Interview with Fred Schebesta
Fred Schebesta talks about finder.com.au and how the team is bringing comparison to Australia.
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J: How did the concept of finder.com.au come about?
F: Through learning about how the internet works and those other companies - we went ahead and - we were a bit challenged with the way they marketed themselves and how consumers were able to get that information. So what we did was we put this site together and we thought we could potentially market it a little bit better, make it a little easier to understand, we started Credit Card Finder as our first site in 2009 and we really focused on that - to help people save some money - and people can really save some serious money on their credit cards.
J: So the decision to start this company came from the motivation to do it better - or were there any other motivating factors?
F: Yeah, there were other sites out there at the time but we thought we could do it a little simpler and the other thing we thought we could do is provide a lot more information and education in helping people to compare if that makes sense.
Our biggest cause, our biggest thing is that not enough Australians are comparing. There are lots of different products out there that they need to compare, we provide comparisons and we’re trying to do more. There are thousands of dollars that can be saved by comparing products and it only takes a couple of minutes to jump on one of our sites and click off to one of these products and save thousands of dollars. Our mission is to help Australians save money. For instance, someone with a credit card debt can save a couple of hundred of dollars in their lunch break by doing a balance transfer. The banks these days don’t have any loyalty to you, so why should you show any loyalty to them? You should shop around. That’s our mission - to help Australians do that.
J: Have people been receptive to this concept?
F: People have been very receptive. It’s a free service, it’s easy to do. All the information is there. We get over a quarter of a million people to our sites each month and that’s growing, the team is working hard to provide all the best products and provide the best information to make it easy to compare and save yourself a dollar.
J: Do you think the concept of comparison is becoming more popular is Australia?
F: Definitely. We’re building new sites in comparison. New products - we’re looking to potentially compare some other insurance products in the future. We think this is a great market to grow. If you look at other countries like the U.K and the U.S, comparison is massive there. Everyone compares, everyone’s switching and everyone’s finding the best deal. But in Australia it’s not quite there yet and that’s normal. It normally takes a couple of years for Australia to catch up. But we think that’s something that is going to happen and that’s why we’re continuing to invest in these markets and continuing to build these comparison sites.
J: What has been your biggest challenge?
F: There is a challenge of just communicating. To some people we are quite a new business - the idea of comparison is quite new. In setting up the business one of the challenges is finding the best people to help us. And we do a lot of work in trying to get the best people to join us, who understand the mission and want to go and help people as well. The other thing is, with that, because we’re in an internet style business, it's a bit different from other styles of business, so, it’s people who understand that and want to join in that mission as well. The internet and I guess the purpose is the real balance we’re trying to find.
J: Is there anything else you would like to say?
F: We’re excited about where we’re going and taking the next step. We’re quite focused on building new niches. We’ve recently rolled out our new mobile and broadband categories and we’re working hard to make those sites a really rich experience and make it easy for people to use - we’re focused a lot on that. We’re looking to get into mobile friendly stuff as well. There’s a trend we’ve noticed with a certain percentage of our traffic - and that’s something we’re working through and you can look at our sites and come back and see how they go on a mobile phone in the next couple of months - they’re the kind of things we’re looking at. There’s some other projects that are a bit top secret but you can check the sites and see them as they roll out.
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