The 2016 Fintech100 Report is a collaborative effort between H2 Ventures and KPMG, and aims to offer an in-depth view of the most exciting start-ups and organisations taking advantage of technology to revolutionise the industry. It celebrates the 100 of the top fintech companies: 50 leading established players creating change within financial services today, and 50 of the emerging fintech stars of tomorrow. One of the crowned 50 emerging stars is Australian startup Spriggy.
What is Spriggy?
Spriggy is a prepaid card and mobile app for 8-18 year olds that helps parents and young people manage their money together. The Spriggy app allows parents to easily allocate money to their kids, add money to their child’s prepaid card and encourage saving through short term goals. Young people can use their prepaid card to make purchases online or in-store – anywhere that Visa is accepted – while parents can follow transactions in the app. CANSTAR caught up with CEO of Spriggy, Mario Hasanakos to chat about their Fintech100 achievement.
Q&A with Mario Hasanakos
Q: Congratulations on being named as one of the emerging star fintechs by H2 Ventures and KPMG as part of their 2016 Fintech100 list. What is your response to that achievement?
A: We’re honoured! It’s such an impressive list of ventures, working on such fascinating problems. We have so much fun doing what we do; it’s a remarkable privilege to be considered amongst the other companies in the 2016 Fintech100 list.
Q: Can you give our readers your elevator pitch: why use Spriggy?
A: Spriggy helps parents teach kids about money using a personalised prepaid Visa card for 8-18 year-olds and purpose-built mobile app for the whole family. Spriggy gives young people responsibility for their own spending and savings decisions while parents get the safety and convenience of viewing transactions in real time, paying regular allowances and locking the card at any time through the app. Together, families get an opportunity to talk about money in whole new way, letting kids learn for themselves doing the things they love – spending money and playing on their phones!
Q: New fintech startups are launched every week. Irrespective of idea or solution, are there any underlying qualities that a startup needs in order to hope for success?
A: If there’s anything we’ve learnt from our journey, the key has been relentlessness in focus on making customers lives better. If you listen and you care and you build everything with the user’s experience first-in-mind, it’s extraordinary how far that can take you.
When we first started exploring how we might be able improve transaction banking, we started searching for why banks are so unpopular with adults. It turns out the deeper reason for dissatisfaction with the category is an anxiety and discomfort with money itself and that if we were any chance of improving that, we’d have to start with improving experiences much younger.
The only way to get to that kind of insight is to spend hundreds of hours in people’s office, homes and schools, living their day-to-day challenges with them. It’s enormously time consuming, but it’s only once you understand what really motivates the users you’re trying to serve, can you create products that genuinely improve their lives.
Q: Any 2017 plans you can share?
We’re excited about 2017! We’ve been working quietly on Spriggy up to this point, improving what is fundamentally new technology through private research and user trials. Next year we’re bringing Spriggy out in the world, offering hundreds of thousands Australian families the opportunity to improve the way they teach kids about money. We can’t wait!
Australian fintech stars
Spriggy was just one of an impressive nine Australian fintechs to make the Fintech100 report this year. For a small population, that’s a pretty good achievement. You can check out the full list of Australia Fintech100 inclusions here.
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