When people are messaging you on social media or jumping on live chats asking about your product, as happened with Collctiv ahead of its move into the US, that’s a sign you are on to something.
Collctiv is a group payments app that allows a range of users to collect money in an “easy and secure way”.
For example, a group of friends can collect money for a birthday present, donations can be gathered for a fundraising drive, or businesses can use the app to collect revenue.
The Manchester, UK-based company recently launched ahead of schedule in the US. It was also selected as one of 14 startups for the New York City Accelerator programme—the only UK company to make the cut.
Pete Casson, co-founder of the fintech with Amy Whitell, spoke with Fintech Intel to discuss Collctiv, demand for its app in the US and future plans for the company.
What research did you do to find out there was such a need in the US?
We had a large number of people messaging us from the US telling us we needed to make Collctiv available there, so we did our own research and found a huge need for our solution in the US market.
There were people asking us on Twitter and Facebook, and even messaging us on our live support chat, asking when we would be available in the US.
With that much demand in a new region, it was obvious that we needed to make Collctiv available in the US.
Why do you think this kind of product app is in such high demand in the US?
The US knows how to celebrate and come together on a large scale, much more so than the UK. Social gatherings happen all the time and with large numbers of people, sometimes in the hundreds.
Someone has to organise those events and gatherings, and it’s not an easy job to become the treasurer of the group. It’s a stressful process but one that should be enjoyable, so there’s a great need to simplify the collection of money for group occasions and gifts.
Also, organisers don’t want group money to be mixed in with their regular payments into their personal bank account, instead needing clarity and simplicity in order to be efficient.
Following the pandemic, social events and activities have come back with a bang with people coming together more regularly than before, bringing an additional need for Collctiv’s solution, especially in the US.
Collctiv claims that there is nothing like its app available in the US. What makes it different to the likes of Venmo?
Peer-to-peer apps are great at sending amounts to people, but are terrible at collecting from groups of people.
Organisers want to know how much people have contributed, how far the contribution will go towards an event or gift and who is left to contribute.
Collctiv automates the whole process so that all organisers need to do is sit back and watch the group contribute to the money pool.
Collctiv is different to other offerings because many payments apps require the entire group to have downloaded the app, created an account, and linked payment details, but with Collctiv, the only person who needs the app is the organiser.
Anyone contributing to a pool simply clicks on a payment link in any browser, and they can use Apple Pay, Google Pay or enter their card details and they’re done with their contribution.
We’ve removed the barrier to pay, meaning organisers collect more money, quicker and upfront, so they’re no longer out of pocket.
How did you decide on the fees for personal use?
Payment fees are notoriously complex and difficult to understand, with percentages here and X amounts of cents there, so we wanted to keep it as simple as possible for our users.
By charging a flat fee on transactions, Collctiv allows the organiser to receive the full amount that was being contributed to the pool, while also giving the contributor clarity.
What plans to do you have to grow, expand or diversify in the future?
Collecting money is one part of an organisers journey—there’s so much more to it. We want to help people find the perfect gift for their friend’s birthday, or a great location for their friend’s bachelor or bachelorette party.
Providing new ways of removing the admin side, which is often a burden the organiser has to carry, is something high on our agenda, because we want to support organisers wherever we can in their journey, and make socialising the best it can be.
We’re here for the organisers of the world as they bring joy and happiness to everyone else by organising events, gifts, activities and more for us all to enjoy.