Next-gen debt prevention company appoints chief customer officer

Australian fintech startup brings crowdsourcing to debt payments

Fintech startup, HelpPay, has brought on former head of digital for Red Energy, Rowan Wilde, as its first chief customer officer.

HelpPay is pitching itself as a social fintech and debt prevention company that provides a form of ‘crowdsourcing’ capability allowing consumers to share bills in order to have funds paid directly to the billing company. The company has created technology that turns a bill into a shareable link and payment page. Consumers can share the bill via email, social channels and chat with multiple individuals so they can pay any amount directly towards the bill and receive a receipt.

The company raised $2.4 million in Series A funding in December 2021.

Wilde most recently spent six years as head of digital for Red Energy, overseeing digital experience, customer experience incorporating digital assets and online channels for more than one million customers. During this time, he was also responsible for customers of Lumo Energy and Direct Connect, which were acquired by Snowy Hydro for $605 million in 2014 and integrated into Red between 2017 and 2018.

Prior to Red Energy, Wilde served as digital marketing lead for Medibank Private, helping launch the AHM brand. He was also formerly marketing manager with Australian Independent Business Media, working across titles such as the Eureka Report and Business Spectator, before the group’s acquisition by News Limited for $30 million. In addition, Wilde spent time with NASA and Google in California and completed a senior leadership course at the Singularity University.

HelpPay co-founder and managing director, Andrew Ellett said, Wilde’s digital expertise was a key aspect in his appointment at HelpPay.

“Rowan is one of Australia’s most accomplished digital leaders. He knows what vulnerable customers of Australia’s largest energy and insurance companies need when they get into financial hardship and how to design an empathetic digital experience,” he stated. “Rowan is one of the main reasons HelpPay exists and is one of the main reasons it will succeed.”

Wilde said his time with Red Energy and Medibank taught him Australia’s largest companies don’t want their customers getting into financial hardship.

“Debt prevention is good business. Not only is it a better experience for customers to avoid the debt cycle, it’s cheaper for the company servicing that customer,” he said. “Getting vulnerable customers back on their feet is a joint effort between the person’s provider and their loved ones. HelpPay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to give back to the industries that have given me so much and help customers that really need it with a technology that I believe in.”

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