​NAB, Westpac-backed Slyp gets AU$2m to develop in-app digital receipt capability

In addition to NAB Ventures' equity investment, the bank plans on integrating Slyp's technology into its own banking services.

Sydney-based fintech startup Slyp has announced receiving AU$2 million in funding, in a seed round led by NAB Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of the National Australia Bank (NAB), which included investors such as rival bank Westpac's Reinventure fund.

Slyp has developed a "digitised receipt experience" that NAB expects to begin rolling out to customers in early 2019.

Speaking with ZDNet, one of Slyp's three co-founders Paul Weingarth explained the proposition as not only allowing customers to receive in-app receipts, but also enabling merchants to better track their customers.

"At the end of the transaction we still get these antiquated, old school paper receipts and receipts today as we know them are relatively one-dimensional and they're used to make a claim for a proof of purchase -- be it a warranty or return or an expense claim -- they're also cumbersome and painful," Weingarth said.

"As we move into a digital and smart world, these paper receipts are being left behind."

To Weingarth, the "state of nirvana" for any innovation is where customers don't need to change their behaviour, but they receive a step-change in experience.

"By linking all of that receipt information to the customer's bankcard, we can automatically send it into their mobile banking app," he continued. "This means that customers can pay as normal and their bank will notify them, letting them know that their smart receipt, or their Slyp, is now right inside, in context, next to that transaction inside the banking app."

Consumers can access the receipt inside their internet banking app, attached to the transaction, as well as in a separate menu that allows searching.

With NAB to soon begin rolling the technology out, Weingarth said in addition to providing a proof of purchase for customers, the data contained within the receipt becomes increasingly valuable to merchants and banks.

"There's a lot of valuable data on that receipt that we can use to deliver new experiences for the customer, for example sending warranty and return reminders, being able to link -- bought something in-store but want to be able to look at it online on the merchant's web store and repurchase it potentially -- and also things like ratings, Uber-like rating system and bringing some gamification into that proposition," he said.

Slyp works by plugging-in to the point of sale.

"Effectively we extract two payloads of data. One is the what and the line item information and then the bottom piece of a receipt is typically the high-level, non-sensitive payment information like auth codes and so-forth, to automatically match it back to the customer once we've created the Slyp or the smart receipt," Weingarth explained.

To enable the capability, merchants would be required to go through their point of sale provider, which Slyp is working with a number of, in addition to payments aggregators and large merchants that have their own proprietary point of sale system, too.

NAB conducted a proof of concept with a couple of merchants and a couple hundred consumers, which according to NAB Ventures managing director Todd Forest received positive feedback regarding criteria such as desirability and usage.

Speaking with ZDNet last month while announcing an additional AU$50 million investment over the next two years, Forest said NAB Ventures invests in startups that enable the bank to either execute what it does better or enter into adjacent areas that will drive value.

The investment arm was stood up in July 2015 with an initial AU$50 million investment from the bank and the latest funding takes the total to AU$100 million, with 100 percent of that purely to be spent on the startups.

As of November, NAB Ventures had made only five investments, which means the others have been funded in quick succession.

Startups backed by the fund in addition to Slyp include Data Republic, Veem, BRICKX, Basiq, Medipass, Wave, and Activepipe, with the others not disclosed by the bank as yet.

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