Alastair: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to confounded TV. My name is Alastair  Campbell. 

Sarah: [00:00:18] I’m Sarah Curran. 

Alastair: [00:00:19] It’s the 1st of June, 2020. And welcome to episode one. So Hey  Sarah . What’s happening? 

Sarah: [00:00:27] Well, still in lockdown. 

Alastair: [00:00:29] Yeah, I’m still not done. That’s very sad. I know. 

Sarah: [00:00:32] What have you bought recently online? 

Alastair: [00:00:35] That kind of answer that part of what recently, if you really want it actually.

Well, the bottom line recently, I bought a GoPro battery. I bought a mountain bike and pedals and helmet and stuff to go cycling. Along with almost everyone else. 

Sarah: [00:00:51] Yeah, exactly. 

Alastair: [00:00:54] No. Yeah. Well, one pair of shorts. Yeah. I’m not, not a big Laker fan 

Sarah: [00:01:00] wash those more often than, 

Alastair: [00:01:01] actually I got the boat four weeks ago and they’re they’re over there still 

Sarah: [00:01:06] almost like cycling it out themselves.

Alastair: [00:01:08] I think so, but I wouldn’t mind being Rutland cycling or Evans if some, cause they must be doing spectacularly well. 

Sarah: [00:01:15] Oh yeah. I’ve got a real problem with men in Lycra on bikes. It’s like, why do you have to cycle in a tribe? Like, you know, Oh, 

Alastair: [00:01:29] was that Alex Dunstan that talks about cults you’ll 

Will Bicknell: [00:01:31] need 

Alastair: [00:01:31] invested in people who created cults?

I think it would think it was him. Wasn’t it? 

Sarah: [00:01:35] Yeah.

Alastair: [00:01:41] Okay, get ready just one minute 47. So, so I think we should really just give everyone a little bit of background about us. cause this is all about trying to make it less narrative and more about how the passion that some of the founders feel. And you’ll hear that in the interview, I guess later with we’ve got a guy really interesting guy he’s trying to he’s the, he is trying to change the world.


Sarah: [00:02:02] doesn’t say. I think he’s got a really interesting business. And, and I do think that, you know, the great thing with this, I mean, you know, the great thing. I 

Alastair: [00:02:13] obviously all the horror aside. Yeah, 

Sarah: [00:02:15] yeah. is that it’s forcing us to a reevaluate, you know, where we live. and what we do, and that work life balance, but also it kind of brings out the creative sort of mindset.

And I think Will’s a perfect example of that, that I think his story’s incredible. 

Alastair: [00:02:35] It says, and it’s interesting because a lot of the Silicon Valley guys talk about UBI, universal basic income. And of course it is in effect being tested. I don’t know, Spain has just put it into the actually are going to bring in a UBI of about 500 euros rising.

If you have dependence and there’s more than one in the household or whatever, and you wouldn’t have Will’s business, if you didn’t have. The furlough scheme, the government’s done. Right. So would you have more of that if you do BI that’s the really interesting thing. 

Sarah: [00:03:02] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Because maybe then people rather than working, because they have to work in a job that they can’t stand.

Maybe it allows them the mental freedom to think differently. 

Alastair: [00:03:15] And then would it, would it would that country who does it first get huge advances? You can see one of the Silicon Valley guys do, but they do live in, with all due respect. it’s like different worlds. Yeah. 

Sarah: [00:03:25] It’s a very scandy thing. I imagine it’d be very kind of it’s it’s very big in it.

It’d be very Danish or Swedish or. The rails that of, 

Alastair: [00:03:37] and some of the biggest startups from Europe came from their Spotify. Skype. I think Skype was, I think it was that to find out my fives. I am totally blogging. You that’s the whole point of this. 

Will Bicknell: [00:03:49] I don’t think 

Alastair: [00:03:50] if we can bring across some of that and get these guys on as well.

We’ve got some great names too, is your counselor yet? Because we haven’t confirmed, but we do have some potentially really excited to be able to go on and then. Yeah, the moment you you’ve, it’s worth telling them your background, because I think right now, retail is in a complete state of flux, you know, you’ve you, you understand that space very well.

Sarah: [00:04:09] Yeah. I, I’ve been in retail now for. nearly 18 years and I, I’m a big, I do like times where you have to, restrategize reprioritize. It forces you as a business to look, actually, you get away from that. This is how we’ve always done it. Yeah. And I think the ones that the retailers that will survive this period are the ones who have adapted quickly.

and what we’re seeing is there’s a real, in those customers who are going to the single brand, Platforms. So for instance, a French connection or mango or ours, they’re not going so much to the multibrand. 

Alastair: [00:04:56] Okay. But it doesn’t have to anymore. 

Sarah: [00:04:58] Well, and also people are browsing, so people know what they want you like.

Okay. So suddenly, you know, it’s sunny. this week I want to skirt. I can’t me, you have the wrong size is what are we going to do with the comp turn it well, I can, but it’s a headache. So actually I’m going to go to the brand that I know my size in. And so what will happen and what is happening is the customers average order basket or average order value is lower.

But actually he, she, they are shopping more frequently. 

Alastair: [00:05:34] Yeah. And I’m more loyal, right. It’s when I buy the same, Levi’s in the same Congress and that’s a plug for you. One’s always welcome. I’ve had the same ones and occasionally I step out my comfort zone when I’m forced to go shopping. but I guess for people who do normally do browsing and especially the department stores with multiple brands within them, you’re not going to be walking past one ago.

I’ll have a look at that barber jacket. Cause you’re not going to bother because you’re not there. I don’t know if you’ve not looked. And if you don’t get that, what, you’re not, how are you going to find out about them

Sarah: [00:06:05] with your background then you’ll know what we’re, what we’re all shopping. So what have you seen, like the most random thing. 

Alastair: [00:06:14] You really want to know? I actually do fairly, I did a thing called the top 10 where it’s stuff that people are buying when I first, which ended up in the BBC. and the weirdest one, I thought actually wasn’t the laundry and the chandeliers and the weird shit people buy was actually mops.

Cause people are morphing there for probably for the first time ever. Right. and, and vinegar. And I think people vote vinegar cause the bleach ran out. Yeah, because vinegar is a sort of mild disinfectant,

Sarah: [00:06:41] cause there’s many schools of Bendigo. There’s like the vinegar that, you know, you put with checks and there’s the, you know, then there’s the red wine going together. I like to use all my dressing. And then, you know, then there’s the vinegar that you can use with sort of, you know, to play the substance.

Alastair: [00:07:01] Yeah. And it must be that because the bleach and it’s, I mean, it was amazing to watch that should be country by country, went through the same path. So they went through, I need to have gloves and sanitizer and all that great stuff

actually faded quite fast. I think Louisville was a fad, so to speak. I immediate go a bit in the questions. First week, literal is really supermarkets operated, you know, superficially the most efficient businesses that probably are in existence, right. And Louisville is hugely Bunky. So they only have enough for the shelf for the day and have 20 people turn up and buy, you know, three extra massive multi-packs, it’s probably the shelf Luke’s empty straight away.

And then the media run a story. Excuse me. There’s no rule. And then for other people turn out and then the shelf is empty, then everyone goes, Oh my goodness. He all they do. So probably buying there’s seven of them for supermarket. I mean, there’s hardly any there’s like statistically there’s nobody. And, and then there’s, and that’s what happens.

And I think they did the stuff that was really interesting was they bought sanitizer and gloves and stuff, then the mask, and then they very quickly went into sort of. Home baking and all that kind of, I mean really fast. I mean, Sarah was like quicker than everything else. And then it went to gardening and then it went to laundry and the laundry is really interesting.

So there were 2.6 million searches, according to red brains on coma, one of our sponsors and for laundry in February, which is normal for Valentine’s day, like run up when you get the baby boom, December. However, that may is trending higher than February, right? So there is more laundry being bought now that either of those lots of women at home going, I’m going to buy myself something nice and look at myself in the mirror and play during the garden, or everyone’s getting a bit frisky cause they’re still stuck in.

And what else they’re going to do? Although I would have felt by not 

Sarah: [00:08:41] in looking at that face the past sort of eight weeks, you know, 

Alastair: [00:08:45] that’s 

Sarah: [00:08:47] not going to be any romantic by Manhattan, but I reckon there will be a big boom. 

Alastair: [00:08:54] Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s going to be a mess. You know, we should, we should get somebody on who’s a he’s he’s built maybe website and there’s only planning all the marketing for next December.

The worrying thing I think is that there’s 8 million people as of yesterday on furlough and everyone’s spending money and still buying stuff. So the question is what happens as people, when the furlough comes off, because when companies started gonna have to pay 25%, do they start doing, Oh, we can’t afford it or have things improved.

I mean, the guy, the head of city bank, On Sunday, Sunday papers. Think it wasn’t said everyone was everything’s V-shaped straight down and straight back up and he thinks it’s not quiet. 

Sarah: [00:09:26] No, I can’t see that happening. 

Alastair: [00:09:30] No. I said depressing. You hope for the best, the worst, right? Yeah. Random podcast. And the whole, you know, this, this, this, this will replace this.

Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Just for people who have, who obviously don’t know who else, which is almost everyone, or at least, hopefully we only met a few weeks ago. I kind of have introduced. 

Sarah: [00:09:53] What is this the restraining order that stops you coming and yeah. 

Alastair: [00:10:01] So I think we should go. You still could get it. There’s still can confirm the TV.

Let’s go into the first thing that goes. We, every week we go into Rome, a little thing. We’d love this idea. The Royal we, we love this idea. The produce that we love lists. It drives me nuts. We love the X factor. It drives me insane. Anyway. This is the elevator pitch. So we all know that startups have the elevator pitch and they get told to do it and refinancing seconds.

So we’re testing the theory by inviting people on Cuban music and they get 60 seconds. And actually on the test run that we’ve had, it’s hard, but it leaks. So here’s Dan Blacksburg to talk about sip 

Dan Blatchford: [00:10:44] Thanks for having me. So sip 

champagnes, we represent the. He the finest 


producers from the shampoo, the region rarely found in the, in the UK market.

they’re, they’re very small producers 

with a focus 

on sustainability, and biodiversity. they often miss it, the report and that’s what we’re all 

Alastair: [00:11:06] about. And the website is being built now. 

Dan Blatchford: [00:11:11] So it has been built now. there is a 

signup page if you’re interested to us. And when we open, it says

Alastair: [00:11:20] Perfect. I should sign up. I think anybody who opens a champagne website in the middle of a global pandemic has to be an eccentric genius or a fool or a crazy or something. So maybe we’ll get you back on a couple of years to talk more about how he’s going into maybe tastes, we can let me taste some of these dumplings.

Dan Blatchford: [00:11:39] Oh, just moved up to 

Alastair: [00:11:40] the screen wall is just that just at the point where you had to say yes, you can have some of my champagne in the screen for us. Perfect timing. So it was Dan Blatchford from sip He’s launching this, the middle of this comes out. I absolutely love that. I like the fact the big brand labels.

This is different 

participate families. So ineffective, supporting small local businesses, just in a different country and who doesn’t like a glass of champagne, not me anyway. So apologies for the sound quality on there. And the video stutter. We record all this and zoom and I edited and I movie. 

Sarah: [00:12:14] I think actually, this is the perfect time to launch a champagne business online.

I know, I know we talk about it again. That’s wrong, but I do think, you know, people like, if you look at the, the, the online wine tasting groups have sort of really, you know, it’s gonna be a lot of babies and there’s going to be a lot of drunks out there. 

Alastair: [00:12:38] Well, it was a lot of champagne. A lot of laundry, the chances are they’ll end up being a lot of babies.

One thing doesn’t tend to be dinner and then all the champagne laundry gets put away and it’s just dirty and tiredness. And then it takes 10 years, 10 years. Other side of that warning to anyone who’s drinking champagne. Very long story. Yeah. Well, I think we should get him back on. I think it’s really interesting.

He’s doing that with a friend and the friend’s like super the champagne news, all the, I was going to say brewers, but I don’t need all the vineyard owners. And in champagne, we even talked with doing a special episodes where we’ll go out there and actually meet some of them. And when we were allowed to, when we were allowed out, we’ll take the confounder TV van and go and taste champagne for a week.


Sarah: [00:13:23] also there is regional Innotas and champagnes are. Probably a, they’re going to be much more affordable, but also they’re going to be nicer than they, the larger, you know, sort of generic known household brands. So actually you can,

well, I don’t drink anymore, so, 

Alastair: [00:13:46] okay. I think all the big brands of plain and some of them, I might bring them on to talk about it. I think you’re right. I remember it did it. I did a tour of friends that I know nothing but wine. And actually you could buy, it was like, because the tax is different over there.

You know, we get, you know, it’s just phenomenal, the difference in price when you buy it, literally from the door of the house of the guy making it. and I’m say guy, cause it was mostly men. It was all men that we met. That was really, it was great. It tasted great. If you’re not a kind of Sarah connoisseur, you know, it was great value as well.

I’ve been just to see from the hotel and gets on, because I think there’s two audiences here is it I’ll buy a bottle for celebration, but 

Will Bicknell: [00:14:24] if 

Alastair: [00:14:24] his pricing is right, it might come down a bit to a Friday night. 

Sarah: [00:14:29] I’m not, but I think it’s a great idea. I’m a real champion for sort of a. Businesses that launch, and skilled times, 

Alastair: [00:14:39] shall we go to our main interview, 

Sarah: [00:14:43] please do 

Alastair: [00:14:44] this is , has created a business and we both think this is those standing that way.

less, less, less is good and let and let will tell us about his business. So welcome to 

Will Bicknell: [00:14:55] Wilburton the Lee founder 

Alastair: [00:14:56] of fellow. He is going to tell us all about his new venture built completely through the far low period. I will. 

Will Bicknell: [00:15:02] Hello, how you doing? 

Sarah: [00:15:05] Lovely to meet you? 

Will Bicknell: [00:15:07] Very nice meeting you too. 

Sarah: [00:15:09] So, so talk to me about when you launched the concept, your marketplace.

I know I’m, I’m completely blind at this stage, but I’m fascinated. 

Will Bicknell: [00:15:20] Cool. so I, I’m on furlough from a FinTech, where I’m chief innovation officer and, So I was on photo on the Sunday and on the Monday I went to my natural kind of innovation space and thought about kind of what can I go and do to fill in my time and hopefully do something worthwhile.

That’s been about two months. I’ve kind of lost track of time being stuck in my little box and Lincoln shirt. Okay. So about two months we’ve been working on, on fellow, which is F E double L O H. if you’re trying to look for us. but, so, so let’s, I’ll tell you what it is and kind of, yeah, so, so I was, one of things I was thinking about is why is it so expensive to process payments online?

You know, as I had multiple startups and it’s always really annoyed me that you pay kind of one or 2% to the credit card companies, you know, one or 2% gets turned over. The vast amount of money, particularly, I sort of saw how much the charities we’re paying to process payments for the process donations.

So like this is a one or 2% each nut by the, by the payments companies, the credit card rails. And I thought we could do better than that. And I knew from my FinTech experience, Open banking, which is this a new thing, which I’m happy to explain, but yeah, it’s a way of taking payments without needing to use a credit card rails, which is massively cheaper and we can build this thing and it can, she helped the charities to collect far more in donations and pay far less in 

Alastair: [00:16:48] payment processing fees.

Sarah: [00:16:51] So, I think I completely get, Bethel where the product sets and also the relevance of the product given particularly the captain, or is it a Colonel 

Will Bicknell: [00:17:07] captain? Tom? Yeah. So, 

Sarah: [00:17:10] and the, the, just giving, platform that then took that sort of. 2% of a substantial amount of millions raised. So why, why is that?

Why is that just an outdated, a model that’s just no longer relevant given today’s open banking and all these sorts of, way more sort of, I guess consumer focused. 

Will Bicknell: [00:17:35] Yeah. Well, so it’s again, just giving that credit. Yeah, they, they they’ve been around for a long time. They’ve been doing a really good service for charities, enabling it to be really easy to collect donations online.

But as you say, it’s kind of built on old school technology now and the old school in terms of credit cards where the best way to take payments online. But you know, in the last open banking hasn’t been around terribly long and really in the last three, six months, has it become a viable alternative to do things so.

now we can use that, to vastly reduce the costs of taking payments online. So it’s a kind of a time and a place. Yeah. And, the technology is that, and it’s crying out for some really good use cases like this to sort of demonstrate why it’s good and get it out there to the masses. 

Sarah: [00:18:20] I love the fact that you were on furlough.

and you know, there was, it was kind of like a hot minute that you kind of gave yourself a weekend and then you were sort of straight back into, okay, where can I focus my, problem solving, issues or skills rather. So what have you launched? 

Will Bicknell: [00:18:44] so we, we’re sort of, we’re sort of in beta, I think is probably how we described it.

So we can say, you know, all this technology is built. We can take them processes the payments. we’re just, probably in the next week or so it will be live on some third party websites. so there’s been, you know, getting the technology up and running. We did really quickly, it only took a couple of weeks, but it’s sort of a bit of all the legal mumbo jumbo you need around it.

Cause we’re processing people’s money. So we’ve got to make sure we do it secure. 

Sarah: [00:19:08] I imagine that is the, where the red tape comes in from, yeah, from that perspective. And so, in terms of your previous role, what’s gonna, what are you going to do? 

Will Bicknell: [00:19:22] well, when I, when I get back, but, I think, I’m going to cross that bridge when it comes to, I suppose, watching, 

Alastair: [00:19:28] you’re absolutely fine.

Nobody’s watching. I can guarantee you that.

Yeah, that’s true. 

Will Bicknell: [00:19:38] So, you know what it was going to, I think, you know, I mean, I’m in a state of, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the future. I’m just going to have to make it happen. so we’ve, we’ve got this opportunity to grow a business and then it gives me the choice of what next, rather than just relying on somebody else to dictate what 

Alastair: [00:19:55] happens.

Sarah: [00:19:56] So you’re going to need to go for any funding. 

Will Bicknell: [00:19:59] yeah, we’ve, we’ve gone from a little bit of friends and family funding. but, you know, the beauty of the furlough scheme is, you know, we are, we are earning a salary, as such from the existing employer, but we’re not allowed to do any work for them.

So that means we need to re raise less money than the might do normally. So we’ve got a little bit of runway, to prove it out, get enough customers on board, and then we can go for some bigger funding. Perhaps you might be able to. 

Sarah: [00:20:24] Yeah, absolutely. And so are you going to focus on the, any particular part of charities?

Cause I imagined it so, you know, it’s almost like it’s so vast. Have you kind of identified what your go to market sort of DTC strategy is for kind of consumer engagement and therefore then the brands coming up you’re going to be working with. 

Will Bicknell: [00:20:49] well, it’s, it’s a bit organic at the moment. So who have we already got connections with?

because we need a few brave souls who are going to go. Yeah. I can see what your vision is. We’re going to integrate with you. And get the payments up and running. So, and that comes from people who know me and know some of the other members in the team. So, I wasn’t quite ready yet to release all the names, but, I’ve got some pretty good contacts with some enormous charities are quite high level.

That’s quite exciting if we can get, get them off the ground. And you know, they real houses called names. So, you know, people see, right, these guys are using this payment system and this payment system is doing we’re a social enterprise. So we generate the majority of our profits. We give away 

Alastair: [00:21:29] back charities 

Will Bicknell: [00:21:30] and enterprises.

So, yeah, if they can help us get that message across and hopefully it’s a bit of a snowball effect. Great. This is, this is the better way to pay. 

Sarah: [00:21:39] Yeah. Well, you kind of disrupting that section to that, that I imagine it’s his fault, but actually we have, it’s been in the news, how disruptive or how impacted rather the charity sector has been with all the events such as the London marathon being canceled.

but then I think also it’s highlighted. The, the commission that they’ve, that they take. and I think too, to have a new set of, and come in and disrupt that sort of traditional established, I mean, it’s in itself is not a terribly sort of, old market, existing mall. But yeah. I mean, things change so quickly these days at FinTech.

Will Bicknell: [00:22:21] Yeah. So I think we’re trying to do a number of things. One is, we’re trying to, just be, because we’re, we’re a social enterprise from the get go. So what we’re trying to do is build a socially responsible business and what that’s been brilliant for is attracting talent. So, you know, we’ve had people volunteer their time to help us build this thing for nothing in return.

Other than the fact, they want to see a business like this succeed. it’s been great, but we’re also to check for the charity sector, opening up new ways for them to get donations because our vision is that people will pay by fellow anywhere on the internet or anywhere digitally. So go to pay source, let’s say, and you’re buying swimming costume for your summer holiday.

You can choose visa or MasterCard or PayPal, or you could choose fellow. And the reason you choose fellows, because we’re saying we’re donating the majority of our profits. to social enterprises and charities. We also, for every time you use that button, we give 10 P as part of that, to these charges.

There’s a real reason for that in the checkout space to choose us as it, you don’t really care whether it’s visa or Moscow, it’s just whatever happens to be in your pocket. So we’re trying to change how consumers do things in, in checkouts to, to deliver good. Improve what we can do. 

Alastair: [00:23:35] Here’s a question.

Sorry, sir. Here’s a quick question. Do we have any idea of the number of transactions that take place across e-commerce? How many 

Will Bicknell: [00:23:49] watch 7 billion? I think, I think I’ve just made that up, but it’s roughly 

Alastair: [00:23:54] sounds like a stream from the department. 

Will Bicknell: [00:23:57] I have got a number of somewhere I need to go and delve into like if user base it’s massive.

I mean, the number of online transactions is just. And eCommerce is huge, but actually, you know, this what we’re building, doesn’t just serve e-commerce so you can imagine your tax, your start, your electricity bill. You know, if you want to make a payment on your electricity bill and you can use rather than using the card rails, you could still use the open banking rails.

so any, any payment you make, not just in eCommerce, we could help solve for 

Alastair: [00:24:27] fraud, I guess, as well. 

Will Bicknell: [00:24:28] Because 

Alastair: [00:24:29] if you are, if you are, major telephones mobile phone supplier, you have to have so many troll checks in place, but it’s actually really hard to some of these banking app, right? So if I go and buy a new iPhone for 900 quid and I use a card, they’ve got to make sure the address and there’s a lot more risk of fraud.

And this way you take that away. Cause it has to be my backend. 

Will Bicknell: [00:24:50] Exactly. Yeah. So you’ve got, you’ve got an existing, extremely high quality bank, fraud protection going on. We have to do secure authentication to the bank. So that’s already regulated and tightly controlled. So there’s very disenchanted fraud there.

So the actual processes is robust against fraud. but there’ll be the crazy thing about I’ve never really understood that critical is why would I give you all of the information you need to go and make a payment anywhere in any place and with, with our process, we’re not, you don’t give us any information.

All you do is try, we’re transferring. We’re telling you what’s the bank account number and the sort code that you need to send money to. So it’s kind of really hard to do fraud with it. 

Sarah: [00:25:33] Yeah, absolutely. I love the story as well. I think, you know, this whole, the lockdown has a given people an opportunity to really review and be creative with what they want to do with the fact that you are able to, you know, to sort of turn this around so quickly, I think is, is commendable, but also it’s, it’s within a sector that.

Also is being really impacted of through all the events being canceled. and yeah, I think it’s, it’s just a, it’s a perfect story. 

Will Bicknell: [00:26:08] That’s good. Well, it’s a really exciting thing to be part of. It’s given me a real passion, but I think the thing is we were kind of growing the idea. So where does she realize we can solve this for charity, but actually I’m now thinking this is the new way you pay, right?

It’s going to be visa, PayPal. And that’s, that’s why we’re. Yeah.

Why do you choose PayPal? It’s kind of simple PayPal probably cause it’s security for a lot of people, but actually it’s simpler, more secure and we give money to social causes to tell us it’s kind of a no brainer. So, 

Alastair: [00:26:47] if you 

Will Bicknell: [00:26:48] can say that if you can use PayPal 

Alastair: [00:26:49] or you could use it visa, obviously one of the things there is you’ve got this massive stumbling.

What you’ve got there is integration. Here’s me with my huge, huge retail store process processing thousands of transactions an hour, maybe I’m going to integrate with you. What, how easy is it to integrate? What are the, what are the risks I take in doing that? 

Will Bicknell: [00:27:08] so it depends, it depends on the scale of you as a, as a business.

So if you’re absolutely ginormous, you might be integrating lots of different payment gateways. So ours is as simple as integrating the others. You just use pick up the API APIs, which are well documented and you can, you can be up and running fairly quickly, as long as you’ve got your in house development team.

You feel if you’re kind of smaller, you might be using, you know, you 

Alastair: [00:27:30] could be using somebody who’s 

Will Bicknell: [00:27:31] aggregating a number of payment gateways for you. So that’s the challenge for us is 

Alastair: [00:27:35] to have, have a relationship with those people already 

Will Bicknell: [00:27:38] aggregating the payment gateways. so, as the retail, it’s super simple, you just, you just carry on integrating with them and then they suddenly will just pop up as a new payment option.

You’ve got to tick the box, but we we’ve got to do the legwork of getting a relationship with those. 

Alastair: [00:27:52] those intermediaries that integrate with the payment 

Sarah: [00:27:55] gateways. It’s really interesting what you’re saying. Cause I’ve noticed more and more at checkout, people such as, ESAL even Amazon now. Domino’s don’t ask me how I know about Domino’s.

you know, they prompt the customer to, To give a donation. So I imagine it’s, you know, it’s sort of from a consumer’s mindset, it’s, it’s sort of starting to become a 

Will Bicknell: [00:28:20] Knoll. Yeah. So the difference, we’re not asking the consumer to give any money. We’re just passing on the savings that we make. And a lot of it goes to the retailer and some of it is going to go to charity so that the consumer is not, it’s not costing the consumer anymore.

It’s not actually costing the retailer anymore. We’re just shifting, shifting around the costs from, you know, going into the pockets of visa and MasterCard and those guys. And saying, well, we can reduce the cost and give some of the savings away to charities. But yeah, I think the, I think the society in general is interested in, something back and I think that’s something that’s just come out of COVID particularly.

And he talked to people much more generous of spirit. And I think that’s why it’s saying it’s a bit of a here and now kind of opportunity. So. If we can be the established, become the iStent there’s way to pay that actually is doing greater good by spreading, spreading these savings around, social enterprises and charities.

That’s something that will resonate with the consumer and they’ll go, I want to with fellow, and then hopefully they go to, you know, the big retailers and go, Hey, why haven’t you got fellows or payment option? You know, you should have it because it doesn’t cost you anything. And it gives you, it gives you and be to my favorite charity.

Every time I use it. Isn’t the same saving. Absolutely. 

Alastair: [00:29:39] It’s not just that because you were charging like a fixed price, a few pens basically, and you per transaction. So the last time I had an eCommerce store, I think I had to be, and I was doing okay, so my rates were quite low. Then they were 1.7, 5% plus 20 P from visa 17 P for master, whatever it was, but that you were seeing that percentage just goes away completely.

So if I’m paying a million quid out and present it as a, as that is that one or 2% over a quarter, whatever this is, that’s a stays in my 

Will Bicknell: [00:30:08] pocket. Well, yeah, it depends. It depends on the size of your transaction value. So you’re doing tons and tons of tiny transactions. A percentage might actually be 

Alastair: [00:30:17] better for you, 

Will Bicknell: [00:30:20] probably not, but if you’re doing anything over 20 pounds, and you know, I’m comparing this to.

so stripes that as well as to charge about 1.4% plus 20 P you know, if you’re doing anything over 20 pounds are 35 P, which is a flat fee, suddenly becomes cheaper. And then if you, you know, if you’re into the hundreds of pounds, it’s miles cheaper. So, you know, we’ve been talking to one customer that average transaction values, 140 pounds, you know, they’re paying us 35 P versus about one pound 70 that they currently pay.

Alastair: [00:30:55] That’s exciting. 

Sarah: [00:30:56] And then what what’s next then on the, where you are, where can you, where do you see this? And instead of, the, the next iteration, the next version of your, 

Will Bicknell: [00:31:06] well, we’re still learning days, so I’ve got to get, I’ve got to get the initial customers up and running and get them really pleased with what they’re getting.

Essentially. You just imagine payments, payments, apps, nearly everywhere, you know, paying your parking, fine, paying your gas, bill, paying your it’s. Just, it’s just all every time, every kind of. Everybody at talking talk too loud. I’ve rang up a mate of mine and he sells wedding speeches. Of course, he’s not selling very many at the moment, but you know, I’ve forgotten.

And of course, people have to pay him to write these wedding speeches and he’s going, he was complaining of 1.3% of these tiny little guys spending a lot of money on payments. And then you’ve got the multinationals. They’re also spending lots of money on payments. So it’s billions and billions of pounds that gets spent on these things.

So use cases, but you know, I’m an innovator. So I’ve been thinking about things. So I’m paying, imagine you have your cake stand, and you’re trying to take payment, but you don’t want cash 

Alastair: [00:32:03] because cash is covered in COVID. 

Will Bicknell: [00:32:04] Cash is a nightmare because you’ve got somebody going to take to the bank. The bank will charge you to deposit cash.

So we can just, you can get a little, a QR code that you can put on each year. Katie, you don’t need to install anything on your phone and scan the QR code. It will pop up with the price you hit. Send. It will then pop up on the other. Person’s finding that, you know, those things are relatively trivial for us to build.

Once, once we’ve got the sort of fundamentals belts, 

Alastair: [00:32:30] what 

Will Bicknell: [00:32:31] am I being really, really thick then? 

Alastair: [00:32:33] Cause I would go to 

Will Bicknell: [00:32:34] the cake still or the great 

Alastair: [00:32:35] cake show and I would just tap my contact. That’s what’s what’s the difference? 

Will Bicknell: [00:32:40] well, it could be, the price will be the difference if at the end of the day. and in terms of the cost per transaction, you’ve got, now you’ve got to pay 200 quid a month.

So get your little contact as a reader or thing or whatever, whatever it is. So you’ve got to pay, you’ve got to shut up a lot of money to even be able to take credit card payments or debit card payments without us. We could literally get you up and running in five minutes with your mobile phone. 

Alastair: [00:33:06] For free.

So basically you’ve got the timing 

Will Bicknell: [00:33:12] we’re build up. When 

Alastair: [00:33:13] people want to save wherever they can find some saving, you can reduce their costs, you can make it easier for the consumer. And I guess for the people that subscription services, it’d be so much better if I was subscribed to hello fresh or one of those that’s actually, it was just connected about that.

And every month the money actually came from a bank account. Cause it saves everyone, all the car feeds. It literally just cuts them straight out of the loop. 

Will Bicknell: [00:33:34] Yeah. So there’s a subscription. One is interesting because you, current currently it’s a little bit difficult for us to do that because you have to authenticate every single time you make the payment.

So, but, in about six months time, you’ll be able to give us longstanding authentication. So if you agree, I’d like once every month I want to do it. If that will, that will persist at the moment. It doesn’t, let’s say in six months time, that will be solved. But yeah. And then that, that use case is coming as well.

Sarah: [00:34:05] Really exciting. 

Alastair: [00:34:09] I was just going to write down on it. 

Will Bicknell: [00:34:12] I’m just like, 

Alastair: [00:34:14] you know, they credit the credit card companies. Aren’t stupid. They’ve got a lot of smart people there. Everyone’s looking at open banking. They must be the guy going people that you are exactly the threat. They must see coming up in the future.

So what are, what is going through their minds in terms of like, how do they mitigate either you impacting on their business or them changing their business to, to affect we stop here. 

Will Bicknell: [00:34:41] Well, I did, maybe I should ask, is there, you said there are a lot of them. I think they’re in lives of their problem. They have a massive cost base that they’ve got to try and support for them to pivot and go, Hey, I’m going to embrace this really cheap technology where there’s very slim margins, you know, compared to what we’re used to and suddenly.

erode our existing business, that, you know, some of them might try it and do it. And I mean, some of them have tried it in fact, actually. and haven’t really worked because I tried to apply the same costing models, as they existed on rails. now I know. You know, I’m totally aware that if they, if they suddenly sort of set up a team of guys and they, they could have a go at doing what we’re doing, no problems at all, they’ve got the skills and the way to do it.

But I think, yeah, if we can have a enough brand that resonates with people and we can start to get some traction, then I think we’ve got a chance of competing against some. 

Alastair: [00:35:41] You’re lying. You’re lying in one thing, there corporate there’s a bunch of smart people and puts them in a room. What happens is a bunch of smart people sit in a room and six months later, they take them out of the room and go that didn’t work.

And they put them back to the normal jobs. We all know that corporate innovation and I’ve done a few of corporate innovation labs in my time. Got great ideas because the pay people that has to go and events yet. Go great ideas. Cause they pay people at us to go and invent stuff, 

Will Bicknell: [00:36:05] but 

Alastair: [00:36:06] delivering it gets lost in the complexity of the project and the team and the endless reams of paperwork that seems to go with corporates.

I would be less concerned with them actually innovating and just stifling is more likely. 

Will Bicknell: [00:36:18] Yeah. And I was saying there’s a couple of things in that. So. It’s the passion that you got to want to do something. All right. So we’ve got a group of people I’m not paying them any money. All right. They’re doing this because it’s depression project.

So they’re really excited about making it happen. and, and to your point, I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it before. I’ve talked about, you know, You know, you’ve had solves, like I’ve had startups. Can you kind of, you comes to the conclusion, you could walk into the book, the big company and tell them, give them the paper about how to do it.

And you can guarantee in six months time. Huh? But, but yeah, we still got to, you know, they can do it. So we’ve just got to just keep on moving quickly. Keep on doing something and yeah. Keep on considering like what’s important for the customer. The consumer is why is the consumer going to choose us? I don’t think a consumer.

Any allegiance to visa? 

Alastair: [00:37:09] No, the opposite. 

Will Bicknell: [00:37:12] So there’s an opportunity for us to give them something that they could have an allegiance to. 

Sarah: [00:37:18] And also it’s the, any disruptor in the sector is the time period and speed by, you know, sort of analogy. And, you know, and these sort of, that mission of, the visa is the most, cause it just called move.

They can’t pivot quick enough. and, and also that, you know, is there a heavy, hefty cost base? So there’s a reason why, you know, they have these, these high. commissions as well, because actually that business needs it and it’s quickly and without. So from my perspective, it’s the perfect situation where you’ve got an established market.

That’s in a flux of disruption anyway, cause everything’s moving more digital. and you know, and then you, you look at the back end sector and the likes of revolution, monster, and. The, the huge success and the breath of fresh have that these brands off to the consumer. Actually, I think people, consumers want 

Alastair: [00:38:14] options.

Does it work with Monzo and tightened all the 

Will Bicknell: [00:38:17] challenge of buying? well, probably the best way is if we’re trying to show you, right? So this is, this is what it looks like. I don’t know if that’s that blown up on the screen. 

Alastair: [00:38:25] I’m just gonna apologize now for those listening on the podcast. 

Will Bicknell: [00:38:28] yeah, is it, I don’t know if you can actually see it, but anyway, I’m going to, I’m going to do a donate now, and then what it’s going to, it’s going to load up the lists of banks that we work with.

So who did you say? Monzo, Monzo, and then Revolut. I don’t have a Revolut account. Well, I do have a Monzo account. 


Alastair: [00:38:46] so it all works. It all the challenge of banks. So basically you’ve got complete coverage. Yeah. 

Will Bicknell: [00:38:52] Yeah. So complete coverage in the UK, in Europe, there’s about 80% coverage. and then, it can spin out beyond that.

Alastair: [00:38:59] So when did we get you back on? So you can tell us about your first customer? 

Will Bicknell: [00:39:03] well maybe, maybe the end of this week. 

Alastair: [00:39:06] Wow. 

Will Bicknell: [00:39:08] I think, like I said before, we’re just going to illegals, drawn up. So I’ve got somebody who’s waiting to sign. The lease was the lawyer 

Alastair: [00:39:18] free. Yes. No, really?

Will Bicknell: [00:39:27] She is. Yeah, no, it’s been absolutely awesome. it, your wife,

Natalie from law box, you know, let’s give her a shout out. She’s been fantastic. And, and you know, she’s not as any old lawyer either. She is a lawyer in the payment space. She knows all of this stuff inside out, so yeah. and she’s been fantastically helpful, really know that that’d be person as well.

So it’s been, it’s this whole thing about people are kind of excited about what this can do. So they’re giving up their time to help us kind of get it. 

Alastair: [00:40:00] I think I can, I can feel the excitement in your voice, you know, for Steven’s benefit, you and I have known each other a while, through a number of startups, we competed for a brief moment where we realized that the market was too big and we weren’t competing.

Will Bicknell: [00:40:12] And I think when you find something that you really love doing, I can feel it 

Alastair: [00:40:16] in yourself. This is really brilliant, whereas yeah, I’m going to do this startup and I’m just following a process and it’s, it’s interesting, but not, it’s not life affirming and no life great stuff. And that’s gonna be a message that we’ve got a guy on our there in the, in the elevator pitch and he’s starting a champagne business.

He loves champagne, right? There’s no worst time to start a champagne business then right now, but he loves champagne and he loves it. Yeah. Those ones and each one’s in ’em and he’s bringing them onto one place as a sort of marketplace and find champagnes. Aren’t going to break the bank. 

Will Bicknell: [00:40:51] But do people drink champagne at home?

I don’t know. On Europe. Yeah. 

Alastair: [00:40:56] Five 44 of them. I got 16 minutes to go, 

Will Bicknell: [00:41:00] but yeah, no, honestly, it’s really, I’m super enthused by this and it feels a bit like the stars are aligning, you know, it’s the right time. And, you know, I just have to be gifted a bunch of people in also on furlough. You know, if somebody went to Barclay’s, you know, he’s all about the box thing, 

Alastair: [00:41:16] Sarah serendipity, and that’s sometimes the stars align and, you know, serendipity is empathy.


Sarah: [00:41:23] you see, he got the guy from Barclays.

Cause you’re just up the road from me as well, but not you because you’re in Lincolnshire. 

Will Bicknell: [00:41:35] Yeah.

Alastair: [00:41:40] Hold on, hold on. It, 

Will Bicknell: [00:41:40] you can’t poach the call 

Alastair: [00:41:42] as well, right there. Cause she’s making a huge mistake. If she thinks going to bring up to do payments and being nice and give her a chart is the way forward. Confirm the TV is going to be global. 

Will Bicknell: [00:41:55] Yeah. People will find out that what I’m up 

Alastair: [00:41:59] to. 

Will Bicknell: [00:42:01] I think, I think this is a big, but also the fact that you’re both in, in grants, which has got, you know, it’s not exactly on the world stage, is it for banking or FinTech?

but you know, you can, you can do these things and people will be quite happy that you’re doing it in the new world. Yeah, 

Sarah: [00:42:21] it’s a great story. I love the timing of it. I love, you know, it’s just, you know, rather than resting on your laurels and, you know, you’ve gone and done something and we’ve got a great sort of a team around you are these 

Alastair: [00:42:36] brilliant, 

Will Bicknell: [00:42:38] brilliant.

So we need to find some customers more customers, please. Well, 

Sarah: [00:42:44] okay. 

Alastair: [00:42:45] We can do that for our marriage. They’ll do coasters and pens and chips. Not 

Sarah: [00:42:53] that the, the cage work on a neck. 

Will Bicknell: [00:43:00] So it’s one of the, these counts. It comes from the VNA that the poster, but it was one of these sort of campaigns in the seventies, egg marketing board, you and they used to sort of you

the seventies, you know, way back when, 

Sarah: [00:43:21] well, my friend, I know them well, 

Alastair: [00:43:23] I, as soon as I saw it, I thought actually, the thing to do, if you really want to resonate with all the people, is it is, it is to make bikes, bicycles, and Cola, egg bicycles. So then you can actually steal the 

Will Bicknell: [00:43:35] idea of good to work in 

Alastair: [00:43:36] a mag and have a brand called egg bicycles.

And then Amy, everyone over 45, maybe even over 50. 

Will Bicknell: [00:43:42] Yeah. Yeah, I think we’re getting close, but you might 

Alastair: [00:43:46] be I’m at least 18 months away.


Sarah: [00:43:57] champagne. 

Alastair: [00:44:00] That was brilliant. Well, thank you very much. And we look forward to hearing very soon in the next episode of who the customer is.

Will Bicknell: [00:44:11] Brilliant. 

Alastair: [00:44:11] Thank you. I 

Will Bicknell: [00:44:14] really enjoyed that. 

Sarah: [00:44:17] Yeah. So where was your friend or your contact? How did you meet him? 

Alastair: [00:44:23] Yeah, he was, I didn’t know who he was. I raised a couple hundred grand for Carson. It was sitting in being a mustard running company check from Bingham and I was typing away doing Carson. so he said, we should see this it’s near you.

And he had a thing called car sift. He didn’t know me. I didn’t know of him. Turns out our kids play hockey in the same hockey team. There you go. And at first we met weird co warden, these weird meetings where you sit and go, 

Sarah: [00:44:47] I need each other up. 

Alastair: [00:44:49] Yeah. Like, I’m going to tell you, I was like, why am I having coffee?

And actually there’s, this just became he, I, to funding, he didn’t want to, but both of us were up against the might of the automotive business, which is just hard, very hard. 

Sarah: [00:45:05] She’ll first guest next week. It’s for me to deliver ahead. 

Alastair: [00:45:10] Hold on. Are you, are you doing the end recording though? 

Sarah: [00:45:13] Well, this is the we’re recording.

Alastair: [00:45:15] Just talking shit. Oh, right. Okay. Sorry. Okay. Sorry.

Sarah: [00:45:25] So we are each, bringing ahead to a recording each week. So where was yours? So now it’s for me to go through my little Rolodex of, Other than my mom. Yeah. and so I’m going to bring, I’m going to bring some one break. 

Alastair: [00:45:46] I went when we find that, Hey everyone, we’re going to have somebody really 

Sarah: [00:45:53] great, exciting.

I’ll let you know Monday night. 

Alastair: [00:45:56] Okay. And we also have a really great guy. Who’s very young, building a business, which could have been catastrophized. If that’s a word by COVID. We came to me for a bit of advice. I said, wind it back a bit, but carry on, do it locally. And he is, and it’s working and he’s going to do one minute pitch.

And I think we might have to extend the whole minute pitch, like three minutes, just so we can ask them some questions, right? 

Sarah: [00:46:16] Yeah. It’s tough to get it all into one minute for the elevator pitch. 

Alastair: [00:46:23] It says, make sure 

Will Bicknell: [00:46:25] that you do the 

Alastair: [00:46:25] pitch right as it is. If the people listening, we’re all investing and then we should ask them some questions and actually have a mini interview or maybe just two interviews.

Sarah: [00:46:35] Are we still, 

Alastair: [00:46:38] we’re still, we’re still recording. Yeah. We have to make up less stuff in it and it’s probably more interesting. 

Sarah: [00:46:44] Yeah. Are you saying I’m not interesting? 

Alastair: [00:46:47] None of the main than me. You’re very interesting.

Sarah: [00:46:55] Yes 

Alastair: [00:46:56] on that note. Let’s wrap up episode one. Thank you. All three of you for listening. We’re incredibly grateful. Thanks mom. And my sister. And if you want to sponsor is it’s really cheap right now, but getting quick, cause it’s in the year, it’s going to be expensive. 

Sarah: [00:47:14] Not you. We’ll give you your own little shout out.

Alastair: [00:47:18] It could even be a little sign up here. Cause it, obviously this is not just a podcast. You can also watch it on our YouTube channel, which we’re still waiting for the custom handle for it, but there’ll be a link on the, on the podcast description. 

Sarah: [00:47:27] So professional, so professional. 

Alastair: [00:47:30] Bye everyone. 

Sarah: [00:47:31] Bye bye.