#750 – Up’s Dominic Pym On Next-Generation Banking/
- June 4, 2020
Dom is an entrepreneur and technologist who co-founded Up, a next-generation Australian digital bank delivering super powered banking. Dom has been involved in software, web and mobile development for over 20 years from start-ups to global enterprises in Australia, the UK, the USA and throughout Asia.
Up was the first neo-bank to launch in Australia in October 2018 and have already amassed over 200,000 customers.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
– How a bank works
– Money transfer technologies
– Technology-led banking
– Up’s partnership with Bendigo Bank
– The International banking market
– The difference between ING and Up
– Fees and how Up makes money
– Investments and backing people
Dom’s website: http://dompym.com/
Email us: email@example.com
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 750. And we've got special guests on the show. I was about to say in the studio on the show, though. Dom Pim from up How are you, mate? Welcome to the show. Good. Thanks. Thanks for having me. Now, Dom, I don't know if it's a hard question to lead with. But you are the founder of app, which is a bank. Can you explain? How do you start a bank?
Or co founder first?
Yeah, I think that I can't take all the credit. But yeah, starting a bank is not. It's not easy. But But also, I guess you have to have a desire or a reason reason for doing it. So for us it was a lot of it was born out of frustration, not just with the existing capabilities and systems but also with our experience. So we worked for about five
five or six years in the banking sector building technology, working with banks, we worked with one of the big Australian banks to build a digital bank in Asia across 10 countries. So that was a small project. And it never caught God. Now, I got off the ground. And then we came back to Australia and started working with another big bank, one of the top top four banks here to build a digital bank in Australia and never shipped to customers either. So that's sort of story is the genesis of the reason why you would want to do it. And because we like Well, why don't we just do it ourselves? It's crazy. We wanted we wasn't falling over. Like, if you like, how far along Do you get before you realise that you can do it?
We're about four years in. So Jane. Yeah, so that's like we made money, obviously, but we've been working with Bendigo and Adelaide bank for five or six years and we we build the fifth biggest banking system in Australia for bidding on Adelaide bank. And it has a few different brands that it's sort of marketed by within their group as well.
Bank, Bendigo Bank, rural bank, delfy Bank and so on. But the Bendigo Bank, part of it is kind of, I guess, the most well known nationally. But that's the fifth largest banking platform in Australia. So that's sort of been our core business for the last eight or nine years. And that's sort of kept us, you know, kept us in business. And that's how we might get money. And then there's other projects we were working on were four other banks, they saw what we're doing with bending, and they're like, Oh, these guys are awesome. Let's build a digital bank together. And the frustration came about because they're just morose. These organisations like they, they're not very good at technology. They take a long time to do anything and then just getting stuff out to customers and being able to create that sort of feedback loop with customers, we can continually get better and better. Banks is no very good that I actually asked the question I'll turn around the other way and ask people all the time. Tell me a bank that you know of in the world that's good at technology. I mean, the closest one has been comm bank and their app for me, but I still don't think it you know, it doesn't it's not up there. I don't think like I don't I just signed up for up
It took me all of five minutes. And I did the verification. The only thing that I'm really pissed off about DOM is that I didn't ask Mason for his referral. So I got five bucks and he got five x. Absolute amateur move on my behalf. But I will be sending the referral to you, JJ. Why don't you put it in the podcast? Like, well, one, tiny one. Okay. I mean, it might be in discord at Tommy jacket.
He'll send you a link. I don't I heard you say that. You're a tech company design lead that's doing banking, which I mean is a what's striking about app is its design. And I think you're obviously putting that as a piece forefront. How much of that was early days, you realise that it needed to be something that connects on a visual level before people even jump into the app itself and it's usability.
I think a lot of it has got to do with reflecting the personalities.
To the people that are involved. So like, I've had a design company in the past, and we've got a bunch of people who are ex designers, or even some current designers. And so designers sort of embedded in what we do and how we think it's actually something that is sort of a reflection of the people that are involved. So it wasn't like we came out of bed one morning and said, you know, wouldn't it be great to design a good bank, but it didn't sort of happen that way. It's just, whenever we do anything, we do it really, really well. And from a technology perspective, but also from a design perspective. And what actually followed was a love for the brand and a love for the user experience and a love for just the white people become embedded in what it is that we're doing and what we're offering. And I think that that love then reflects back to us. And then we want to do even better again. So that sort of creates this ultimate quality sort of feedback loop where we have so much passion coming from our early adopters, and we're so passionate ourselves about making something that we're proud of that it's just really sort of escalated from there. So it wasn't like a deliberate decision. Hey, let's just
On a cool bank, it was actually just a cool bank came out of what we were doing. And I think that that sort of more nuanced, but and also more organic. And so, like, how does a bank work? You have cash sitting anywhere.
Where you hotties on how?
under the couch, you know, under the mattress? No, no. So it's all digital. So everything we do it up is fully digital, which means we're using software to solve problems that would traditionally be solved physically with people or in a branch or whatever it might be. So so now we don't hold any cash. And also, it's probably worth noting that up itself is a collaboration between my company for OSHA and Bendigo, and Adelaide bank. So we were we've been together for many years, as I said, like building the fifth biggest banking platform in Australia, we do about sort of, in the vicinity of 10 billion a month, 3 billion through that platform. So it's a big platform. And that collaboration sort of led to Well, let's do something different and better let's launch Australia's first digital bank. They have a banking licence.
Indiana bank so so they have on a 10 or more sort of banks within their group. And we were able to leverage their banking laws. And so the money is digital, and it sits on their ledger, you know, like they have a core banking system and they hold that ledger. What my company's been able to do in this collaboration is build all the technology. So the onboarding, the actual banking itself, the payments, mechanisms, the wallets, interaction with your data, the merchant identification, and the whole process right through the customer support everything throughout the entire lifecycle of AP is digital. And that's why you know, that's why us as a software company, has been able to do that. So our ambition was to launch Australia's first digital bank. And there was no option to get a banking licence back then realistically, like, like, just to put it into perspective for you to get a banking licence in Australia. Before this new round of digital banks launched, it was 28 years ago that a, you know, a company and Australian company got a banking licence and before that, it was like 100 years. So it's not a common occurrence.
That people just apply for banking licence. And it's very expensive if you need, you know, hundred million or more, just to have in reserve and then another hundred million to sort of, you know, get up off the ground and hire people and whatever else so, so it wasn't realistic for us to say, hey, let's sort of launch a fully fledged bank. And the regulations hadn't changed yet to make it easier to get a restricted banking licence. So so when we started this journey,
the partnership with Bendigo actually gave us that ingredient that we needed, which was access to a banking licence. And yeah, that's been an amazing partnership that's developed over the last eight or nine years in terms of the communication between the banks. I mean, how complex is that? So you send money from one account to another? So you send it from up, you know, held on the bank Bendigo Bank ledger through to comm bank, which is another you know, bank and so, how, like, it's instant, right? And so how, how is that coming out? What is going on in the technical level? Yeah, we really just want you dumb to explain the banks. We don't get
Understand how it's coming. Yeah. What is it? What's
its control, isn't it? Yeah. It's hard to imagine it's hard to imagine that like, money's being sent around digitally. Can I just say this though, like you said it was instant. Just go back about eight months and about 18 months ago, it wasn't instant. Like it's a new thing in Australia for it to be instant. And it's funny how quickly it becomes commonplace like everybody in Australia now we get, we get about 1000 customer inquiries a day. And every day, lots of people are saying to us, Where's my money? Why isn't it there yet, but But actually, most of the banking system in Australia is still operating on an overnight or a multi day process. So if you send money from one bank to another, they call it direct entry. The messages get sent, but they get batched up so the bank will actually collect all those messages throughout the day. And then overnight, they'll they'll send them and then the other bank will get them the next day, and then they'll batch them up and then they'll process on the following night. So So sometimes if you're lucky, and that nowadays they have multiple times throughout the day when they do it so so if you're lucky, it could get there the next day, but
Sometimes it would take two or three days. And if it was a weekend or a public holiday or a bank holiday, it could take three, four days. So that's actually been the system as it's been sort of almost, let's say forever, or at least our lifetimes, you know, before that there was swapping tapes and had punched discs and all that stuff, tapes and all that. But But you know, so so that system actually is more commonplace than the real time system. But the new payments platform that NPP was introduced into Australia a couple of years ago, our work that we did with Bendigo Bank Bendigo banks, one of the founding members of the NPP so we were able to actually send the first message across the NPP that actually sent money. And we did that with Bendigo. And then when we built up, we built up to be native, real time. So everything you do on app is real time, so you can send your money instantly. Now what happens is, we just send an electronic request through the new payments platform. It goes to say the Commonwealth Bank in that example, and then they receive it and then they process it and they do that in real time. So it should take less than a minute, usually a few seconds for your money to literally come out of your AP bank account and appear in your Commonwealth Bank.
Count. So use the NP pay, isn't that an Australian thing? Or is that worldwide? Yes, that's Australian. Every country though banking is complex, because every country has their own technology and their own banking system and their own regulation. So legally, technically, and practically, every, every country is different. And there's very few banks around the world that operate in multi jurisdictions and those that do you probably know, you know, like, Citibank, or HSBC, or whatever, you know, you get to know the name of them, because they're so prevalent globally. In the modern sort of pliers, you know, revolute have been able to operate in I think it's 35 countries or whatever it is, and they're not technically a bank. They're technically a payment service. So PayPal would be another one that you'd know or square or stripe. And so these these payment companies have been able to operate in multiple jurisdictions, really, by setting up the practical, the technical and the legal capabilities in all of those different jurisdictions. If you want to send money internationally, you can send money internationally, using
Another system called the Swift. So we talked about direct entry, I didn't know we're going to go so deep on
that we talked about direct entry, which is sort of the traditional system, we talked about NPP, which is the new way to do it real time. There's another international system called Swift, which is sort of the most common. And the swift system is similar the direct entry where you send a message and the message goes from an Australian bank to what they call a correspondent bank, which is a bank that has an international presence. And then that the correspondent bank in Australia, then sends it to a correspondent bank overseas, and then the correspondent bank overseas then sends it to the destination bank. So if I was sending money from say, up to Monza in the UK, then the old fashioned way of doing it with AP would send it to, I don't know, NAB or or someone like that. And then they would send it to Bank of England or Lloyds or Santander or somebody in the UK. And then they would send it on to Monza. And that's the old fashioned way. But it's been like that for decades. And what's happened recently is that we've seen the advent of this new way to send money internationally like transfer was announced.
was actually the first bank in all of Asia Pacific to integrate with transferwise. And we announced it last year, we're going live very soon. And what that allows you to do is not move the money. So we send a digital message, essentially, there's the easy way to sort of describe it as we send a digital message to say, okay, there's a bank, which in the case of transferwise, they might use Bank of New York, or they might use NAB, or whoever, or Bank of England whoever, and they hold the money in both Australia and and the UK. And if I want to transfer money to Monaco, I send it via transferwise. I send that money from up to transferwise. And then it's instantly available in my Monza, like just like bang. And so that's a whole new way of transferring money internationally. And we're very proud of the relationship that we set up, you know, like first in Asia Pacific, not even just first in Australia, with transferwise, who are the dominant player globally for doing that sort of real time, money transfer. And it's just amazing that the technology in the last two or three years has changed the way that we interact with money and change the way that we connect and even think about money. So if we
Jumping back 20 years was when did online banking come into effect at a customer level?
A little bit less than 20 years ago? Yeah, probably 16 or 18 years ago. But, but maybe 20 by now I'm getting old and sort of forget, but I feel that because I was like, I had a 15 mom set me up, got me on the Dolomites or whatever, you know, well knows well, well, after that I did. The dolomite. Dom. Yeah, absolutely. Most most of the kids did dolomite when that progress? Yeah. I mean, how much? You mentioned the getting a bank becoming a bank is 100 million hundreds of millions of dollars of process and they don't give them out much. How much of a problem is it that that is the case that there isn't, you know, 15 banks in Australia or is is there I don't know there are there are there there's in Australia, but but there's there's there's probably on an 150 but there's there's about 500 maybe it's last time I looked at it, it was 455 I'm gonna just round it to say 500 on it.
Though I mean, I the top four, not five. Yeah, well, that's the so the credit unions and buildings, as I'll tell you, in a sense. So there's the top four banks, the four pillar banks in Australia account for about 85% of the market. So everybody knows now buy and sell Westpac and combat Well, everybody knows them because they dominate the market. So they have a huge market share, then there's the mid tier banks suncorp McQuarrie is your IMG is your Bendigo as you know, there's a whole plethora of, of mid tier banks that are very popular, but no nowhere near as much market depth as before. And then there are hundreds of credit unions building societies and smaller regional banks that you know, you would know them if you mentioned them like heritage credit union or credit union Australia or bank Australia You know, there's there's heaps of them and people, maybe the police credit union and so people who use them know them really well and have grown up with them, but they might only have one location in your small town or they might now have an online presence but only have you know 50,000 customers or 10
thousand customers or whatever so, so that the market is quite disparate. So there's probably between Bendigo, Bank of Queensland some call an IMG, they hold that. And Macquarie they hold that sort of mid market percentage of let's say 10 or 15%. And then there's only single digit percentage for the entire rest of the market. So yeah, so it's quite, it's a quite a long tail, in terms of banking. And like, I'll put it this way up is already, you know, we're growing so fast. We've only been alive for 18 months, probably by the end of next year, I'll be insane. But it might be a little bit longer because we had some slowdown with a pandemic, but probably by the end of next year, but before we're a third birthday, will be a top 10 Bank in Australia.
called bank and these other like, Yeah, wow. And so I'm having the experience of being able to build the tech and working with banks to try and integrate the tech and then doing this deal with Bendigo Bank. I can imagine that it's a it's a hard conversation to speak to the sort of
Older businesses and say, Hey, we want to partner we don't want just to be a service provider for you, but we actually want skin in the game. What was that conversation? Like?
Yeah, that's a I mean, that's a pretty insightful question. Not a lot of people, I guess, understand the nuance between lodging a bank and having a part in it like, like for us, we were literally a service provider to banks. And that means that they would call us a vendor, you know, where someone that builds software and licences it to them. What we wanted to do with that was we actually wanted to have ownership in app itself. And we wanted to be able to share in the, in the margin that we generate all the revenue and the profits and so on. And so we wanted to build an engineering business. Now, when we think about building a new bank, if you look at your sort of Bendigo banks or your Westpac or whatever, that these banks have been around for 150 200 years, you know, so, so our view was that we wanted to have a multi decade strategy where we could build something that was enduring and even if the ownership of changes over
And you become a public company or whatever it is, we wanted the brand and, and, and the business that you know, up itself to be able to be around for 100 years. And so that's really building a legacy. And and now I'll share in building that success and sharing that sort of future and a reward. Even if it's small. We just wanted it to be meaningful. You know, we wanted to change people's lives. We wanted to bring something to the market. That's new competition. That's new design, that new technology, you know, we were Australia's first cloud hosted back in retail. We were Yeah, because there's been some business ones that have had a crack at it. You say you retail, what is it? What does that mean? So retail banking, so for consumers, So say, for example, Tara, Tara was a bank that deliver FPF solutions and business banking, and they got, they got onto the cloud, you know, very early days. So we were the first cloud hosted bank for Google worldwide. And and, and, and, you know, we were the first bank in Australia to have instant issuance with Apple so that you could literally sign up a bank account and
Then have Apple Apple Pay in your wallet instantly on your on your iPhone. And then we did exactly the same with Google. So we're the first bank in Australia to have instant issuance on Google for your for your Google pay. And then we did the same with Samsung. So so so you know, there's a lot of firsts. So the first transfer was first cloud, we're the first to do native NPP with osco. It says, lots of firsts. But the that's what we bring is that we're bringing that different way of thinking. And that innovation, we call it like the way we sort of coined it, as we call it, technology led banking. And that and that's compared to bank LED technology. So when I asked that question earlier, I mean, you jumped in pretty quickly with the answer, you know, combat and I think combat got reasonably good at technology, they're okay. And they're very good at marketing. They're very good at talking about it. But there are some banks around the world that BBVA and Spain, DBS and Singapore, you know, there's a few and far between, but they're pretty good at technology. But actually, generally speaking, technology is an enabler and as an innovator, and it really changes the game. And so for us, it was like, how do we come in
Deliver technology lead banking instead of bank LED technology. And it sounds quite subtle the difference, but it is so astronomical. So if I just mentioned a couple of companies that you might have heard of, that have done the same thing, but in other industries, Airbnb, Uber, Amazon, Skype, you know, these are companies that have never heard of an industry.
You using the analogy, say, Airbnb, if Airbnb was to go to a real, like a big real estate company that does property management and says, Hey, we, we want to work with you on this, that that's sort of, I guess, an example like going to a bank and saying, we want to work with you to do this. I can just imagine the amount of friction in legacy and trying to convince people now we've got to do it this way. We've got to keep it siloed. What does I'm curious as to what the actual friction points or what is the agreement to make sure that up can keep up
innovating, and you don't fall into big bank, sort of big ship. slow moving behaviour. Yeah, I think humour has a strong part of plan. So I used to joke so as a Mani Mani as the CO Managing Director of bending and ally Banking Group, and they are a big public company in Australia fifth largest retail bank. And yeah, you know, 10s of billions, hundreds of billions in assets and all that stuff. So, so so those conversations for us, when we first started, were just two blocks, you know, two blocks with an idea. And by the time we got to say, hey, let's do up I think we're about 20 people, maybe, maybe, yeah, maybe 25. And so we're a small team going to the really big Australian company and saying otherwise. So So humour had a big part in it. So one of the things I used to joke with money as I said, Hey, if we get this right, and we deliver this amazing innovation, this technology in banking, one day up will be bigger than video. Now, it's not. It doesn't be that'd be read. But if we get a rot, you know what, I'm joking when I say it if we get it wrong, I'm kidding.
Quiet in the back, you know that they like you could actually literally literally be the future. And I think if you think about it, and that's why I say humour is important, but if you think about it in that sense, there's obviously no, no smoke without fire, right? Like, I'm not saying that stuff purely in jest. I'm also saying it because if we get it right, if we can create the right kind of collaboration between a traditional organisation like Bendigo, and actually quite innovative, they've done some amazing things. You know, Bendigo introduced the debit card to Australia back in 86. And they introduced community banks to Australia where they share the revenues with the community 5050 and all this stuff. So, so they've done some really innovative things, and a whole bunch of them, I won't go through them all internet banking, they're one of the first banks in Australia to have internet but if not, if not the first they were one of the first like, there's a little bit of an argument about who was exactly the first, but I think they were within a few days of each other about 20 years ago towards that so so they're already a quite an innovative organisation, but they find it difficult to, to move fast. And we basically went to them and said, Look, the way we work together at the moment, is that we're a bank.
Lead technology projects. So so you guys lead it. And then we provide the technology. And we did some amazing things. And I'll give an example. But we went to them, we say, Can we flip it on its head? And can we be technology lead banking, where parotia actually designs, imagines builds, delivers, embeds supports. So we take the entire customer lifecycle, and we use technology and for OSHA runs it, could we do that? And to the credit of at the time, my Hurst who was the MD at the time and money Baker whose it was the incoming end, but MD and she's the MD now. It was me and my business partner, tamo and money and hursti. And we got in a room together and we had that discussion. And to their credit, they said let's give it a crack. Now we didn't have it's gonna work but but we're gonna back it and I think the the word was that Yeah, I was gonna say how by It's incredible. Yeah, incredible. Yeah, like apple. Incredible. Now the to your question, though, how do you how do you manage the risk of not falling into the trap of not being slowed down and all rest of it? I think that bravery and that humour has a lot to do with it. But you know, the willingness
Bendigo to trust us. So I always say that you can't have a bank without trust for the relationship with a customer. But you know, because you're dealing with money, but you also can't have a collaboration for banking without trust. Now, let me say this with the first collaboration of its con, where a FinTech and a traditional ADR, they call it an Australian deposit taking institution. So we're a traditional idi and a FinTech actually partnered together and got regulatory consent to run a digital bank first time ever. Well.
What's that process? I mean, I could imagine there's a lot of, you know, presentations in big bank buildings. And, you know, you're walking out with Tom are just thinking, My, we don't have this and they know we've got this. What's that process? Like? How long was it?
Well, first of all, me and Tom, I have very complementary skills. So tommo is all about the strategy, the business, the sort of culture and all that sort of stuff. And I'm very much about the sort of hands on the technology, the design, so so I think that first of all, that's very complimentary. So having
Being a partner in crime is really important, especially now.
I sort of call it the, the yin and the yang. You know, like, we come from very different backgrounds, very different experience. But we have the same what I call moral compass. Like we want to strive for the same outcome. And we have different ways of going about doing it. But we're actually trying to help people so so I think if you have that sort of alignment, then then you can go in quite confident. And so, for me, there's two ingredients to success. And I learned this when I was a little kid, and it's always stayed with me all my life I was listening to I think it was Triple J. And I think it was Dr. Carl, who said that there's two ingredients in successful people. One of them is curiosity. And the other one is confidence. So you can have this curiosity like hey, she said, Could we build a digital bank? Do you reckon we could be the first in Australia? What do you reckon? And that's fine. That's the Curiosity component. But the confidence, I mean, it takes a bit of goal to stand up and go, we can do this better than 200 year old institutions that employ 10s of thousands of people and that have billions of dollars live that takes some guts, that takes some guts. So So I think those
Two things together the curiosity to innovate and to try new things and to be different. And then the the confidence to stand up and say, hey, let's let's give it a crack. So to answer your question, bloody hard, but Manny and hursti were amazing, and they were very supportive of us doing something new and different, and we'd work together for five years. So we built that trust and that was what I was getting at was that you can have trust with your customers nothing but having trust in the collaboration having trust between Bendigo and for OSHA to be able to have a crack at it and for them to step back and say hey guys, take the reins take the running with it, and you design it, you build it and then you run it. I mean, that that's it's pretty much unheard of in the banking sector. We don't really know of any other examples around the world. What is the yes from their main for that for their for the landscape of the big banks, and, you know, that's them, innovating. You know, why through you guys.
I think if you if you boil it down to its essence and I have I can't speak on behalf of indigo, but what I can say is that they are
cementing their position as number five.
The big four banks, the big four banks have 85%. So if you just do your math, it's about what 20 something percent. Ah, right. Yeah, that's on just an equal basis. Now Bendigo is market share might be, I don't know, 345 7%, something like that, you know, single digits. So for them and what I talked openly about with money at the time, and obviously mostly in Tama as well, is that but particularly Mayor money, which sort of get into the detail of it, is that, you know, if we can get Ben to get a 10% market share, imagine that, like, Can you make that a bit better? Bendigo been around for 160 years, they came out of the gold rush in Victoria. Imagine if, in 10 years from now, they could be up there competing with the big four banks. I mean, that is our sort of dream. What What is the brand integration like like if you go into a Bendigo Bank, will they offer an Apple product?
No. We deliberately set out and we had a lot of debates about whether we wanted to be Bendigo powered by up whether we wanted to be up power. Bye bye.
Do whether we wanted any overlapping crossover between the brands. And I'd say this way, I don't think it's sort of top secret confidential desire, that there's probably two main reasons why we took the path that we did. One was none of us had any idea whether it would work. And we want to protect that hundred and 60 year old brands like Bendigo have a really great, they're there. If they're not number one, they're one of the top trusted brands in Australia. In fact, they're in the top 20 brands in the world Bendigo Bank in terms of trust, I think they were right at 13 or something like this up there with Apple and Amazon and those sort of brands. So, so for me, we don't want to mess that up. I'll probably use some swear words, but you know, we didn't want to stuff it up.
Whereas whereas the other part of it was that we wanted to have the licence to build something new from scratch. So one part was protecting the existing brand. And then the other was building something new from scratch and to have the licence to start with a clean slate and to literally invent an entirely new brand. And not to have you know, powered by Bendigo. Whatever. If you look at that terms and conditions, you can find out the Bendigo is there. We're very open about it because we have to be for consumer
regulations around the fact that we're backed by Bendigo in terms of where your money sits, you know, your money sits on the ledger. And so for us to be able to operate under their banking licence, we have to let everyone know that Bendigo is there, but they're almost there, like a big brother or a big sister like looking out for us, but not getting an LA. Yeah, I mean, while we're on the trust conversation, you seem like a trustworthy dude. I mean, when when sent When, when, when it comes to developing a digital bank and trying to earn the trust of the consumer, the person that signing up for our bank, I had no idea was Bendigo Bank until Mr. 97 our producer wanted to change his bank details through pi y j. And I did it and I put in the bank and I was like, man, I had to call him I was like, dude, you're with up it's it says Bendigo Bank and so like I mean, that's amazing. Joining dots and saying rk it makes a bit more sense. That's maybe a trust point earned to it, but what are the steps? What's the first step as a business trying to say, when we put it out there how
We earning trust very quickly, you know, and then over time as well, yeah, we'll just say this on the end, I think is that we add up we have our own BSP. So in Australia, every bank has a sort of a number that represents each branch and each bank. And so we actually it was one of the decisions we made very early on is that we wanted up to have its independence and have its own DSP. So that, you know, it's obvious that it's still related to Bendigo. But it's its own thing.
So why is that? Why would that? No, I think so what I did was, I may have searched whatever came up when I put in the base, but you know, just prompts you to tell you and then I searched that and then it says Bendigo Bank, it was found somewhere, but I had to call him is correct. He's like, Yeah, that's good. It'll still say Bendigo because a lot of and this is actually me having a little bit of a dig at the other banks is that a lot of the traditional banks shut down. They're trying to hide like, the fact that now this this is the
technologies are so bad that they haven't updated their systems. And so what they do is they that they look up the BSP in the national database, and the bank that owns that BSP has been dry because it's their licence, but the name of the institution, the actual the the branch, if you like is up, you know. And so they're meant to display up but a lot of the legacy backs dot. And so when you look up, yeah, this is bad code.
It's kind of curious. Anyway, so back to your question. How do you build that? It's really interesting for me, because
a lot of people talked maybe over the last decade about this thing called the new trust, you know, and the new trust that lots of books about it and also shit. But it's basically I can download an app from the App Store. And I can I can give my whole life over to a Facebook or an Instagram or an Etsy or a Google or whoever it is that you know, the apps that you love, Pinterest, whatever. And you really embed yourself in those apps and you trust them almost like from day one. And that trust equation is really coming through Apple and Google because you know, you're assuming that they've curated that
And that it's not going to have malware in it and you know, whatever else. And so that's not trust on a fundamental level, like I trust that brand. That's more I trust the technology. And so what we found is that I now call it the new new trust. So people have to trust the brand, they have to trust the technology, they have to trust the banking, the money that you know, the component of it, that is going to be secure. And that's more like you think about like a vault, you know, a banking vault is my money safe when they have to trust the security, they have to trust the data protection, like a lot of people worried about privacy, and, you know, hackers getting in and breaching and all this stuff. So there's so many different levels of trust that I'm out nowadays, I sort of call it the new new trust, you know, because it's like, you're not you're not gaining people's trust in the old, old fashioned way that you used to open up a storefront. And then you get to know Bob and Bob was a really friendly guy. And then you get to know Mary and Mary's a really friendly person, and then they never let you down. And they gave you a tablet, the local grocers, you know, that's how trust used to be built. It's totally different now. Now that trust is built without that personal interaction and you downloading an app from the App Store. So so we have to build a brand. We have to build technology. We
We had to be rapid in our response to customers, we had to keep improving and iterating all the time and demonstrating that we know that we could earn people's trust, we had to have a great customer support and great customer service, like our average response time to customers is sub two minutes. Now to us that was really important because what we were thinking about is forget about banking. People hate dealing with I don't know, Telstra or they hate dealing with a utility company or whatever it is, because the customer support so horrible, right, and you go overseas, or you have to wait on half an hour in a call centre. And so we were thinking that part of the trust equation is to have the most amazing way for customers to actually reach out to a human and into interact with a human. And in the early days, it was me and Anson and Mike and and so that, you know, it was actually the people that work within up. And so the founders of the business, were answering customers questions, and that was really good for that feedback loop. But it was also really good for building trust with those early adopters, and now to say this last place. Now a lot of the trust that we build with people come through referral, and you made the jokes before about the referral codes but about 50% of our growth.
is organic, because everyone loves up and so they recommend it to their family or their friends or their colleagues or whatever. And so a lot of our growth has actually just been fueled by people telling their mates at a barbecue or football training or whatever, or around the, you know, kitchen table eating dinner. Oh my God, this thing's totally amazing. I've never seen a bank like it. And then suddenly that endorsement is that they are lending their trust to us. And so people are trusting their friend or their partner or their or their colleague rather than needing to trust us. If you go to the US, it seems like it's a pretty archaic system in regards to like when they announced Apple Pay. When you think about what Apple Pay years, it's just like, tap and go or any of those sort of services. Were in the US I went to a subway and I tried to pay with pay pass and it blew their mind. I know a lot of people are still getting paid with checks are here we saw, get your check. Cash t Exactly. And then even
Mike, who listens to the show in the US? He, he was transferring some cash. And he said, Can I Venmo it to you? And so there there are these
companies that are coming up now trying to solve a problem, even the Kickstarter campaigns where they're taking magnetic strips and trying to, you know, put five cards onto a single card. What do you think of where the US is when it comes to the FinTech? And do you think that from an Australian perspective, away innovating, and can we bring any of that to the US?
Yeah, I think Australia is miles ahead in some aspects and the US dominate in others. So it's not a it's not a linear equation. It's not like black and white. It's not like you can say one's good or one's bad. So in the UK, they have an amazing sort of infrastructure in terms of capital and access to capital and really relaxed regulations to make it easier to run. fintechs out of London
London's like the global FinTech, sort of, you know, number one city for FinTech in the world. And so if you want to do FinTech then London is a great place to do it because of the regulatory and the capital environment. The US itself is so archaic in the way they use cheques and the way that they still have magnetic swipes and the way they charge money and each bank manually transfers money to each other and it's a really okay thing. But what's amazing is out of certain pockets in the US, you get these incredible companies like square and stripe, and PayPal and Braintree and lots of amazing fintechs that sort of pop up out of Silicon Valley or pop out of New York or Seattle or whatever. And so you have these pockets in the US have this amazing innovation, but they are generally more like across the board coming from a really sort of low base. So the way I like to say it is that in Australia, the bar is so high, we have the highest adoption of things like the iPhone and Apple Pay and Google pay and so we have the highest adoption of point of sale pipe ago payments. We have, you know free
Real Time transfers between any bank. We have we have had for decades free transfers between banks like in the US, you get them? No, because it's too hard to transfer money between different banks, you got thousands and thousands of banks and some of them, you know, will only accept cheques. So yeah. They just sent a couple of people to the International Space Station.
It's out of control. So it's you've got to find those niches. And I think that if you look at a company like square, for example, what they were able to do is they started out with a with a magnetic swiper. And the innovation was to embed that into the microphone jack. I'm on a mobile phone. I mean, it's incredible idea, right? But But now what they do is they do business lending. They do real time payments, they do payment splits, they have a cash register. And they're there's so much stuff now and they're, they're, you know, $80 billion or $70 billion public company now, right? So I think that it's not it's lazy. I'm not picking on you, but it's lazy to say that America
capital is not General, generally they are and their system is systemically behind the rest of the world. But but there's pockets of innovation there that well in advance of Anyway, my point was that the bar in Australia is so high that to launch a digital bank here is a lot harder than it is to launch a digital bank in the UK or the US because those markets are absolutely ripe for disruption. Whereas comm bank and Westpac and NAB and a and Zed and IMG and Macquarie and these guys are already world leaders in digital, they're already delivering these amazing digital apps. And they have you know, tap and go at every you know, every every shop in Australia. And they have, you know, cardless ATMs and and all this amazing shit that you just don't have overseas so so for us to launch a digital bank in Australia, I would say number one is a lot harder. And then there's a much harder bar to cross. But actually it means that Australia is a great testing there because then once we dominate here, in any any part of the FinTech sector, not just in banking, then you can actually use that as a foundation to take that technology overseas. And America is like 15
20 times the size of our market. So you've got this division you want to measure, it could be 100 times the size in terms of capital market. But it's it's an amazing business opportunity to dominate in Australia and to innovate in Australia and then to take it overseas. That's actually not our plan, by the way, like our plan, as I said, is to be the number one bank in Australia for under 35, which would make us a top 10 Australian bank, that's our that's our mission in life is not to expand rapidly overseas and sort of go after growth and do an IPO and all that sort of shit. We've never raised any capital externally. So we're self funded business between obviously Bendigo and for OSHA, and we don't have any intention really to do that we have looked at it, it is a good way to grow. And we might, we might do it one way. So I don't want one day so I don't want to take it off the table. But we're a little bit different than the other digital banks around the world because we're not raised capital. We're not looking to do an IPO. We're not looking at rapid expansion internationally or anything like that. We just want to focus on helping Australians, like our mission in life is to help others to sort of de stress and to sort of, you know, help them with anxiety around money and all that stuff. And if we can help people feel more empowered and more in control of their phone,
And understand their money flow better here in Australia that that would be, you know, a job like totally welled up. That's what that's what we're trying to achieve. What is the difference between i and j? You know,
there's so many differences. I mean to me, IMG is what I would call a branchless bank. So they're more of a traditional but we love it like everyone that for OSHA was an IMG customer before we build up, right, so I don't want to take anything away from them. And I've also mentioned McQuarrie because in you know, we're in Melbourne and IMG is dominant. img has a good presence in Sydney. But Macquarie is also very dominant there. And and McQuarrie is actually a project once upon a time that we were pitching for one of my mates actually worked at Macquarie and was running their internet banking stuff, so so you know, a lot what they've been able to do in the digital space, both Macquarie and i and j is pretty amazing. They're very, very good. And they really bring it to the big four and compete with them. But the main difference is that we're digital to the core. So there's hundreds or thousands of people working in those organisations and a lot of their systems and processes are legacy and whatever. Whereas we're fully
Digital, everything we do is built from the scratch, you know, built from the ground up. And so I think that there is a practical difference in the lower cost base. And in the technical delivery and the cadence the way that so I'll give an example, we had a goal with Bendigo, when we worked with them for for about five years before we started up. And our goal was to get them to be able to do monthly deployments of software to customers. And if you can take software and get it to customers at least once a month, then you start building this infinite feedback loop that just keeps improving and getting better all the time. So that was our goal. took us about five years and we actually got them to over one deployment of to production for customers a week last year, or just a couple years ago now. We were able to deploy 64 times in the year which means that Bendigo Bank were getting software out to their customers in a much more regular cadence now for them, they've done I think the number was shy of 20 deployments to customers ever in like their 15 year history. You're not a man. So
look like an update to a website or a new app download? Or Yeah, so maybe a new app download and a new feature? I mean, it can. It can it can scale and complexity, it could be. Often one of the things that really frustrates me is when you get a new app upload, or download, depending on which way you're looking at. And it all it has is performance improvements and bug fixes. Like I forgot how Yeah.
Yeah. But but but you know, but you see, you see that sometimes I get really frustrated. So that is technically a deployment. Anyway, so far up. What we did is we said we wanted to deploy software to customers every day. In fact, we set ourselves a goal that we wanted to hit five production deployments a day. Well, that was our goal. Anyway, we average more than more than five at the moment, and we have
the app every time. It's, it's all that magic, you don't even know.
Yeah, it just happens. It just happens in the background. And then what we do is we basically rely on the App Store and the Google Play Store for the regular releases. So we'll do a release to the app store in the Google Play. Probably
Most frequently, any company can do that his weekly cadence like maybe weekly or fortnightly, just because of the lead time and approval time with the App Store and the Google Play whatever it is possible to do a bit quicker. And you can, you can line up a whole bunch of them in advance. So we run a programme where we test all of our own weirdo and dog food. So we test all their own software internally. And so we have versions that we use as staff members. And then we roll it out to Google Play and the app store with Apple. And we and we do that on a regular basis. So you pretty much get a new app, or an updated app every month, or every few weeks, or whatever. But we deploy software out to our cloud infrastructure
more than five times a day, so that you're always surprising and delighting your customers. And we're always getting better and better. Now, if you compare that to a traditional bank, you know, your IMG or your comm bank or whoever. They're getting better at this stuff, this technology stuff nowadays, but just go back a few years and now we're doing our best one deployment a year. And so if we're doing five a day, there's a huge discrepancy. So now you'll see
organisations maybe doing a release a quarter, or release a month or something like that. And that's amazing and good luck to them. But for us, you know, we're at more than five a day, which is just a huge discrepancy. This just means that we can move faster. So when we announced the, say, the transferwise partnership, I call it the 15 minute meeting that we had with him while we met them in San Francisco, where Apple conference, and then they we flew back to Australia, we went up to Sydney, and we met up in Sydney, and we were chatting with one of their devs. And we had one of our devs there, and we shook hands. And within 15 minutes, we had exchanged the API keys so that we could actually integrate our two systems was one of the hands like, sort of some sort of secret handshake with VIP. Yeah, absolutely. But that's the sort of, that's the sort of speed that you have to move that if you want to innovate in a technology industry, and in banking, that that process would take 15 months or 15 weeks or 15, whatever it said to do it in 15 minutes, is the new normal. It's what we actually have to do as a technology company. I want to
mentioned the companies before I just dropped them casually, you know, Uber and Airbnb or Tesla is another good example, that these are companies that have sort of come out of the garage or you know a few co founders and then built their foundation on technology. And they've completely disrupted an industry. So we hope, and we see it now, a lot of the big banks are copying us a lot of the new Neo banks are copying us, and we don't care, that's fine. We just want to change the whole industry. And so for us to be moving at that cadence and delivering technology in that way and using technology as the enabler that sort of technology lead banking, we think that's going to make a real difference for all Australians like Australian consumers over the next you know, decade bank fees. How many how many bank fee fees are bullshit
all of them
sorry, go on. I'll just as I as no bullshit, like, like, there's only two ways to make money like practically speaking, oh, yeah.
You can make money for charging fees by literally charging the consumer like, you know, charging people for whatever your services and the other thing, you can
do is make money in banking out of the margin. So if you have deposit products, and then you have credit products, if someone gets a home loan, and they pay, I'm gonna just use round numbers they pay, these are ludicrous numbers. But if I pay 5%, for a home loan, and you had a savings account that had 2%, then the difference there is 3%. Right? So you're making a margin. So if you can take deposits, and then you can deploy them through loans or some other credit products, and you can make a margin that that's how banks traditionally make money. So I just want to say fees. Our fees are bullshit fees are a genuine way to make money. But of those two different ways of charging customers directly through fees, and then making money out of the money out of the margin. We tend to favour making money out of the margin. We're very transparent about that. And we like to explain to customers how we do that. But we just try to avoid charging fees where possible. We do have some fees, but we have no traditional fee. There's no onboarding fees, it's completely free to use up to try out we don't have monthly fees and all that stuff. We have really looked at how we can eliminate all phase so we got rid of international fees, we got rid of foreign exchange.
phase we got rid of ITM phase, you know, we try to get rid of all the phase where possible. If you look in that fine print, there's still a few phase like you either draw your account, for example, we don't offer any credit products. So if you overdraw your account, there's a penalty there to discourage people from overdrawn their account. But but in the future, I'd love it if we had no fees at all. But that just means that we have to build a solid business on the margin side, because we're not making any money on a margin. And we're not making any money out of phase, we go out of business, and then our multi decade strategy just can't work. So it's not bullshit. It's just, it's just that you got to make money to survive. But we prefer not to have phase where possible. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, how many free products out there now I think I'm more primed to think okay, if this is free to freemium, you know, first month or you know, whatever it be signing up, how are how is the business actually surviving at that point, but not only that, I guess you look at the Uber examples, and it's like you can
get a monopoly over in an industry by having low rates, not something but then I guess is
Customer were becoming more and more wary of is that a long term sustainable strategy? Like actually finding out? Is the business able to monetize with this? Because if they can't, how is how's it going to be around in the future? And for you to start, what was the decision on doing the no fee structure? It's obviously very appealing to customer. But from a business perspective, what's what's the thinking there?
So I think there's a whole bunch of different components to fee like not having a monthly fee and not having sign on phase or ongoing phase is a is obviously great for customers. But I'm gonna be blunt and say that, I think that the digital banks that launch into the market on it with a price only as their differentiator are going to go bankrupt, like they're not going to exist in enterprise.
So so if you come and say, I have no fees at all, and I have the best rates in the market. So if you put your deposits with us, we'll pay the highest interest rate. Those unless they can do some magic those those companies will go out of business.
So what we did is we said, we recognise that risk. So what we said is that we never want to be recognised as the cheapest. First of all, it's not our brand, our brand is the best, we deliver the highest quality, we deliver fun, we deliver engaging, we deliver an experience like no other. So for us, we're sort of I guess you could say, We're more than Apple than we are the Android in that in that sense, right, is that it's more a quality premium product that you believe an apple fan By the way, by the way, I can just say you've got like, what, 10 different boxes?
Yeah, a little bit, a little bit first Apple product. I was actually like to it. So I'll just, I'll just give you the I'll come back to Apple boats to finish on the on the feed, right? Yes. But it's a really good question. Actually, I'm more of a Tesla fanboy than I am. I'll come to that too. But I was just gonna say that. And so for us, it was like our strategy was Let's be competitive in pricing. So that we are always amongst the best in terms of the fee structure. So we have some fees, but almost no fees. And then, let's have a
Really strong competitive interest rate. But we're not ever going to have the best right? Now we have actually almost by fluke had the best rate in the market for deposit. So you put your deposits without, at the moment you get 1.8%. When we first launched, it was 2.75. And that just moves with the market. So at the moment, we're in a pandemic, the Reserve Bank have reduced the cash interest rates, the official interest rates 2.25. So that means if you're getting 1.85, with us, that's costing us 1.65, to give you 1.85, right, so we were always conscious that you have to have a viable business. And so the viable business for us is to have a competitive price on both the front and the margin front. But actually try to create a business that people are prepared to pay for. So we have the most amazing features. And we're the first to do all these cool things. You could before up, you couldn't sign up a bank account in Australia in less than three minutes. And now there's, I don't know, a dozen banks that you can sign up a bank account in less than three minutes. And so we think that that's something that people might not pay for that exact, specific example, but people will pay
For us to be the innovator and to keep driving forward that that those benefits for consumers. And then if we can add value, so for example, I get letters from customers, usually emails or text messages to talk to us, we have this talk to us. It's built into the app where people send us messages. And I'll get messages from people every single day and our support team sent on through to me in Slack, so that you know, because they send them to me, and then I get to me, they go to someone in the support team, and then they forward them to me, and they're basically saying, you've changed my life. Like I've reconnected with my money. I'm saving more money than I've ever saved before. I now know where my money's going. I love how you guys identify the merchant. I love having as many savers as I like, I love the emojis. I love the real time payment, you know, whatever it is all these things. And I get that feedback all the time. And then the question that I have for people like that is obviously I'm very complimentary and send them a hug and I'm really grateful. But I also asked them would you be prepared to pay for that? Because if the banking system right now is so bad, nearly every bank in Australia charges $6 a month annual fee, a monthly fee, sorry. So so that means that you're paying about 100 bucks a year to you
Bank for what life for bad service and bad customer service and a crappy app, like I said, doesn't make sense. So the question I always put back to people is, would you be prepared to pay for that? Because we can't do it for free forever? We've got to know like, because I guess that's like with us with podcasting. It's like, you can have really loyal listeners or customers, whatever you want to call them. But if they're not primed to spend money on it, do you think that there's is there sort of a roadmap in regards to how you get there? Or you, I guess, do you need to provide extra value when when you turn that tap on? I don't think so I think we want to keep providing value for free. But what I think is that we monetize through the products that we offer. So give you some examples. So like a home loan, we've never launched a home loan, and we don't intend to do it right in the short term, but we intend to do it eventually. But I can tell you that we have 10s of thousands of so we have hundreds of thousands of customers now. And we have 10s of thousands of customers who are saving up for a home loan most having up for the first time and so we know that because they create a safer
And they put a home emoji on it. And then you know, we say them saving up 10,000 $20,000 or so. And so and so we have a lot of people saving up for an iPad or saving up for a home loan or saving up for a skateboard or saving up for a bike or saving up for a deposit on the car or whatever. And, and and, and what we'll do is in as, as we evolve, and as we mature, will offer products. So it could be share trading, it could be home loans, it could be insurance, it could be all these different products that will offer. And we'll make money out of those products. And we'll also make money out of the margin that those products create. So if you're offering a share trading product, then you need deposits, obviously to invest. If you're if you're offering a home loan, then you need money to lend. And so and so we can generate margin and revenue out of all those different products. We don't have to generate it out of spending and saving, which is what we do now, all of our products at the moment of spending and saving. I just I remember about that Apple question. So like I just go back to that for one second. So it's really interesting for me as I'm a you know, an IT guy, you know, from way back, but I was very late to the game so my my recollection of MIT
A relationship with Apple has changed rapidly in the last few years. So when I was a kid, I was at the local primary school. And we have one computer that was on a trolley and it was an apple to a, and they used to, you know, wheel the trolley around and you can book time with it for your classroom. And that was my exposure when I was a, you know, a young kid. Like it's, I guess, a twin. That was my exposure to Apple, and I never thought much about it. And then I went through high school, and I didn't own a computer, but then my dad bought an Apple TV at home. And it was really crap. Like it didn't do anything. I couldn't really just play games on it. Like, I didn't have anything like word processors. I didn't like programming basic or anything like that. So I had this sort of computer at home, but it was not my dad's computer, and so I wasn't really allowed to touch it. Meanwhile, all my mates were gamers or they were hardcore in the BBs and bulletin boards. And they were right into the whole modems and the internet and all this other stuff. And so it wasn't until I was about 16. And I mean my brother worked at the local markets and we had a paper route and all this other stuff. And we saved up our money and we bought airline tickets.
And we all think we bought it out of the trading post. And there was an IBM, it was an IBM clone, it was an IBM or something else, but it was, you know, back then we call them an IBM. It was an IBM 286. And it had computing, I'm sure, but it also had Encyclopaedia Britannica. And we also got a modem. So we could have dial up internet. And and, you know, for me, I started realising that a computer could be a tool. But meanwhile, you know, some of my mates already had jobs as software programmers, so I was, you know, developers, I was very late to sort of the computer game and and I didn't get into Mac's until about 15 years ago, in my last company, where everyone else had Macs and I had this crappy old IBM ThinkPad. And I was like, This is weird, like, why what all the cool kids have these Macs and what am I doing wrong? And I used to use a software called CorelDRAW. It was like graphic design, and everyone else was using illustrator and I'm like what all these designers use illustrator and have Max and I'm here with my IBM ThinkPad using curl draw out that read
button that was like in the middle of the keyboard to try to track around the mouse. Was that cold to remember? I have no idea. I know exactly what you mean. Yeah, what the hell was that?
This was a joystick. Yeah, there were lots of lots of rude names for it. But
it was it was it was a very bizarre tool, but it also had a fingerprint scanner, which was very early days, like obviously your MacBook has a fingerprint scanner, but the back end knows that anyway. So then mobile phones Well, I had a Nokia and it was one of those old sort of Nokia's, you know, with with a couple of games on it. And it was a little you know, grayscale screen and all this. And then the iPhone was launched and I think the iPhone being launched and it was a couple of years later before it got to Australia. The iPhone being launched changed my relationship with Apple because I got a very early iPhone. I think 3g was the first one I had. I think it was the first one launched in Australia and, and then I've had an iPhone ever since and now I have everything apple. I mean, I've got, you know, Apple Watch, I've got home pod I've got at the moment. I've got four laptops, I don't know why
laptops, everybody have the one, the one one behind me. I just have all this like crazy Apple stuff everywhere. And I don't know how many iPads I have, but I just like I lost a couple
on aeroplanes like you take your iPad on the aeroplane and I just left it, I forgot it.
Follow up to save that got it done.
Now within the quarters got in touch and i and i have my name in it or someone found out it was on the phone, my iPhone or whatever it was. Anyway, so now I have a three three iPads.
I love I love to keep up with like the latest things. And so for me, that relationship was my last sort of business before for OSHA and I was also partner with Tommy my other business partner actually was Maddie hell and he was the founder of Real Estate calm today. And so Maddie was really into tech like he would you would come into the office in the morning and you would find money and he'd fallen asleep under his desk. like writing code. And this is a guy that sold sold you know his his real estate company. He was the he was the CEO there for automatic
And years or whatever. And then he sold that company and yeah, for hundreds of millions. And he was still writing code and he had all the latest gadgets and everything so, so Marty had a big influence on me in terms of just, you know, having the latest gadgets in me. And then a few years later, I heard about this company Tesla. And I heard about these electric cars and everything. I was like, Oh my God, this this Elon Musk is like crazy. And so I started getting into Tesla, so So I would say in the last five years, I've got very, very heavily into apple and and Tesla, and other technologies like that to the point where I now back over 50 Kickstarter years, and, I don't know over 20 different companies or startups and stuff around the world. All like doing technology stuff. And it doesn't have to be anything to do with FinTech. A lot of them are FinTech, but also a lot of them are doing crazy, different things like I've got this company in Spain, who hand carved things out of desecrated wood. Sounds really crazy, right? But they sell it they sell those luxury men's goods in Harrods and other places like that.
And they make colognes in Italy and and they made the world's first cologne for men but you can mix and match different different flavours or whatever it is and and and and you know I met these guys through Kickstarter or something you know
why why would you invest in a company down? What's it what what's the draw card
for me it's about people and and and helping those people like if I see something that I think is reasonably interesting idea, but it's the passion that they have so these guys for example that I met and it might have been not kicked out or might have been another platform like Angel list or cedars or something I can't remember. But but but these guys, you could just the passion was oozing out of the screen, but you could feel the passion that they had. And they told me that they had come across this farmer in the UK, and he was excavating his land. And when he was excavating, they found a historical site and in the historical site was old trees and one of the trees was a 5000 year old tree and they and they and they bought that wood from that farmer and then they started carving the
These luxury goods out of nothing. And the way that they were talking about it, they basically engrave the latitude and longitude on the bottom of the things that they carve out. And then they sell it for like 500 pounds or something, you know, crazy markup. And so when they explained all that, to me, I thought this guy's crazy, right? But But when they explained it, to me the passion that they had for excellence, it was like, it wasn't technology, it was more to do with their hands and craft and now they do leather goods and other things. But they, they they explained to me that they just wanted to build the best shaving ball in the entire world. And that was something that interests me said the people, and the passion is more interesting than the audio I guess. Well, I did there Domine doesn't it's Is it about saying like even from your experience on you know, pre up to now in the middle of something that's caught momentum? And what in terms of an idea what is what are the most in Porton elements of the audio because it is still important to some degree.
It has to be commercial, right like a little
People have ideas that are good fun, but they can never make money. So we just spent a bit of time talking about how do you make money from a bank, right? You can't launch a bank and raise a couple hundred million dollars and then go about and then run out of money and just disappear. Well, that would be silly. It's assigning it. Any business is it's got to have the commercial aspects, as well as be fun, as well as be a good idea, right? It's got to be unique or innovative or different. And even if it's not like some of the mundane things, like Amazon is obviously one of the biggest companies in the world now. And you know, really, it was a bookstore, like, I mean, so So there were a lot of bookstores. So what makes them any different, I mean, they were able to nail the supply chain, and then they were later on able to nail the technology. And I think that if you can find a niche within any business, even if it's not completely unique, and you can deliver excellence, then you just have to have a way to monetize it. So so I think that that is an important ingredient. So the all the enthusiasm and entrepreneurship and competence and curiosity and all those things we've talked about are really awesome. And that's what I backed off.
People, but also the idea has to be a reasonably good one. And then also it has to be able to be commercialised, you have to be able to make money out of it because you got to make money to survive. So yeah, I think for me, it's been looking at
the people that are involved. The idea, the commercialization and then making a determination is can I have an impact? Can I make any difference? And it doesn't always have to be a business. Can I just say this, I'll just pivot a little bit and say that, you know, we got hit with this pandemic, everybody's working from home, everybody at for OSHA is working on up remotely. And and we're in a privileged position to be able to do that, because we're all technology engineers. And yeah, we all work on computers every day. So actually working from home as long as you have a good internet connection. It's not that difficult, right? So for us to do that tradition was fine. But what we found is that a lot of our customers were struggling, and a lot of them were losing their jobs. A lot of them couldn't work from home. A lot of them were working in essential services and so on. So we actually launched a thing we call upskill, which is a way for us to actually share our knowledge and experience and bring other experts
from other industries in, and so we ran a mental health one, and then we ran a financial literacy one. And that was not to make money. There was no commercial aspect at all, it was all about helping other people and bringing what wait. So we have a platform and that platform is up. And then we with hundreds of thousands of people that are involved in it. And we said, let's open it up to anybody. You don't have to be an OB customer, anybody can participate. But let's get experts from other industries and bring them in and then help people learn something. So financial literacy is relevant to what we do. But mental health was relevant to everybody who was struggling, working from home. And so we had thousands of people engage in those live sessions and have had subsequently they're on YouTube. And so now we're headed but And to me, that's the essence that when you ask that question is what makes me interested in a good idea or a good investment is is how impactful it is for other people. And so that one is an example of a non commercial idea. But it's very impactful in the way that it can actually help people. And I think that they're the sort of ideas that we don't just back internally here at up, but generally me as a person, I like to back those sort of ideas.
Because I think that making a contribution to society or making a contribution to other people and sharing knowledge or helping other people improve other people's lives is something that I'm very passionate about. And I need to go and sign up for up now I feel like I love a bit of hype and know that it's there's more than hype, but you've definitely sold it on the monetization thing. We actually worked out a way of making money through a megaphone and I have forgotten in the first five minutes we did a deal with Ben Fordham where he sponsored the entire week, too, advertise his new breakfast radio show. And so I just need to sorry Tom, this is probably it's probably I
think, I'm just gonna I'm just gonna have to do the ad with you. Yeah. Just standby ever listened to to JB DOM.
It doesn't matter. Because it's about the megaphone. Now.
The Daily talk show would like to thank Ben for them for sponsoring the megaphone. He has his new Breakfast Show. Starting 5:30am, Monday to Friday to JB you can listen in Sydney on the dial or stream on your favourite radio streaming app. Thank you. There we go.
I don't want to offer up the deal but it is at 250
if up yeah wants to sponsor the megaphone, 500 bucks you get a corporate video. Yeah, you do a nice employer brand, looking at hiring and things like that. It's a scaling, sponsorship. So it goes up in $5 increments. I thought.
That's awesome. Thanks, Tom. We I would love to get you back on too because I feel like I've got a bunch of other questions. really dumb ones that I want to run pasty. Can we have a should we
Do I have you got 20 minutes to do? Yeah, yeah. So when I, when I take a photo, when I enter in my driver's licence details, how's it actually verifying through the app app?
Yeah, I mean, it's part of the secret sauce is how we do it. So I mentioned earlier that that app was the first bank in Australia where you could literally sign up account instantly, and then be able to spend your money. And there's two remaining three main ingredients to make that possible. One is the verification of ID, we're able to leverage a lot of the relationships that Bendigo already had, but we had to rebuild from the ground up a digital authentication experience so that you could sign up a bank account and meet all the regulatory requirements for know your customer and anti money laundering and all that sort of stuff. So So that was one part of it. Another part of it was this first that we did with Apple which and then later on Google, which actually meant that we could provision a digital wallet while your account is still inactive. So when a bank creates an account for you
Normally, they send you a card and that card goes through the mail. And when it's going through the mail, it's inactive in case someone steals your mail and pinches your card, right? So so we had to build some technology that would allow us and we work with MasterCard, and another company called Costco and apple and also stuff to be able to actually provision that card for you. And then the third piece for us was to be able to get the money in. So you need to actually get money in using the NPP in real time, because you already had your money somewhere else so so to be able to sign up an account and verify your ID in literally, you know, 30 seconds or whatever, and then be able to provision a digital wallet so that you'd be able to spend your money and then be able to transfer that money in using the NPP that was a three sort of secret ingredients that we had to bring together into one awesome signup experience. And the average time to sign up for an app bank account is two minutes and 12 seconds. So you can download the app from the App Store. You can sign up an account, we take care of all that detail for you and being the first bank in Australia to do those three different things met them, we were able to actually give you that experience in terms of what we do with them when the data comes
It goes off to credit service providers. And there's a couple of really famous Australian ones. So Vic's is a great idea because verify, and Equifax are the sort of two biggest players. And there's lots of other ones as well. In fact, there's some great FinTech startup called Frankie. And they offer those services in an aggregated sense to a whole bunch of other banks. Now, we don't use them. But I know the founder there, and they're doing a really great job of delivering that technology. So so that technology could do that. So that data comes into the technology into the platform. And then it gets sent off to third parties for verification, and validation. And it's basically checked against government databases. And I can't really say more about the details because it goes to the security of it. But But you know, it's checking US government information. So if you have a Medicare card or driver's licence or a passport, it's basically cross checked by these government databases across all of your other life interactions with the government and private companies. And then that's fed back to us and we basically get some flags that say you're a bad citizen or you're a good citizen.
It tells us whether or not your account has been compromised, you know, whether your data, maybe your driver's licence was stolen when your wallet was stolen, or maybe your personal details like your date of birth, and your address had been stolen when some other company has had a data breach. And so all of that information then becomes relevant as to whether or not we're able to offer you a bank account.
Tom, very quickly, is there a limit to the amount of cash you can put in a bank account? Like do you guys have like a limit where it's like $5 billion? Could I actually put a billion bucks into my account right now? that's a that's a very good question. I don't think there's a a limit that we published, like it would probably be in the billions because it would be so many digits, but there probably is a practical limit, I could I could get back to you on that one. We don't we don't have a we don't have a minimum. You know, we have to put $1 in to be able to activate your account and do to be able to make use of it. But if you leave your account empty, then it'll sit it'll sit empty in terms of the total amount and we only pay the bonus interest up to a certain cap.
So we cap the amount that you can earn interest on. But I don't think there's a cap to the actual amount that you can put in there. So yeah, if you had a billion dollars and you want
fraud all the fraud stuffs really interesting. We tried to get some apple products and Tommy and I got them at the same time and latitude thought that we were calling them they thought that we'll the same person area we had, like, we had to try and explain that were two individuals just both trying to get IMAX. But you know, it's funny, the whole fraud type of thing. You know, it's funny.
Well, it's quite curious, because there's also things like third party fraud. So I'll give an example is you buy a T shirt, right? Or you buy a pair of shoes, and you do that online. And then you put all your data in your payment data, your address, and whatever else you put in, and then later on, that gets hacked or gets compromised, and you don't even know you know, that's called third party fraud. But you don't even know that your data has been compromised and someone out there on the dark web or whatever, you know, using your data and people
And you. And so then when you go and try and do something with a financial institution, or you go and try and do something with the government, you get a, you get a sort of a red flag and they say, Oh, hang on this, this person sort of dodgy, you're not dodgy at all. It's just that some other company that you've dealt with.
Yeah, yeah, some other companies had a breach, and then that breach actually impacts your ability to do things. So I think that the internet, you know, in the digital world, the interlinking of you and your sort of profile across social media, across payment services, like stripe, and Uber, and all that sort of stuff. And then and then, you know, financial services and government, the interconnection of all of that data is actually providing whole new ways to catch the criminals. But it's also having an impact on our customer experience, because you know, someone like you just mentioned, can reach out to you and say, Oh, hang on a second and block your transaction and we do it too. We block people's transactions, sometimes when it seems like something dodgy is going on, and sometimes there's nothing dodgy at all, and it's just, you know, it's it's created some red flags based on some help.
rhythms something all that one last quick fire. Caitlin wants to know, when can we buy a per cup mug or a cape cap?
Kpop cup, Kayla. I know Caitlin. Well, she can reach out to me and I'll be happy to send one. You don't have to pay for it. I'm yellow. The I've got one in the background you might be able to say.
as well. Yeah. Yeah. So it actually actually originated is that we did some socials and we had the perkupp mug. And people thought it was great. We have this thing where you can buy a coffee and we refund people's coffee. So you get free coffee basically. And it happens instantly, right? sounds really cool. I
want to get a $7 large.
We'll probably do it for you, but we can.
We capped it at $5. So it had to be less than five bucks. But anyway, and then people were wondering whether or not the pocket mug mug was real and it wasn't real at the time it was just a digital mug which would spin around inside the apple
Yet when you got your free coffee, but everyone loves us so much that we literally went out and manufactured these mugs now and we give them away and people can't believe it. So I think manifesting things physically, that you've only ever known digitally. It's just amazing. Like it brings a whole new sort of tangibility and feeling to to the brand. And then people like Caitlin reach out all the time. And God loved it. I love to get a perk up mug. And yeah, if Kaitlyn wants to reach out, we literally give me your address, and we'll send you one.
That's cool. I mean, is but also the admin side, I'm dealing with some mug issues at the moment trying to source mugs. Do you have a good supplier? And what's it? What's the sort of the back end of you
know that like, it's a very good question out there. Let me just tell you this. I used to run a record label. It was one of my previous businesses. And so we did a lot of merge manufacturing. We used to tour around Australia and do a lot of gigs and we sold a merchant stuff. And their company that used to do it, the guy that used to work with Brian, it's now 20 years later, and he is the guy that now makes out pickup mugs
Can you say can you reveal the company name or like or is it your supplies?
No. Tell you off air but I think he's it he's changed the name it used to be called mountain but now I think he's companies called whale yeah or something. Oh, dogs and
it does everything it does everything yeah I love it
but but for me that's that people connection you know is that he used to do a really good job for us 20 years ago and I introduced him to our crew at at for OSHA. And yeah, he now makes for us pins, mugs. I don't know t shirts, whatever we need. He's the man. Yeah, okay, great. Yeah. Perfect. Maybe he'll be a megaphone sponsor one day.
Tom, thanks so much. Thanks, daddy. Yeah, we'll get you soon.
Thanks for having me. It's a daily talk show. We'll say tomorrow, guys. Have a good one. See you guys.