Future 50: Upside predicts retail surge for Christmas

Upside open-banking app

Upside allows businesses to build customer loyalty by giving cashback on purchases, using open-banking technology - Credit: Upsode

“The word on the street is that this will be one of the biggest Christmases ever,” confides Andries Smit, CEO of Upside. “They are expecting two and a half times the spend from last year... every retailer we speak to says the same.”

Logos

The Future 50 programme is supported by the partner businesses - Credit: Archant

This may be good news for the high street – but it’s also good news for Upside, which uses open banking to let people get cashback on purchases from participating retailers, simply by shopping normally in store or online. 

“We're a technology company that plugs into financial-services companies,” Mr Smit explains. “At the beginning of the year, we had about 10 in our pipeline; now we have 84. Since September six of these clients have gone through the pipeline and are actively engaging with our technology.”  

Andries Smit of Upside

Upside CEO Andries Smit aims to grow the business rapidly over the next 12 months as consumer confidence returns - Credit: Upside

The pipeline is the process of integrating and rolling out the technology, then marketing it – which currently takes five to six months for clients to complete. “Of course, it's our objective to make that faster,” Mr Smit says.

As well as increasing the number of clients, Upside has more than doubled the number of participating retailers, bringing brands like Footlocker, Boohoo and JoJo Maman Bebe on board.

The Norwich-based firm has also grown its headcount – from four permanent staffers to 11, with the aim to be at 15 by the end of the year. “But the ambition for next year is to grow phenomenally fast. We want to go up to at least 50 members of staff,” Mr Smit says.   

“We think the world is going to have this pent-up desire to spend. People will go out more, they will spend more, they will buy as much as the supply chains can deliver,” says Mr Smit. “For us as a company, we want to be working not just with these 84 UK clients. We've also had interest from the Netherlands and from the US. We want to be at least in our second if not third market by the end of next year."

For more information see www.upsidesaving.com

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