Sun. Jul 21st, 2019

Australia’s first SME competitive bank, Judo Bank, influences tech to link with customers

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As Judo Bank continues to expand its business, the company’s CIO tells us how it is connecting with its customers

Judo Bank was established to serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lending needs, and has recently been granted a full banking licence that will allow it launch full deposit-taking capabilities. Alex Twigg, co-founder and Chief Information Officer, helped launch the business as the first challenger business bank in Australia. The company “Like most start-up businesses, Judo started as wishful idea that we’d discuss informally —I don’t think any of the founders imagined how fast it would take hold,” reveals Mr Twigg.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride that has exceeded all of our expectations. We initially raised  around AU$20m worth of seed capital to get the business launched, then followed that with an AU$120m Series A funding round -the second largest pre-revenue raising for a start-up in Australian corporate history.”

Judo Bank’s ‘judo strategy’ outmaneuvers the incumbent banks by using the nimbleness of its modern technology to rejuvenate the dying craft of artisan business lending.

“If you’re game enough to have the idea of starting your own bank, then you have to be prepared to face new challenges every day” – Alex Twigg, CIO of Judo Capital

When the company was founded in 2016, it was established with a digital technology mindset. The bank uses a clear technology strategy, with nine simple principles to drive how they will operate the entire technology environment. The firm’s nine principles include not owning IT, being open for business with the adaptable Open Architecture and Open Platform, and ensuring its technology is invisible to the consumer. Judo also ensures it is always prepared to embrace change and evolve its security operations, as well as prioritising all it’s clients’ data privacy. The company will also look to the cloud first, will be identity-led, and will take a holistic approach to its solutions whilst always considering the business’s evolution.