Getting together with good people to do great things

I'm getting together with good people to do great things.

A few years back, I left my steady job of 13 years to start my own software business. I wanted to create something new that inspired me, and I was eager to take a shot at being the boss. I knew plenty about building and publishing apps, but I quickly realized how little I knew when it came to banking for my business.

Of course, you need to establish a separate bank account for your business to receive income, pay contractors and expenses, and protect your personal assets. I found out the hard way that opening a business account at a traditional bank was a time-consuming process that had to be done in person. Then came the part where I had to pay my contractors. ACH bank transfers had to be initiated in person (again), or I had to use a 3rd party payment gateway like PayPal, which meant opening additional accounts, taking up more of my bandwidth and slowing me down. And transferring money between my personal and business accounts was awkward. The overall experience of using a traditional bank to conduct digital business was kludgy and painful, to put it mildly.

Fast forward to 2020, when my good friend Arjun approached me with a job offer at his new startup, Wise. I was immediately intrigued by a banking service designed by and for small business owners. It is a purely digital product, perfect for dyed-in-the-wool tech nerds like me, who work from home and prefer online services over brick and mortar. And once I started using Wise to manage cashflow for my company, I could see how truly convenient this all-in-one bank account is. I can easily transfer money in, pay people and expenses out, and send invoices, all without leaving a single app. No more layering multiple products to achieve business cash flow.

Arjun and I worked well together, so I knew first hand that he was an inspiring leader who knows how to build great products. Add strong leadership to an amazing product with huge potential, and I saw the perfect opportunity I had been looking for. After a month working with the amazing team here, I'm confident that we are building the perfect all-in-one banking solution for businesses, especially as more and more companies are making transactions online.

One of the projects Arjun and I worked on together was building a personal finance app called SplashMoney, which we released for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android. To give users the ability to download their bank data directly into the app and auto-categorize those transactions, we built an OFX server on the backend to securely talk to the banks. That was about 10 years ago, so our FinTech teamwork roots are strong and go deep!

I'm heading up the customer experience here at Wise. I'm here to offer a streamlined experience that allows modern business owners like me bank, pay, and get paid without the frustration I had with traditional banking, and do so in a way I never thought possible.

Times have changed — now we have fantastic tools like Slack, Intercom, Sketch, InVision, and Notion, to name a few — but the principles of usability are eternal: make joyful products that accomplish complex tasks but make them appear dead simple to the end user.

I'm super excited to bring my expertise in building fun and easy banking experiences to Wise. Together, we're going to make something special that will make banking fun.

October 27, 2020
Arjun Thyagarajan