On April 2nd, 2019 we launched our new company, exactly one year ago today.
It was a very different time for everyone than the April 2nd we are waking up to this year, but we are very encouraged by how little of our model, mission and vision, and our strong relationships with the community supporting us have changed. It’s amazing how close we were an entire year ago to the core of our business: Building great communities.
We have grown so much in the past year. We have literally traveled the country learning how to strengthen community financial institutions, we uprooted our lives having spent three months in Little Rock Arkansas with the Venture Center and ICBA ThinkTech 2.0 Accelerator, honing our messaging, refining our positioning and fine-tuning our product.
We have had close to 1,000 meetings (fact, it’s literally been about 1,000 meetings) with prospective clients, service providers, regulators, investors and more. On March 8th, Wallit showcased at ICBA Live in Orlando, FL. This drew in tons of new users and activity. The buzz and attention are great, and by acquiring more users and increasing activity we were able to collect even more data to continue to validate more of our hypotheses. The customer development we did by talking directly to our prospective customers has been priceless and has paid off, big time.
We got to see the world through their eyes, and deeply understand the pain points that they were feeling. In a short period of time, the quality of our solution improved immensely and the interest from community banks increased exponentially.
What we have learned from performing such a concentrated amount of customer and product development in such a compact amount of time, is the strong connection between community financial institutions and their customers begins and ends with small businesses. We initially started the company with a focus on families – we put savers first. What we have realized is the growing importance of Main Street and the interconnectedness for all members of the community, including consumers and organizations, to participate actively in local community networks, especially in times of crisis. These are the key foundations for economic and community development. Bringing them together is a win-win-win.
One of our biggest changes this past year has been taking a merchant-centric approach to Main Street. Just as banking apps can’t just be about transactions, retail apps can’t just be for shopping. That’s how you get deleted. We’re making this about forming relationships and driving positive brand experiences for consumers with local businesses that will be valuable for people, merchants and financial institutions simultaneously. We view it as pull, not push, marketing.
By focusing on incentivizing local shopping, we are contributing to the health of local communities on the macro level, community level, and on the family level. We are excited about this change and the positive impacts it has already made on our business, and even more excited of it’s potential to revitalize and reinvigorate the local businesses in communities all across the country.
If you are interested in learning more about enriching your communities and fostering economic development and growth of small businesses, please visit us at: www.wallit.app
Looking forward to seeing the positivity that 2020 will bring.