In business with Ting: Wallaby
Andrew Moore-Crispin • August 13, 2014if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one size fits all solution for business mobile. That’s why Ting doesn’t do traditional business cell phone plans. In this Ting for Business series, we’re connecting with some of the businesses that use Ting to find out what they do, how they do it and why they chose Ting for their business mobile.
Matthew Goldman is the CEO of Wallaby Financial and a Ting business customer.
Like all good startups, Wallaby takes a modern problem and finds a simple, elegant solution. That’s how we operate too, so it’s a natural fit.
The problem we set out to solve is with mobile plans that are too rigid, too unfriendly and ultimately, too expensive.
In Wallaby’s case, the problem is wallet overload and consumers missing out on the best deal by not choosing the best card for a given transaction.
As Goldman put it when we asked for the elevator pitch, Wallaby is “helping consumers get the most out of their wallets.”
In short, Wallaby, with its browser extension, smartphone and wearable apps, will tell you which of your credit cards you should use in order to get the best deal on whatever you’re buying. We recently featured Wallaby in our App of the Week video series.
According to Goldman, Wallaby answers two core questions:
“Out of the cards I have in my wallet, when I’m buying something right now, what’s the best card to use,” taking things like reward points and special discounts into account. The other core question is “what’s the next best card to add to my wallet so that I can earn even more over time” on the stuff I’m already buying.
The idea came about honestly enough:
“I was at a gas station. I swiped my card and spent quite a bit on gas. While I’m standing there, the TV screen on the pump comes on and says ‘hey, if you had this one card, you’d be earning 5% on gas,’ and I was like ‘oh. I do have that card. In my wallet.”
After the obligatory search of the various app stores turned up no solutions, a business idea was born.
How did you learn about Ting?
“I’ve been buying things from Tucows (Ting’s parent company) forever, going all the way back to downloading software,” Goldman says. (In other news, look how far we’ve come.)
Early in Ting’s life, Hover, the consumer-level domain registration arm of Tucows, sent an email to its opt-in customer email list introducing our newest endeavor. That email ended up in Goldman’s inbox. “We were really excited about it because we’re a mobile developer and we need to have a lot of phones… we don’t want to just buy devices that aren’t on the network, because we need to go out to stores, we need to test, we need to use the network.”
“We don’t want to have a $3,000/mo. cell phone bill for phones we’re not using every day,” Goldman says. “I’d much rather pay the up-front cost [to buy a device] then the lower monthly fees than the other way around.”
“If every time we [needed to test on a new phone] we had to go sign up for a two-year contract, we’d be pretty unhappy.”
While Goldman is the CEO of Wallaby Financial, he also looks after mobile and account administration.
We mentioned it’s a start-up, right?
“Not surprisingly, being that we’re an Internet business, we like to do things online,” Goldman says. “You guys just have a great dashboard. It’s simple to understand. That’s really what we care about.”
While Goldman hasn’t spent time to create usage based alerts or hard caps (totally within the capabilities of the Ting dashboard and a boon for business account administrators, I feel compelled to point out) he does check in on the regular.
“I always look at the bill and I’m always curious about the activity,” he says. “Compared to the competitors, it’s such a good deal, so I don’t worry. It’s not a budgetary issue for us.”
“The online tools work really well. I guess the fact that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them means they’re doing what they’re supposed to because they’re not a source of frustration.”
“It works really well for us and we’re really happy,” Goldman says. “Our usage can be quite ‘spiky,'” he continues, so paying less when the team uses less and paying more when usage jumps makes sense for Wallaby.
“The reason I would encourage other people who need business phones, either for testing or for real phones and especially for startups is 1) It’s really cost efficient and 2) There’s a lot of flexibility,” Goldman said.
“In startups, you grow, and then maybe you shrink, and then you grow again. Contracts just don’t match that. Your needs change too much.
In short, Goldman summarizes Ting thusly: “Good phones on a good network but less expensive and with flexibility, which are the two things that startups really care about.”