A Chat with Andries Smit, CEO and Founder at Intelligence Cashback App: Upside Saving

Andries Smit

We believe that advertising has come a long way since the birth of mass use of the internet in the 90’s in being more targeted and more relevant. BUT it’s far from perfect, and it’s created a world obsessed with new customers. Because it’s possible to measure customer volumes and CAC online, companies have ended up setting up their businesses to only chase new customers.

We believe this is wrong. Intuitively everyone knows that your 20% most loyal customers are 80% of your profits, but they don’t fit into the online tracking systems of today. That’s until the rise of open data. We believe that there is a better way. A way in which there is an upside for both the retailer AND the consumer. A way in which wasted marketing dollars could be put into the pockets of the most loyal customers. Fuelling a long-term sustainable relationship.

Practically what this means is that Upside Saving has developed an open banking-enabled marketing platform that connects retail brands with consumers by offering personalised cashback. Upside’s technology enables retailers to deliver personalised cashback offers to consumers where they already are: inside their banking apps, savings apps, even fan club apps. The consented comprehensive spending data from its users enables retailers to deliver relevant offers at scale, by understanding their full share of wallet with other competitive brands.
Upside - The future of frictionless cashback

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I was running a wealth platform out in Singapore, and we did various studies about how we can help people save more. The whole industry is focused on affluent customers, but we wanted to help the mass market customer get onto the savings ladder. We learnt that for most people, the reason why they don’t save is that they can’t afford to. Btw this does not mean they are low-income households!

Most of the time they earn £30k per year+, but their lifestyle and ambition gets the better of them. We also found that typical solutions of ‘budget apps’ and ‘personal finance management apps’ don’t work for the mass market. They are seen as painful and hard to use. The default solution for people is to ‘work hard, get a better job or promotion, and then save’ – but as we all know, that’s not an effective strategy.

We founded Upside with the notion of helping people find NEW money. Frictionless money that they wouldn’t have otherwise have had. We noticed that savings work like a flywheel – the more savings people have the more they save. The catch is to get started and to get enough in there for the engine to start. Our mission is to do exactly that for people.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

As a team, we’ve learnt how to work remotely with empathy. Very different to how remote working happened in the past. Working from home one day a week pre covid was easy because you could leave your personal 1:1’s or check-in sessions for days in the office. With covid, it’s all in. Team bonding, personal support and empathy had to be done via video calls.

And the same was true for our customers. We work with large businesses that want to provide upside to their customers. Reaching, speaking to and working with new clients when you can never meet them in person remains a challenge and we continuously test and learn new approaches to make this as effective as possible.

What can we hope to see from Upside Saving in the future?

Global domination. We want to help every person on earth start saving, save more, save faster. We want every person to share in the upside that they deserve.
To fulfill this mission, look for us in various apps, including your insurance, bank, shopping apps and more as we roll out further into the UK in 2021 and internationally in 2022.