CBA backs homegrown start-up Slyp for paperless receipts

CBA backs homegrown start-up Slyp for paperless receipts

Joining the ranks of its major rivals, Australia’s largest bank has partnered with local fintech provider Slyp to deliver interactive ‘smart receipts’ to its more than seven million digitally active customers.

Slyp provides itemised digital receipts of transactions inside a customer’s mobile banking app, directly integrating purchase information from a retailer’s point of sale (POS) system before matching it to a customer’s bank card.

Shortly after making a payment, customers are notified about their receipt, either in-app or via SMS.

CBA anticipates the Slyp-enabled functionality will make “managing returns, warranties and financial management” easier for customers, with users able to set warranty reminders or categorise receipts under personal or business use on their banking apps.

The bank’s minority stake in Slyp comes after investments from big four rivals NAB Ventures, Westpac Reinventure, and ANZi (New Business Lab and Ventures) in years prior, making Slyp the first ever fintech to clinch the backing of Australia’s four major banks.

NAB and Westpac were early investors in Slyp – founded in 2016 and known then as Ping Data. Both banks, through their corporate venture capital arms, financed the fintech in October 2018 while ANZ followed suit in September 2019.

Notably, CBA has invested in Slyp directly rather than through the bank’s standalone incubator, X15 Ventures, which was launched in February this year.

Drawing investment from in-house rather than X15 was a deliberate move, according to CBA retail banking services chief Angus Sullivan, who sees Slyp’s technology as “core to CBA’s strategy”. X15 will instead be set to task on its own disruption agenda in banking “adjacencies”, he said.

Sullivan, in a statement from the bank, also noted how the increased focus on personal hygiene arising from the coronavirus pandemic was “catalysing retailers to encourage contactless, digital payments” where “digital receipts are a natural extension” set to benefit shoppers and retailers alike.

Lofty ambitions

Later this year, NAB will lead the big banks’ rollout of Slyp’s full functionality for mobile banking customers; already through its integrated Slyp service, NAB customers can use their mobile phone cameras to scan and save paper receipts in-app.

Westpac and ANZ are set to follow soon after, making digital receipts available through their respective banking apps.

On the retail front, Slyp has secured the backing of heavyweight Scentre Group; however, the fintech’s website appears to boast only a modest list of participating retailers, including Bing Lee, San Churro, Harris Farm, Cue, and Barbeques Galore.

Nevertheless, Slyp chief executive and co-founder, Paul Weingarth, sees the fintech’s alliance with CBA as a “major breakthrough” for its network, citing partnerships with major banks as key to delivering a “truly ubiquitous industry standard of digital receipts.”

Weingarth, a former PayPal executive who oversaw ANZ’s strategic partnerships and business development, has been vocal about Slyp’s plans to branch out from its core proposition of in-app digital receipts towards enabling customer analytics and greater personalisation, among other value-added offerings for merchants and retailers.

“Now, with [the banks’] backing we are in a strong position to push towards eliminating paper receipts and provide retailers and banks with a new way to delight and engage their customers post-payment,” Weingarth said.

Co-founders of the fast-growing fintech include fellow ex-PayPal ANZ executive, Spiro Rokos, as well as Mike Boyd, former group data officer at ANZ, who now serve as Slyp’s chief technology officer and chief data officer, respectively.

The founding trio will continue running the company independently, while CBA will be represented on the Slyp board by Albert Naffah, general manager, payments, development and strategy. The board is chaired by Stuart Harker, former global retail lead partner at PwC.

Slyp’s other board members include Ron Spector, managing director of ANZi, Todd Frost, managing director of NAB Ventures and Rohen Sood, general partner at Reinventure Group; meanwhile, NAB’s chief data officer, Glenda Crisp, sits as a board observer.