Fintech player Douugh scores MasterCard partnership
Australian fintech start-up Douugh has scored a new partnership with MasterCard, joining forces to launch a smart bank account with a debit card from the global payments giant.
Douugh, which was founded by SocietyOne's Andy Taylor, has created a personal financial assistant utilising artificial intelligence. But the start-up does not intend to become a bank, rather it claims to want to help people save more and live debt free.
Mr Taylor said the partnership with MasterCard would give the company a "big boost of horsepower", letting it create a product that would be available in three of MasterCard's major regions – the US, Australia and Britain – by 2020.
"MasterCard are a global leader in digital payments and to have their brand associated with our technology is important for us to establish trust and credibility in the eyes of our customers and also within the broader fintech and investment community," Mr Taylor said.
"We have big plans to blitzscale (achieve lightning-fast growth) in the US once we achieve product market fit. Based on other scale-ups around the world such as Revolut, Monzo and N26, we believe we can scale up to over 3 million customers within the first five years in the US alone."
The company's ultimate goal is to become a platform that acts as a financial control centre for people to manage their finances, or put it on "autopilot" thanks to its personal assistant Sophie.
Sophie analyses a person's spending habits and helps them manage their money by allowing them to set budgets and keeps them on track by sending regular reminders.
It can eliminate bill shock by estimating a person's electricity or water bill using historical data, weather patterns and other information.
Earlier this year, the company formed a partnership with mutual bank Choice Financial, launching a bank account and debit card with the bank.
MasterCard Australasia division president Richard Wormald said the partnership with Douugh was reflective of its approach to innovation.
"Every sector has challenger brands, finance is no exception. Disruption fuels innovation and provides opportunities for small and big businesses alike to shift with changing demands," he said.
"We are able to accelerate the innovations of start-ups by offering experience and scale, allowing us to connect these businesses with our more-established partners."
MasterCard also has partnerships with local start-ups such as Airwallex, Identitii and OpenSparkz, all of which participated in its program to support start-ups called Start Path.
Douugh is believed to be weighing up an initial public offering, or a capital raise of about $10 million, according to Street Talk.