Tell us about ScribePay.
ScribePay is a payments business focused on revolutionising the way consumers pay and manage subscription services. Our mission is to give consumers control, security, and peace of mind over the payments they make.
ScribePay’s service will be delivered via any web browser or smart device app; providing customers with a digital wallet and multi-use virtual cards to sign up for online services that require on-going subscription-based payments e.g. catalogue or magazine based subscriptions, weight loss and fitness-related programmes, or digital gaming services that require in-play gaming financial transactions.
Our platform will also ease the ability to cancel or renew subscriptions, reducing the financial exposure currently experienced by over 2m people in the UK (in the form of subscription traps) and an annual loss of £100m.
Beyond subscription services, the virtual cards can be used by the risk-averse digital shoppers willing to purchase products or services online from lesser-known or untrusted brands and websites.
Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?
ScribePay is an early startup. The knowledge and the comprehensive support that is available via any accelerator programme is transformative. With Barclays, you have an organisation that is well versed in supporting startups and a reputation in backing innovative ideas, especially with past accelerator participants like flux who have indeed gone into partnership with Barclays.
Also, as alumni of the Barclays Graduate Trainee Programme I first hand understand what it means to have the resources from an organisation like Barclays available to someone fresh out of university. I see my self exactly in that same position with ScribePay and have every trust in the impact.
What would be your desired outcome from this programme?
Like most early startups, the desired outcome would be pre-seed funding to take ScribePay to the next level. Beyond the monetary desire, I am also looking forward to a breadth of knowledge and new relationships that will be established with other participants, mentors, and investors.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?
Oprah Winfrey. Despite her background and environment, she broke down barriers, defied the odds, and developed a multi-billion dollar empire. It shows anything is possible.
What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?
Seeing the problem that ScribePay is set up to address and recognising that there is a large enough opportunity to make it worthwhile solving the problem. In addressing the opportunity, we have engaged with technology partners and card schemes all of whom are committed to addressing the subscription-based problem with us, and that for us is an 'initial' big win.
And your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge will be acquiring new customers at an accelerated rate. We are looking to push the barriers in terms of customer adoption and growth for a business like ours, but we know the demand is out there and tapping into that demand will be our biggest challenge.
Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?
The co-founders have formal business training and experience working in businesses both small and large. We have largely relied on this experience to get this far. It has given us theoritical knowledge to draw from in creating elements like business plans or doing market research. It has also given us access to some of the contacts via our networks to help drive the business idea.
What drives you to make your business a success?
The desire to solve a real problem for consumers. One we have all personally experienced and yet there isn't a viable solution that addresses the problem. The founders have a natural desire to help people and this is borne out through the relationships they maintain with friends, families, and colleagues. The business opportunity provides the opportunity to scale that desire significantly.
What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?
Understand your immutable values because this is what a successful business is built on and sustained. Also, make sure there is a significant opportunity out there to make the business venture worthwhile because this is how you will provide a living for yourself and turn what may be a hobby into a business venture.
Why did you want to start your business?
To solve real consumer problems and to maintain control whilst doing so. The founders of ScribePay are entrepreneurial at heart and nothing speaks more to this virtue than starting our own business.
What do you do to relax when not working?
We have a young family and so spending time with the family is a good way to unwind. Outside of the lockdown times of this COVID-19 era, we would take trips to theatres to watch play, comedies, and music (we both have a taste for R&B and Jazz-funk). We also enjoy traveling a lot in an attempt to experience other people's cultures and food.
How has covid made you pivot your business?
COVID-19 has driven a demand for businesses like ours. The lock down has meant that even more trade is done online rather than in-person or face-2-face, and as a consequence the online subscriptions market has also grown. COVID has accelerated the need to bring the business to market quicker and we are responding to that demand.