In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Matt Holme, the CEO and Founder of YouPay. YouPay allows users to share their filled out checkouts with others to pay on their behalf – think gifting for partners, buying office equipment or authorising kids payments. Matt talks us through how he came up with the idea while trying to buy a gift for his wife and the range of use cases the technology has. He also reveals his fascinating background as a FIFA video game nerd turned EA Sports employee.
“It’s a bit like the checkout experience has been stuck in single player mode for twenty years“Matt Holme
Questions answered in this episode include…
- What are the main use cases for YouPay?
- How did you go about getting your first round of venture funding?
- What’s your take on the future of buy now, pay later in Australia?
YouPay use cases
YouPay makes it easier to buy together online. It’s actually incredibly simple. Effectively YouPay is just a link that you can create at the checkout that you can then pass on to someone else to pay for your order. So a great use case is gifting yeah, just makes it incredibly convenient to have someone else execute the payment at the very end of that buying journey in the checkout.
We are still very new and it’s exciting and there’s so many opportunities for us to learn from our customers and literally see them using it every day and new use cases popping up.
With our biggest merchant being Appliance Central, I’m seeing people basically almost use YouPay as a way of saving the cart at the very end and probably I’m assuming customers might even be going home to measure the space. They might be sitting at the desk at work going “yeah I need a new washing machine, but just not a hundred percent sure that this particular one is going to fit in the space”. So they’re generating YouPay links and then going home that evening and then executing the payment to basically finish it off. Maybe they’re getting a second opinion from a partner or a roommate or something like that.
We’re also seeing it being used a lot in a professional sense. So we’ve seen a couple of orders come through clearly where someone in Sydney has placed the order for a TV and then clearly that link’s been sent back to a UK email address. So, effectively it looks like the head office is giving the all clear and that really has taken us down the path of helping us to define our target markets, which the good news is we’ve recently come up with what we say is four P’s.
We’ve got partners, which is the classic gifting example. We’ve got parents, which is another big sector. I’ll talk about it in a second and the way that parents can help the kids shop online, mobile, approving orders. We’ve got professionals, which is the work from home situation as well with such a diverse spread out system. Before, you can basically drop a big box of stationary in the middle of the office and say, “hey, everybody, go and grab your pens and pencils and post-its etc.” Now that people are working from home, if you’ve got a team of 17, effectively, you have to place 17 different orders. That’s what YouPay could be used there.
Then the final P is purpose, which is another big focus for us of the whole charitable nature of charities being able to populate carts and then disperse those links out for donors to execute the payment. We are constantly seeing new use cases pop up.
YouPay Me Back
The exciting part of where we’re at is realising that we’ve created this really handy tool at the checkout and it made gifting easier, but it was in many respects, just a handy checkout tool. With what’s happened over the last couple of months, we’ve realised what our mission really is. To explain that, what I’ll say is that I’m not anti-buy-now-pay-later. I think buy-now pay later is a terrific piece of technology. What I am anti is anti-debt. What we’re really focusing on here is fixing the problem where there’s basically an entire generation of consumers coming through where the only form of external payment at the checkout is to effectively take a short-term loan from a financial institution.
As a parent myself and as a consumer that doesn’t sit all that well with me. So basically what we’re building into YouPay and without a doubt, the most exciting direction we’ve taken this in is the ability for you to effectively have a buy-now-pay-later relationship with your friends and family.
It’s like taking the bank of mum and dad and rebranding it as the bank of family and friends, like the new expanded version of letting other people help you. So, as an example of maybe I was doing a tough or a bit short on cash one week, and I said, “Hey, Nathan, can you please buy me this particular product” it might be a hundred dollars. You might be keen to help me out, but at the end of the day, you might be like, “Matt, you’re going to have to pay me back, mate. I’m not a charity here.” So what you could do there through the YouPay app that we’re actively developing is effectively click the :YouPay me back button” which says “I’ll buy this product for you, but you’ve got to pay me back and forth installments of $25, every fortnight” which I’m familiar with because I’ve been exposed to buy-now-pay-later.
But I’m pretty confident that the bank of Nathan isn’t going to come with any late fees If I miss a payment, You’re not going to report me to any credit agencies or you’re not going to impact my credit score or have the debt collectors knocking on my door. Which of course, it’s not always the case with, with buy now pay later. But you know, some of the statistics that are coming out from ASIC, like 20% of the people that get into buy-now-pay-later struggle with repayments
Gaming nerds rule!
I started a website. It was a website based on a video game I was really into as a 15 year old. I had a terrible Google ranking because it was 1997 and it was two years before Google was invented! It was a website called soccer gaming and it was all about the FIFA video game.
I was a big fan. And, it was just a bunch of nerdy mates at school all starting a bit of coding and doing things. And at the time there was a website called GeoCities, you could get a whopping two megabytes of free space, and you could start a website and ironically you could even start a business and a whole career with two megabytes of free space back in those days. And that’s exactly what I did. So I started soccer gaming.com. It was a fan site around FIFA. For those of you who are gamers and like FIFA, the great thing about FIFA right now is all their licenses. So you can play as Manchester United and wear the authentic Manchester United kit with the right logos and rights sponsors, et cetera.
But back then, EA didn’t have all the licenses. So Man U would run out with a red Jersey. That was it. So what my website did was let people effectively mod FIFA and go in and create bitmaps of the real Man U Jersey. So you’d go to soccergame.com and download the real authentic Man U jersey and patch your PC version of FIFA 98. And so you were able to get all the authentic sponsorship and proper kits and players into the game. And so I’d run these websites. And in essence, I guess looking back, I created the first ever FIFA community website.
Shout out to a bloke by the name of Matt Bilby, who was young guy on the marketing team at EA. I think he’s like the executive in charge of marketing at EA now. So. But he was the first person to kind of reach out and realize that this community actually had a genuine voice and that they actually could come up with some good ideas.
And that was a great way to connect with real people, playing the games. So I got to know Matt. And he started talking to me a bit about what people want to see in the next iteration of FIFA and, as opposed to seeing these requests as almost like a nuisance and complaints, he thought this could actually be really constructive. And of course these days, the community drives everything, in particular to do with video games. Matt was the first to embrace that. So I got to know the team over in Canada. They’d fly me over to E3 the kind of the big conventions from time to time to showcase the game to me, realizing that I could go back to the community and talk up the fact that FIFA 99, FIFA 2000 was coming down the pipe and over time, got to meet a few of the team and the production group.
And I guess they saw something in a young 22 year old that could add a little bit of value. So they flew me over there over to Vancouver in Canada to join the team. And I became part of the group behind a few iterations of FIFA over about a four year period, which was terrific exposure for myself, not just to be part of that group, but then just great exposure from a business sense to learn what it was like to work at a big corporate group.