A Melbourne fintech startup has commercially launched its new service today, where customers can send their utility bills for the system to automatically make the payments after intelligently sorting out scammers.
Gobbill, founded in 2015 by Shendon Ewans and Quentin Marsh, has developed the service after receiving financial support from Microsoft’s BizSpark startup programme and partnering with the federal government’s Stay Smart Online campaign.
“We decided to create Gobbill because we were finding it increasingly time-consuming to manage bill payments. We decided there had to be a better way to manage bills and still be in control of our payments,” said Ewans.
After registration, the user just needs to email any bills to Gobbill. The service then keeps track of when payments are due and uses one of the customer’s debit or credit cards to pay off the invoice on the due date.
In addition, Gobbill will work out whether any of the bills are fraudulent and will ignore such payment requests. According to IPAustralia.com.au, the company has a patent registered for technology that extracts “text in the wild for bill fraud detection and payments”.
The startup cited figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Australians lose more than $229 million each year to bill scams to predict unmet demand for its service.
The automated bill paying also ensures customers receive on-time discounts — a popular feature among electricity providers – and avoid late fees. The emancipation of bills from the direct debit arrangements means that when a credit or debit card expires, the user does not need to contact the utility provider to update their details.
To start, Gobbill will not generate any revenue — but a spokesperson told Business Insider that the company plans to introduce paid consumer and business plans later this year.
“The service will always be free for users paying 5 or fewer bills every month, while those with a larger number of bills will likely need to go on the paid plans,” she said.
The spokesperson declined to reveal pricing for the paid plans.
Marsh has previously held technology roles with National Australia Bank and Australia Post, while Ewans has a consulting background.