Tandem founder Ricky Knox has called for the general public to become 'Co-Founders' in the new UK challenger bank launching later this year, receiving one share in the startup and exclusive access to new products in exchange for feedback and closer engagement with the bank.
Speaking at the Money 2020 conference in Copenhagen, Knox revealed the invite-only community of 2500 people have been involved in the creation and development of the bank, which received its license in December 2015.
From today and over the summer, Tandem will open up the Co-Founder community to newcomers, says Knox, but they will need a referral code from a current member of the community.
Once signed up through Tandem, Co-Founders become a shareholder, receiving one share. For every five people they successfully refer using their unique Co-Founder code, they will receive another share.
The Co-Founders are regularly invited to workshops at Tandem’s office, as well as get involved in tasks and discussion via a dedicated online hub.
Says Knox: “Co-Founders are the lifeblood of Tandem and will continue to help shape our customer offering as we head towards launch. Our brilliantly diverse Co-Founder base has helped us build up and break down the stale banking behaviours, ensuring we are consistently moving towards the creation of a good bank. After months of behind-the-scenes work, we are now at a point where we look forward to extending our Co-Founder family over the summer.”
The news comes as Tandem rolls out its first card product - designed with the help of its Co-Founder community - and announces an unspecified Series B-1 round investment from Omidyar Networks, the philanthropic fund established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam.
Tilman Ehrbeck, partner at Omidyar Network, says: "As the world moves to a digital economy, new banking models like Tandem can make a huge dent both toward financial inclusion in emerging markets and household financial health in developed countries."
Tandem is one of a clutch of new UK challenger banks promising to shake-up the moribund UK banking scene. The outfit is following in the footsteps of other startups such as TransferWise, which have run successful bank-bashing campaigns to stir consumer interest and poke fun at incumbents, as in the following prank which asks: 'What if your favourite pub was run like your bank?'