It makes perfect sense. Many of us spend a considerable sum on big-ticket expenses such as rent (residential or commercial), school fees, insurance etc. but are not able to pay with our credit cards due to some regulation or other.
Enter CardUp, an ingenious startup that facilitates this through being an intermediary between you and your payment recipient – enabling a fast and digital payment, utilising the credit line on your card, whilst earning you air miles, cash backs as well as all the other benefits you usually receive from your provider – all for a nominal fee.
We caught up with Nicki Ramsay, CEO and Founder of CardUp, to find out a bit more about this breakthrough startup:
What inspired the idea for CardUp?
There were two main factors at play. I’d spent nearly a decade in the payments industry and we were repeatedly set the same goal – to increase credit card usage. However, many initiatives just ended up shifting share from one card product to another rather than actually creating incremental spend for the industry as a whole. Secondly, there was my own personal frustration of getting limited value from my credit card, as I couldn’t use it for any of my big expenses! So CardUp was born –providing consumers new ways to use their cards, growing the pie for the industry as well as delivering value and benefits back to customers for all their big payments.
What roadblocks did you have to overcome at the beginning?
As with many new products in the Fintech space, we needed to collaborate with banks, payment networks, regulators and a host of other institutions that make up the industry, and get these various institutions on board. From the outset, one of the biggest challenges was getting these various institutions on board. That was critical for us, to be able to operate and be trusted to manage millions of dollars of consumers’ money. It is especially difficult when you are an unknown brand and a small team just starting out. That being said, our collaboration efforts paid off when we were recognised and selected by the Monetary Authority of Singapore at the end of 2016 as one of 20 companies globally to feature in their FinTech Festival programme allowing us to work closely with MAS and other strategic partners.
Have you learnt any valuable lessons since you began the company?
So many! It sounds clichéd but I’ve learned something new pretty much every day since the beginning. The major lessons revolve around the need for persistence and the ability to assess setbacks and keep obstacles in perspective. There will always be hurdles but the important thing is to listen, learn and adapt to feedback…and keep going!
What can subscribers look forward to next for CardUp?
There are some exciting partnerships on the horizon that will enable us to offer more benefits and discounts to our users, making their big payments even more rewarding. We’re also launching our new product line, CardUp for Business, which caters specifically to the needs of small businesses, enabling them to use credit cards for supplier payments and optimise their cash flow.
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs who want to take the leap into the startup arena?
To work on an idea you are passionate about and see it develop and grow is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience. At the same time, be prepared for the highs and lows that come with entrepreneurship. It can be a roller coaster– achieving one big milestone successfully but then quickly facing the next challenge and obstacle to overcome. You need to be comfortable with that.
And there you have it, a successful business born out of a simple solution to an evident pain point – a common trait noticed across most successful startups.
Click here to find out more on the latest deals/rewards that CardUp has to offer as well as a detailed explanation on how it works.