As we launch Greenbase, we cannot lose sight of our customers. It's way too easy to sit inside a bank, get really excited about the idea of a Bank-as-a-service, figure out what that should (obviously) be, and get lost inside your own passion. And don't get me wrong, I'm passionate about Greenbase, and think BaaS is definitely the future - but I've also been regularly reminded that customers don't care about your passion or acronym. They care about what you can do for them.
Plus, BaaS is bigger than Ben-Hur. This makes it critical to pick an effective and achievable starting point - one that delivers value to customers, will allow us to create revenues, and gives us a working base to build on.
So, the first 4 weeks in the Accelerator have been focused on finding this starting point. Finding the Early Adopter customers that have a clear and burning problem we can solve now. This will be our base to build from. This has required quite a bit of flaring - trying lots of different conversations and ideas, even if they don't automatically join up nicely into one picture.
For example, we started looking at Loyalty schemes like Fly Buys. Greenbase can do something magic - make their schemes entirely cardless, and give them access to new data sources. However, as we've progressed our conversations with them, it's clear that they're not the Early Adopters we need. They're unclear on the problem they're trying to solve themselves, and are comparatively slow moving corporates. They'll be important customers of Greenbase in the near future, but are not the best place for us to start.
Similarly, the Fintech space turned out to be interesting. There are very few over-the-top money management companies or Neobanks out there in the Kiwi market at the moment. We're pretty happy that this is not because the market opportunity isn't there - it's that up until now the infrastructure to support these startups just hasn't existed. So, they end up dying out young and pretty quickly. Notable exception is Jude, because they've had the time and ability to build their own infrastructure. But even Jude doesn't want to own the infrastructure long term, and are keen on swapping to Greenbase once we've proven ourselves to be better than their DIY solution.
One customer segment has turned out to be a good early adopter candidate however. And that is companies like Sharesies who are offering investment products online. These customers cannot pay the 2-6% that credit card base payment networks charge, and Direct Debits have a bunch of legacy overhead and poor customer experience. This means they are currently having to fall back on asking their customers to create their own Direct Credits or recurring payments inside their own Internet Banking. This is a big friction point for them, and not sustainable long term.
Greenbase can build a disruptively better solution