Banking is an industry steeped in tradition and most of the established players in New Zealand have dominated the market for decades. However, along with changes in the tech landscape, we’ve seen a new breed of banks emerge overseas, challenging the status quo and proving that there is more than one way to design a banking service and many more ways to improve the overall experience and benefit for customers.
What sets Debut apart is our community-led approach. From the very beginning, we’ve involved our users at every step of the process, from naming the bank to designing our payment cards. We believe that our users should have a say in how their banking experience should be, and that’s why we’re building Debut together.
At Debut, we’re not just building a bank. We’re building a community of people who share our vision for a better banking experience. We want our users to feel empowered and involved, and we’re committed to listening to their feedback and incorporating it into our product.
We started by conducting a poll to decide on our name. Over 100 people participated, and the final result was Debut. We wanted to make sure that our brand resonated with our users, and we’re happy to have found a name that represents the emergence of something new, whether it’s a different way of doing things or someone taking control of their finances for the first time.
But we didn’t stop there. We’re now running a community-led competition to design the look of our payment cards. We want our users to have a card that they’re proud to show off and that reflects New Zealand. The response has been fantastic, with some striking designs and ideas submitted already.
We also talk openly about features and encourage the community to share what they would like to see. Our roadmap will always be public, so the community can see what we’re working on and which ideas have graduated from open discussion to investigation, development and testing. We believe that transparency and collaboration are key to building a bank that truly serves its users.
It’s simple. Our focus is on people, not profits. Debut is a human-first, down-to-earth, weird in a good way, clever bank that’s always there when you need it, and offers the very best services and benefits around. Our mission is to put one billion dollars back into Kiwi pockets. Keeping costs down, delivering high value for our customers and keeping profits in New Zealand are just some of what we’ve got planned.
Straight away, we saw that Debut was also an opportunity to refocus what a bank looks like and acts like too. Debut doesn’t do suit and tie - unless you really want to of course. Just because we work in finance doesn’t mean we can’t be both fresh and comfortable.
If our whole ethos is about providing equal access to tools to help Kiwis sort, understand, budget and grow money effortlessly, we want that simplicity, fun and non-hierarchical sentiment to reflect in what we do. – and shouldn’t require you to make large investments or to be “good at stocks” to use it. It also means not being too stuffy or corporate, not taking ourselves too seriously and making sure that we have some fun with how Debut looks and interacts with the community.
New Zealand is famous for many things, but also for being the backdrop to hundreds of well-known movies and TV series. As a nation, Aotearoa is a big supporter of the arts and culture and so are we. Kiwi entertainment is often playful in a quirky kind of way that reveals our humanity while celebrating the things that make us unique and interesting.
Playing on the name, Debut, we’ve had quite a bit of fun with naming conventions and small details of the brand. Things like, “Coming Soon,” and “A Behind the Scenes Look” work well. Ultimately, Debut can be seen as an “independent bank” that’s boldly exploring themes and ideas the mainstream or “big budget banks” have long avoided.
If you want better from your bank and you want to be part of something new and exciting, join our waitlist to follow along with how we’re building Debut or join the conversation Backstage, in our user community. Let’s rethink banking.
Please note, Debut is not a registered bank under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act. This is about our future intentions. Investments with us are not supervised currently by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.