It’s International Women’s Day, so what better occasion to celebrate some of the awesome wāhine that are part of the New Zealand Startup Ecosystem.
Banqer sits at the cross-section of FinTech and EdTech (finance and education) and provides the tools to educate Kiwi kids on crucial financial life skills – something that had been previously missing in the curriculum. We caught up with Banqer co-founder Kendall Flutey to celebrate the growth of the NZ FinTech ecosystem, talk goal-setting and influencers.
What makes you excited about the future of the NZ FinTech sector? Any companies or technologies you’re keeping an eye on?
I think it’s both the pace and the potential impact that excites me about FinTech in New Zealand. We’re almost the perfect market to be trying new things – it’s realistic to scale and reach 50% of the market in your first years of trading. That’s pretty exciting. And at the same time, you’re treading in waters that plays a vital role in everyone’s life; money. So when you can leverage that to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives that’s exciting.
You’re providing the tools to educate NZ kids on crucial financial life skills, something that was previously missing in the curriculum, what effects do you think this will have in the future for New Zealand?
I’ve said it before, money isn’t everything, but it plays a role in everything. It’s for this reason I believe early financial education can radically change the future face of Aotearoa. Sure it won’t result in us all sitting in mansions on the waterfront, but it will hopefully minimise the number of us who are financially misled or manipulated, the number of us living beyond our means, and having other constraints due to financial pressure. And at the other end of things, it will see more risk-taking, innovation, investment, employment and the resulting prosperous communities.
Money is just so interrelated into general wellbeing, and it’s also a thread that connects us all. So the real impact is difficult to isolate, but exciting to dream about.
You’ve been ticking off some pretty big achievements lately Banqer’s continued growth in the education system in both Australia and New Zealand – as well as you personally recently winning Young New Zealander of the Year! How do you set goals for yourselves and your company?
I guess publically it does look like we’ve been having a pretty good run of late – but it’s worth pointing out that we get the ups with the downs. It’s certainly not always smooth sailing so effective planning is crucial; in both personal and professional life. Having a good strategy and an ability to execute on it is key, and having good people around you to both help with that planning, and to hold you accountable to that is also vital. When I think about Banqer, our goals need to incorporate both profit and purpose, making things a bit trickier; but this also means that we exercise more creative thinking in order to achieve what we want.
What’re the benefits of working with a known institution, like Kiwibank?
Good partners are just so awesome. We’re really particular about who we work with, and have a bit of a napkin checklist of things we’re looking for. When I think about Kiwibank, the fact they’re well known is great as it means we have the potential to be known a lot faster – but perhaps even better is what’s at the heart of what they do. They believe in Kiwi’s making Kiwi’s better off, and that aligns so closely to Banqer’s mission. Also, they’re just good people, so all of that together makes me feel pretty lucky to have them in our corner.
Who is a/the person who has influenced you in your life (not your family) and why?
I don’t have just one or two people who have influenced me from afar, instead, I feel like most people I meet at different stages of life have some form of influence. The qualities in the teachers I liked at school, the qualities in those I didn’t… Coaches, flatmates, friends, founders, those further afield. I’m more of a believer that everyone around you can teach you something, it’s how you interpret and recognise those lessons that is the key.
What’s one question you wish you’d be asked in an interview? And what would your answer be?
I feel like there’s no ground that hasn’t been covered in the hundreds of interviews over the last four years or so. I always love telling stories about the kids I get to interact with, especially the slightly naughty kids who bend the rules. You just know that they’re going to do something interesting with their future.
Check out our other ‘Women in FinTech’ interviews with Rachel Strevens, founder and CEO of Invsta, and Brooke Roberts and Sonya Williams, co-founders of Sharesies.