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Exclusive: TABBit collects £320k to transform the way we pay friends

TABBit CEO, Boy-Anthony Kuhne
Image credit: TABBit

TABBit, a London-based fintech that wants to make being paid, and paying, friends easy, has secured a £320,000 investment to further develop and grow their product. The round was led by Angel Invest, with fintech veterans Andrew Buckley and James Sherwin-Smith, both formerly of Mastercard, also joined the round.

TABBit’s founder and CEO, Boy-Anthony Kühne, spoke exclusively to TFN about TABBit and how it could change the way we handle transferring money between friends.

Connecting the UK’s fragmented banking system

Kühne’s inspiration for TABBit came from his professional and personal experiences. As the VP New Product Development for Real-Time Payments at Mastercard, he was aware how fragmented the UK banking market was, but he was surprised at how this impacted on his personal experience. “As a Dutch citizen who has also lived in the US, I have seen how peer-to-peer payment apps work in other parts of the world,” he told us. “I was shocked to find how difficult it is for people in the UK to request money back from friends.”

Having implemented similar products for Mastercard in Asia, and seeing other services like Paypal and Splitwise offer the service, he realised there was a significant gap in the UK market. “The application we’re building subsequently draws from the best-in-class payments apps that I have seen from around the world, and we’re looking forward to bringing the best of what’s out there to the UK,” he said. “With Open Banking maturing and the majority of the UK adopting Mobile Bank apps, the market is ready for a solution that is bank-agnostic and inclusive for anyone.”

The app empowers individuals and groups to create payment requests from friends and family, who can make payments using their existing banking applications.

“TABBit works by securely linking your bank account details using Open Banking APIs,” Kühne explained. “Once your bank account is linked to TABBit, you can then create payment links for your friends to use to send you money.”

Because it uses Open Banking APIs, TABBit is secure. “We leverage the bank’s secure know-your-customer processes to verify users on TABBit, which ensures payers are able to verify exactly who is making the payment request,” Kühne explains. In addition, because the app is designed for social use, links can be shared in group chats or in person, transactions will usually carry an additional layer of verification.

The design removes the friction of friends having to have the same banking or payment app to request and pay each other. “Everything is powered by the banking app they already use,” says Kühne, “automating all the manual steps of quickly making a payment to someone, while leveraging the full security of your existing mobile banking solution.”

Angel Invest were also attracted by the simplicity of the solution, saying, “we are always on the lookout for groundbreaking technologies that are disrupting traditional markets. TABBit’s innovative approach to simplifying financial transactions makes them a perfect addition to our portfolio.”

Becoming the first word in paying friends

TABBit intends to focus on the UK market, and change the way that people deal with money by creating a seamless service for users. And Kühne notes that the increased competition between neo-banks has only fragmented the UK banking market further, making solutions like TABBit even more important.

The funding will be used to expand the team, currently small but multinational, as they develop the product. One challenge is how TABBit will be monetised. “We’ll be building a number of premium features available via subscription which will give those users the ability to send more payment links and keep links live for a longer duration, for example,” Kühne said. However, he stressed that “our core proposition will always be free to use.”

That commitment links to Kühne’s vision for TABBit, “as a company, our ambition is to make financial tools more inclusive and follow our commitment to helping people create a better financial future for themselves.”

And he’s confident that TABBit will be able to become a dominant payments app in the UK. “We believe we are just entering a new era of Open Banking possibilities in the UK. With TABBit, we aim to ride this wave of innovation bringing new features to our users,” he said. “Our focus now will be cementing a really strong brand around a product that builds trust with users by delivering a fantastic experience in the application — and connecting seamlessly with other high street banking apps.”

Ultimately, Kühne sees TABBit becoming the default option when friends and family need to transfer money. “We see TABBit allowing friends to digitally transfer money across the table as easily as you would have passed cash in the past,” he told us. “We believe ‘TABBit’ will become the verb people use to settle their tab, so you can continue having fun knowing you’ll easily be able to recoup what you paid for the last round.”

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