you.
All you have to have the physical card so you can scan it. So that's pretty awesome. And then we talked to Google.
And we said, Hey, why don't Google have that in Australia at all? And they're like, oh, we'd love to.
So we spent about a year working with Google on that. And then we launched that in Australia, just maybe a month ago.
And so now we have instant Apple Pay and instant Google Pay we're the only bank in Australia that has it.
Voice control banking, we actually launched voice control banking, which might be a gimmick, whether you like it or not, whatever we just thought it was cool.
We went to dub dub one year and I had this series stuff. And so we then we just implemented it.
And then we deployed it live on stage at a conference and little to acknowledge the regulators were in the room and came after us afterwards and said, Did you just deploy a live banking system on stage like, we're like, yeah, that's fine.
There's no customer downtime, we do average lyst deployments.
So when we do deployments to production, the customer is not interrupted.
Anyway, lots of things.
I forgot to say that one, that's a good one. So we did...
We did a partnership with After Pay.
And what the partnership with After Pay allows us to do, is that you can provide consent for your receipt data to come from over 20,000 merchants into Up and then Up shows you the receipt and shows you what you actually bought.
So you can say what you bought at the retailer. You can see shipping, you can say GSK you can see all the breakdowns everything. So it was the world's first digital receipt in a banking app.
And about two weeks later Monzo launched this. We launched within the UK.
We launched here obviously with over 20,000 merchants in the partnership with After Pay, Monza launched this was six.
(audience member laughs) So here we do Apple Watch and we do all the cool things. So this is what I want to talk about.
We just launched this yesterday or day before yesterday is that we like to do things better than everyone else. So there's three banks in Australia now the do round ups, so ING Bank Australia and us. So we thought it'd be cool if we could make our roundups even better.
So what we did now is you can turn on your roundups, and then we actually show you how much you'll save from your roundups, looking at your your spend history. And then you can choose for even dollar pitches, and one of the things that really pissed me off is every time I bought bread is $1.50 rounds up to $2. But every time I bought I don't know I'm as bad as $2, I wouldn't get any round up so it was really crap. So we made a so it works for even dollars and then we made it you can boost it and so I tried the boost 'cause we already launched a couple days ago, so I tried it and I saved about $200 in a few days. Because I put it on $10 just to see what would happen. Um, so basically you buy something and it rounds up your spare change.
And then you can boost it if you're saving for something, whatever.
Now you got whatever.
Okay, so that's cool what now what? But it's an entirely new generation now people who have never saved this be a change 'cause they don't have any.
Who has any coins in their pocket? Who has a piggy bank anymore? Nobody, right? So what we have now is we have, we had 65,000 people saving money through roundups and through another feature I'll show you.
Never have a physical piggy bank, they're do it digitally.
So for us, it's like thinking about the physical construct. And then how do you take that into a digital app? So this one here is pull to save.
And again, we build this as a bit of a gimmick, we actually just pull the screen and type to spare change and attracted into the sidebar.
But it's got haptic feedback said feels real. (audience laughs) And what we found is that tens of thousands of customers did this in the first few days that we released it. And I think maybe they'll just try to refresh the screen, I'm not sure.
(audience laughs) So one thing we learned along the way is that if you take sort of Consistent paradigms, and then you break them, you can save people lots of money. Okay, so now on to the product.
So that's enough about our slow and what Up is and everything, onto the product.
For us engagement with our customers is our product. So not building a product to sell to customers, we're building a product and we don't make money, but charge fees for that.
So the way we do it is there's two ways to make money if you're a bank, typically, one is to make margin, so you have deposit products and lending products and you lend money out at 3,1/2 %, you pay interest at 2%. And it make want a 1/2% margin.
Well, that's how banks operate, or they charge you fees.
So our viewers, we don't wanna be charging fees. We want customers to be able to do things for free. So we have free international transfers, we don't mark up the interest rate, overseas foreign exchange rates.
So if you go travelling with Up, it's the cheapest card to travel with, those sort of things. That's what's important to us.
The way we make money then is that we have to have really high engagement we have to have awesome customers and they have to put their money with us so that we can make margin.
So that makes sense.
So we only get rewarded when our customers love us. Lots of great place to be.
So what why are we doing, is we actually created a tool inside the app, that we call talk to us.
And it lets you talk to us, funnily enough, but it lets you report bugs, if there's a problem, it lets you share ideas with us.
It also is a place where people can go to reach out for help.
So what we found is that in telecommunications, or utilities or whatever, we all know customer support is horrible.
In banking, it's no different.
We work with Bendigo and FIE's, and they have the best customer support, in the industry. And we wanted to do better.
How do we make customers more totally awesome for our customers? And also, how do we sort of get our customers to help build the bank? How do we get them to share their ideas with us? So we bought this tool, and we thought, yeah, that's alright, that's cool, bro. But what happened was, we get thousands these are just the threads. These are the actual chats, we get thousands of chats a day. And what was happening is that we couldn't keep up because we had two people in support, right? So in the beginning, Anson and I would answer all the questions themselves personally, he would answer the product ones, I would answer the other ones.
And then there was just too many for a single person. So we got, you know, the design team to help out, the product team, the engineers, and then everyone in the company was answering questions. And we all were going to fix it somehow.
So what we did is we put together a dedicated team that communicate with customers now.
And we extended hours from being just business hours, five days a week to being added hours, seven days a week.
And we reduced our response times from between four hours to four days to get a response, which is typical for a bank, that wasn't good enough for us. Now we get a response from us in sub four minutes. So we're pretty happy with that.
That's why it goes green.
So green means less than five, but it's less than four at the moment.
So we're very happy about that.
And then the other thing is, I want to say is that because we get so many inbound inquiries, Anson tells me this all the time, I'm the yes guy, Anson is the no guy.
And he says the magic of prioritisation is simply saying, no.
We can't do everything.
So for example, we're the only bank we know of that launched where you could put your money in, and you couldn't get your money out, right? That's serious, right? We didn't launch payments and why didn't we launch it? 'Cause we weren't ready.
I showed you that conversational payments before. It's totally awesome but it wasn't ready.
And we wanted it to be real time.
And we also want to have a fallback that if the real time time is network was down, and it doesn't mean the network necessarily down, but now the other banks had at the time.
So if you wanted to transfer money in real time, to say CommBank at the time, and they didn't support it, then what do you do just not send the money? So we weren't quite ready.
And the market itself wasn't quite ready.
So we actually launched our MVP without payments, which is pretty daring for some people.
And then about maybe one or two months later, we launched payments.
Now you can still spend money on your card, but you couldn't take your money out.
So you can ring us so we do it for you.
But it's pretty bold to say no, we're not gonna do it just because everybody wants it. The next one that we said no to is BPAY.
So everybody wants BPAY, oh, no why, it's rubbish. Why am I wanna do that? Who remembers like a 16 digit CRM? Who even knows what a Dynamic CRM is? And why do they use your credit card number sometimes then we have a regulatory obligation because then we have to be PCI compliant and lots of stuff.
So the whole thing of BPAY is just absolute rubbish. But in Australia, everyone pays the bills would BPAY. I don't know why, you can pay them with credit cards and debit cards and then you can do base paid account, but nobody knows.
So for some reason everybody uses BPAY.
So we went to the BPAY guys.
And we said, no, we're not gonna do BPAY, we're gonna to build something new.
And this is new payments platform.
Do you want to build an overlay a real time payments overlay to pay bills? Would it to be awesome if we could do it together? And they said no.
(audience laughs) So we're building BPAY.
And we're hoping we're in test at the moment. We're hoping to release it next week.
And maybe the week after, but soon.
And yes, but what's important is for people to understand why.
So we've got this thing we call the tree of Up, and the tree of Up is our product roadmap, but it's a product roadmap on public roadmap, like none you've ever seen before.
I think we've never seen anything like it.
And Anson came up with the idea one weekend when he was just playing some computer games or whatever. And he said it's just like a technology trade in a computer game.
Lot of us like civilization or whatever, we you can see sort of the whole roadmap of your place in the world and your rewards and all this other stuff.
So we created the Tree of Up and originally had it up inverted so that the branches with the things and then we turn around and now it's the roots. But the thing about the Tree of Up is that it grows over time.
And it makes us accountable for delivery.
And it's better than just a list.
And what you can do is you can click on each item, and it will tell you when we're actually gonna deliver it. So we commit publicly to our delivery.
And you can say there's hundreds of things on this roadmap, you can scroll around and zoom in and the rest of it and you can read about the things.
And then we change the colour of the items, and we show you what we have already built, what we're currently building and what we're planning to release next.
And so that level of transparency, we just never seen anything like it before. We just think it's really cool to be that transparent to your customers, and our competitors libretto.
And then also, it delivers a level of accountability, where everyone in the team from the CEO to the Dibs and the product team, the designers, everybody now is accountable that we have to deliver this feature in Q3. And so BPAY was ready in Q2, and we're a little bit late.
But that's okay, people are forgiving.
And we like to be very dynamic, so we'll go in there and will change things and keep them up to date.
The other thing is that, we can't tell everybody everything. But what I felt I lost my trail of thought, what I was thinking about was context.
So one of the things is I was talking about not doing BPAY and people will say, Well, why didn't you do BPAY? Or why don't you have automatic transfers? Why don't you have automatic transfers? I'm like, well, there's a good reason, right? Because we're building the foundations.
The first we had to do is launch a savings account. And then after that, then we had to be able to pay interest. We wanted to be competitive, then we did roundups, and then we did deposits, and then we did transfers. And so had to do all these things before we can deliver the thing that people want. And so you can actually deliver through your roadmap. Rather than just having some bullet points on a website, you can actually deliver context as well, which I think is really important.
So that helps with communication.
The other thing is we've got some top secret projects. So in the next five weeks, you keep your eyes and ears out. There's one of the world's largest unicorns, like tech company that's worth more than many, billions now, has done a top secret partnership with us.
And we're gonna announce it and it's gonna be amazing, but I can't tell anymore 'cause all an NDA and all this other crap, but it's gonna happen and it will be the first time that has ever happened in Asia Pacific, and not just in Australia.
So it's gonna be cool.
But it's yellow at the moment, and we don't tell anyone about it.
Plus, they'd probably chopping heads off easily. But we are doing some really interesting things. And you can still communicate on your roadmap that you're doing those interesting things without giving away things under an NDA or whatever. So that's also wonderful.
And then the other thing is, everybody asked, When are we gonna look do credit? When you have a credit card? When you have overdraft? So when can I get a mortgage with Up? And we're gonna do one day, but you can see the moment we're still digging, so we're just exploring it, and we're looking at how can we do ethical credit? How can we do credit as a service? How can we help people not to need credit? How can we help people with, sort of financial literacy so they can make an informed decision about whether they want credit? Well, those are the things that are more important to us than just launching a credit card and charging people 20% interest or whatever. The other thing is customer advocacy.
So I heard obviously, the introduction about, we don't have a marketing budget, and that's pretty much right.
You know, we're startup we don't have a lot of money and everything and we're self funded.
So we haven't raised any VC or anything yet. So, we had this thing called hook up a mate. And you could hook up your mates for free, and you just go into the app and you just basically put someone's phone number in there. And you could get someone out of your contacts or whatever, actually, we didn't have contacts at first. And then customers were complaining, I've got all these contacts on my phone, what kind of put them in there.
So we added that, and then you can just invite people, and you can invite your friends, and then your friends can come on.
And that went really, really well.
So that's 65 to 70% of our entire growth is through referrals.
And they're all free to start with.
And so then we, we thought, this is really cool. But we wanted people to be at the coffee shop, be able to sign up, and then when they get their pay for their coffee. So we thought, Well, why don't we give people some little token? So other banks will pay 75 bucks, 50 bucks, 100 bucks or whatever, to buy customers and people get the money and run.
Like, it's just a dumb thing to do with money. So we said if we give people a token gesture, like 10 bucks, then they can buy their coffee on us.
You know, that's cool.
And the other thing is on the flip side, if we give $10 to the referral, then it sort of rewards them for doing the referral. So we did that and it went gangbusters and we ran out of money in about three weeks. (audience laughs) So, then we said, okay, it's obviously cool. And so the super charging referrals does work really well. And so now we've just launched Season 2 about a week ago. And Season 2 is a little bit better full through. So in the first season, for example, you can get the $10 and just leave that did not go for anybody, right? So what we do now is we reduced it to $5.
And it makes really no difference 'cause you still buy coffee or a Slurpee or a Mars bar or whatever.
So the whole idea is not for us to give away money for nothing.
We're not like a charity.
The idea is to give people a little bit of money so that they can use the Google Pay or the Apple Pay instantly, that's the idea. And of course, Google and Apple love that.
So then, in Season 2, we said you have to transfer other money to Up before we released the money.
We found that's a really great mechanism.
It gets rid of the sort of people trying to game the system. And it also shows that the people that are signing up are genuine.
So I think the other thing I want to say is it's not all about software, and I'm probably getting really running out of time now. How're we done? We're at 10 minutes? Let's keep going? I thought it'd be interesting like obviously, product is a lot more.
And so I said to you guys that the engagement, the experience that is their product, and part of that is that we're a digital bank. So we thought, well, how would it be when your digital bank, what are the other banks do? They send you a four, tri fold in a standard DL envelope, and you open it up and it's got glue on it. And it's horrible.
And so we looked at that, and we said, we don't wanna do that.
So we came up with this idea.
The first idea was how can we make a card that is really awesome? And the second idea was how to make a way to deliver it. So we deliver this, brown envelope to Pay bill. And they're like, what the hell is this? In the app, you get this notification and pops up, and you can't actually see the envelope in the app so you can see that it's on the way and stuff. And then when you open the envelope, you get this pleasant, I'll go back a step. You get this pleasant surprise because it's got stickers in it.
It's got this awesome card, it's really brightly coloured and everything and it's made out of stock and it's printed on the Heidelberg press, and it's embossed, and it's totally just freaking amazing and it's fully recyclable and it's made for recyclable components and all these cool stuff.
And so what we found is that on day one, we started shipping these things, and at zero cost to us, or we had to manufacture this little puppy. But and mail it to you, which costs $1, or whatever. But by the time people get it, even though we're a digital bank, they got a tangible physical experience, their first experience was Up, was one of joy. And then everybody was putting on Instagram, putting on Facebook, putting it on Twitter. And it's our second best marketing engine is actually a welcome pack.
And so even though we're a digital bank, something physical can be just as powerful for that product experience and driving that growth. So we think it's a really important one.
The other thing is that we took the numbers and the name and everything off the front of the card. And so we also made a portrait.
And we also had this is just showing the evolution where we iterate in physical like we do in digital. So we're actually up to I think, the sixth version of the card now and maybe the fourth or fifth version of the welcome pack, and we have 1000 versions of the app.
So what's awesome here is that people could then take a photo of their card and put it on social media without giving away all the credit card details, or the debit card details in case.
So that's a very subtle thing.
But it's an important thing.
Yes, it looks better from an aesthetic point of view. But actually, one of the main motivations to do it is to make it shareable.
So that people could actually share it and wouldn't be exposing their details.
And so this is just a little animation to show you how we did that.
Like taking all the data from the front and putting it on the back.
It sounds simple, but now everybody's copying us. It's not just here also overseas.
So using social media is another one that is interesting, 'cause again, I would say that social is an extension of our product.
And the reason I say that is like put up your hand if you've ever spoken to a bank CEO.
Okay, like what five people? Not many people, right? It's not something you do every day.
And put up your hand if you've ever spoken to a bank CEO on Twitter.
Nobody right? So I talked to a probably 100 or more people a day, and this is no dramas at all.
Anson talks to the same as does Dan the head of design as to engineers. And so we completely accessible and we're completely responsive.
I've got looking at my phone just now.
Like at least 40 tweets have come in just while I'm talking, And I'll respond to every single one of them personally. So we find that using social as a channel to engage with our customers, it's no good as an advertising channel.
It's no good as an acquisition channel, it's actually good for us to use it as a way to communicate with our customers.
Yes, we do.
Is that, like 10 seconds or 10 minutes ago? Just make sure.
So, we see social as an extension, and we also see the different social channels in different ways.
So there's a younger demographic, so using Snapchat, but they expect an immediate response, but they don't want a response from some banker about some bullshit process or whatever, they just want a picture, they want something cool. Whereas maybe on Facebook, people are happy to whinge, moan and complain. And then on Twitter, people are all excited, and they wanna like things and all this stuff. So there's different levels of engagement across different platforms.
And we find that that is part of our product is being accessible, being responsive, and being transparent and honest.
Well, I'll just give one example I should mention, actually. We had an outage and it wasn't ours, but we had to take responsibility for it.
But sometimes the telecommunications network will go down or sometimes the banking infrastructure will go down. So a few weeks ago, there was a big outage it was one of the biggest outages, in banking history but it was a very big one.
And every bank in Australia was down and all sorts of horrible things that you would have said on the news, the supermarkets were down, the F plus machines, and everyone was down.
And so we sent out a push notification to 106,450 people, and told them that, hey, I sorry about that, the banking systems are down, we're looking into it, we'll see what we can do in the meanwhile, if you need money, you can still use an ATM and he's already get in Ababa.
And so we did that.
And no other bank in Australia, had even told their customers that there was an issue. And then if you caught up that we're getting absolutely burned alive on Twitter, and Facebook or whatever, because people are going, where's my freaking money, and I'll drop the kids off.
I can't leave because they won't let me leave the childcare or I'm at the supermarket, I can't pay, whatever. And our customers will go, you guys are totally awesome, this is amazing. Thank you so much for letting me know.
And so we actually create an awesome relationship with our customers by being transparent by being honest, and actually saying to them, sorry that the banking system is down.
We're doing what we can.
So we sent that out before the media reported it, and before any other bank had told anyone.
And so just a good way to sort of build those relationships. And we just say that as part of our product, and then telling people what happens behind the scenes. And we also have cool QR codes.
(audience laughs) Yeah, So I just want to say thank you very much for having me and I said, I'm a bit of an imposter. Because Anson was, was meant to come and present but he's travelling at the moment.
I hope you enjoyed it.
I've got some pins, if anyone wants some pins, and some old sort of fashion badges and also some stickers. So if you want to come and see me, I'm happy to share.
Thank you very much.
(audience claps) (upbeat music)