Melbourne social payments startup Finch set for take-off

Source: Finch

Finch, a Melbourne-based fintech startup that recently graduated from the number one fintech program in the US, aims to reshape the consumer finance experience through their app, which launches 12 July in Australia.

Combining social payments and financial insights, Finch aims to help young Australians achieve financial wellness together and empower users to have a clearer grasp of their financial standing through their ‘financial app for your social life’.

The app allows Australian users to:
● Pay and request money in less than five seconds
● Run tabs in groups to track shared expenses
● Split bills, and
● Get actionable insights to improve spending and saving habits
“Socialising is a big part of a millennial’s life, whether it’s going out, dining out or travelling with friends,” said Toby Gardner, CEO of Finch. “Not only do we want to make those financial interactions between friends fun and easy, we want to help build their financial confidence by helping them understand their current social spending habits.”

Finch is drawing attention not only in Australia but in the US, where some experts are calling it one of the best consumer fintech apps they’ve seen. Prominent fintech industry leader, Brad Leimer (#5 most influential voice in global fintech) tweeted recently that Finch is “the best financial app for your social life (much better than Venmo)”.

Born out of the frustration of paying friends easily, managing awkward IOUs and overspending due to FOMO and YOLO pressure, Finch allows users to:
● Pay or request money in less than five seconds
o Pay and request money with friends instantly without the hassle of bank account details, plus you can cash out at any time
o Split bills equally or individually so each person pays exactly what they owe
o Avoid awkward IOUs with automatic payment reminders
o Secure your account with mobile phone authentication, PIN code and Touch ID entry. Bank-level data encryption protects your financial data
● Run tabs to track shared expenses
o Create tabs with groups of friends (eg: housemates or group travel)
o Add shared expenses to the tab
o Finch will automatically calculate the difference owed so you can settle with the group later
● Get insights into your social spending habits
o See your spending behaviours both inside and outside the app
o Interactive insights reveal how much, where and when you spend the most on socialising

After twelve months in development, Finch beta launched in Australia in May with a select group of students at Melbourne and Sydney University. Its four-week “Finch Innobeta Program” offered students exclusive access to innovation and startup workshops run by Finch co-founders, alongside app testing and feedback.

“I’ve not seen a financial app anything quite like Finch before,” said second year Economics/ Finance student and Finch Innobeta, William Mullins from Melbourne University. “It’s simple, quick and easy. No other app is as suited to settling those awkward payments between a group of mates, whether on a holiday or after a Friday night catch up.”

Finch’s user experience and data-driven approach to behavioural finance landed them a spot in the number one fintech incubator program in the US, Envestnet Yodlee Incubator, which culminated in a Demo Day pitch to Silicon Valley investors in May.

“We’re meeting millennials at their current priorities in life, with the goal to continue supporting them as their priorities inevitably change over time,” said Gardner. “We believe there’s enormous opportunity to better serve customers by focussing on experiences and behaviours rather than financial products.”

Finch co-founders, Toby Gardner (CFA, MBA), Eric Kuhn (MBA) and Shahirah Gardner have extensive Australian and Silicon Valley experience in corporate finance, innovation, mobile product management and tech marketing. The three were housemates in 2009 in Berkeley, California, where Toby and Eric attended Business School at UC Berkeley.

Finch is available for free download on iOS and Android in Australia and is expected to roll-out into international markets from 2018. All social payment features will be available at launch with spending insights released in the coming months. Finch is supported by Pin Payments and NAB.

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