Going Global: Six months in
Our journey of international expansion
Believe it or not, it’s been six months since we officially launched Banqer in Australia. To say time has flown is a bit of an understatement, and to say it’s been a challenge is even more of one. These months have imparted an equal dose of challenge and opportunity, and of pride and stress. They’re rendered me nearly incapable of answering the simple question; “so… where do you live?” and have expanded my vernacular to include the word “thongs” without laughing. They’ve even gone as far to test where my sporting loyalties lie (with the All Blacks & Silver Ferns of course — it’s only been six months).
In that time we’ve done some things here too. We launched with our champion partner Netwealth who have been pivotal in reducing the barrier of cost for a quality, impartial financial education offering. To this point we’re across more than 100 schools in all six states who are receiving Netwealth sponsorship to use Banqer. More than 4,000 Aussie kids have access to Banqer everyday in Australia and are improving their financial capability as a result. We’re seeing these students develop some extremely positive financial behaviours, a trend we hope persists.
We’ve also welcomed our first Australian hire; Liz. This was a major milestone for us and not a decision easily made. But when we met Liz, the call was clear and when you met Liz, you’ll get it too. On top of her passion and talent, Australia is home for Liz. Liz will be the first of our local team. Liz will be our constant in the market. Liz will be our Wallabies supporter. Given that we’re bootstrapped the ability to grow our team comes purely from our ability to grow our user base, not simply from raising a round. So welcoming Liz was a very significant celebration of our Australian progress to date.
Most recently we’ve also announced our partnership with the Financial Planning Association of Australia. Our mission is to ensure that all kids are prepared for the financial world ahead. A part of this is removing a second barrier to financial education in schools; the lack of educator confidence or professional development in financial education. More and more teachers are required to acquire skills that most likely weren’t part of their teachers college curriculum. That’s why thanks to the 13,000 strong membership of FPA financial planners we can now offer our educators a local guide on their financial journey. Experts in the field who are wanting to offer something meaningful to their communities.
I’m extremely proud of our team at Banqer who are all responsible for our expansion and growth in Australia. I often feel that they are the unsung heroes so I want to personally thank Liz, Simon, Kirsty, Marc, Ben, Micah, and Alex. You’re all wizards.
Thanks also has to go to our extended team, in our partners. Thanks to Matt, Michael, Andrew & the team at Netwealth for your early, unwavering belief if our mission. And thanks to Dante, Pene, and the FPA family for taking a proactive stance. For not only being a voice for financial planners, but for actively changing the financial trajectory of the next generation.
And of course to the educators out there who are taking on the challenge of teaching your students these valuable life skills. I don’t know if you hear it enough, but you’re changing these kids lives.