Choice came to life during the 2018 Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator – powered by Lightning Lab where participants had the chance to work together to innovate specific financial areas such as payments, security, insurance & identity regulations.
Contactless payment transactions cost kiwi merchants 2–4% of every sold item. This seemingly small transaction fee then goes directly offshore to major international companies like Visa and Mastercard. Contactless payments have increased over 20% during the last year and will continue to grow as this becomes a more ingrained behaviour when making purchases.
Choice is a social enterprise that is empowering people to make a difference with every transaction. Their aim is to reduce transaction fees for merchants and enable consumers to allocate a percentage of their transaction fee, to a charity of their choice. They’re building this platform with NEM.io blockchain technology and creating a trust-based, transparent value transfer for New Zealanders.
Navigating the startup world is an exciting but often times challenging job. We wanted to know more about how the team at Choice navigate that world and what style of resilience they share as a team and as individuals.
What have you been up to since Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator 2.0?
Since going through the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator, Choice has secured a large corporate client to collaborate on their first product launch due out in November 2018. The mutually beneficial agreement came about as a result of the connections the team made with regulators, banks, other Fintechs and knowledgeable entrepreneurs operating in the same space.
In just over five months, Choice successfully raised over $1M NZD in non-equity funding from the NEM.io community fund, a Singapore-based blockchain company and have begun to rally support from banks, regulators and the payments industry in New Zealand.
What are some of your highlights from the accelerator?
It’s an amazing opportunity to work among such bright and inquisitive minds and the culture that results from this. Everyone is driven by the purpose of what they do. It’s not necessarily about the dollars but the impact on society and the ability to create something new.
KFA provided an abundant amount of guidance and actionable knowledge. Lightning Lab’s startup methodology gives a tight but flexible structure. We also received an open invite into the Fintech community, financial regulators and a ticket into Kiwibank to test risks upfront.
At the end of the day, it always came back to the environment and the people at KFA which was great.
How do you deal with stress?
Skate breaks, meditation and journaling.
How can you build resilience, when starting a business?
Be really clear about your purpose. That comes first. Everything that knocks you down along the way is just learning as to how to better achieve your purpose.
Do you have any team rituals that help you to tackle tasks together? If so what are they?
At the end of every day, we debrief as a team. Everyone says:
- A highlight of their day
- One thing they could improve on
- Something they liked that another team member did
Gratitude, self-awareness and recognition of others all wrapped up into a quick daily dose!
What inspires you to work on your Choice on a day to day?
It all comes back to our kaupapa: inspiring the world to choose purpose over profit ✊🌏💙
What advice would you give to future KFA applicants?
If you require something from the banks, give it plenty of space in the timeline. Don’t think twice, KFA will do wonders for your startup.
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