How digital bank Up built for speed and scale
A legacy-free, mobile-first platform, building for scale, and a focus on openness helped digital bank Up reach its first hundred thousand customers eight months after its launch, according to co-founder Dominic Pym.
The bank is a collaboration between software firm Ferocia and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (Ferocia previously built Bendigo’s Internet banking platform). Up relies on Bendigo’s banking licence; by way of contrast, fellow ‘neobank’ Xinja last year received a restricted banking licence, while Cuscal’s 86 400 earlier this month was granted a full licence by regulator APRA.
In mid-June Up announced that more than 100,000 people had signed up to use its services.
Addressing the Agile Australia conference last month, Pym said that Up is trying to differentiate itself in the market by being “technology led” rather than “banking led”.
“Sounds subtle, sounds small, but actually it’s a huge difference,” he told the conference.
“When I say technology-led, I mean changing the way an industry operates, changing the engagement with a customer, like the way that Airbnb did it in hotels, or the way that Uber did it in taxis or the way that Skype did in telecommunications.”
Although the bank had its public debut in October 2018, prior to that its platform had been in production for a year, with Up working with regulators and operating with a pilot group of customers “just to make sure everything was awesome”.
“We didn’t know whether that would work we launched last October,” the Up co-founder said, but the growth of its customer base indicated its “doing something right.”
“We think that what we’re doing right is, is delivering a very transparent, a very open, very agile service,” Pym said.
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