FINNIES: How to find out what those strange charges are on your credit card

Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Read more on the awards. »
The Look Who’s Charging team at the 2017 CeBIT Pitchfest. Image: Supplied

Credit card bills, with lists of charges from businesses you’ve sure you’ve never heard of, are sometimes harder to translate than an alien message left on a moon circling a distant sun.

Stuart Grover founded a company, Look Who’s Charging, in 2016 after puzzling over expenses at his previous business, 3D Printing Studios.

He was wasting hours of time trying to reconcile and categorise the often cryptic transactions within the bank feed of his accounting software.

“The more research we did the more we realised that this wasn’t just a big problem for small business owners and bookkeepers but that it is also a significant problem for consumers and financial institutions,” says Grover.

“Hence we founded Look Who’s Charging and set ourselves the mission of solving the problem of transactions not being recognised. We believe that every Australian can relate to the problem that we have solved and we hope that we can make life that little bit easier for them.”

Look Who’s Charging, based in the Hunter Valley of NSW, is an entrant in this year’s Finnies, the fintech industry awards. It’s up for Emerging FinTech Organisation of the Year, Better Customer/User Experience and Excellence in Data/Artificial Intelligence Solutions.

Winners of the 2018 Finnies, the second year of awards for Australia’s fintech players, will be announced June 13.

The Look Who’s Charging startup says it is a global first business which makes life easier for consumers by identifying who has charged their credit or debit card.

More than 600 million card transactions are not recognised by Australian consumers each year. Some 15 million of these sorts of transactions are formally queried with financial institutions.

This may be when the transaction is listed under a holding company name, rather than a more well-known trading name.

Often banks are unable to provide any further details on the transaction, meaning more than $200 million in wasted costs.

Look Who’s Charging has solved the problem through its proprietary search engine which draws on hundreds of different data sources to provide merchant details for 95% of the 13.5 million transaction descriptions in the Australian market.

Here’s how Look Who’s Charging transforms cred card statements:

Image: Look Who’s Charging

In August last year, NAB integrated Look Who’s Charging into its Mobile Banking App and into its Internet Banking in January 2018.

NAB has over ten million customers. In just over six months, Look Who’s Charging has helped de-mystify 6 million transactions, including over 4 million for NAB customers.

“Being able to understand and interpret customer spend has many far-reaching implications other than improving the customer experience and reducing calls to banks’ call centres,” says Grover.

“Key other use cases for our data include data analytics and highly focused marketing, loyalty and improved fraud controls.

“The problem also exists in most overseas markets given legacy 45-year-old payment scheme systems. The UK is our next target market given the regulatory and cultural similarities with Australia.”

Grover and co-founder David Washbrook are spending the next month in the UK and meeting as many potential customers as possible.

(Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. We will be bringing you all the best stories from Finnie entrants and Australia’s fintech industry in the lead-up to the gala awards ceremony on June 13. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Find out more here.)

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