Profiles

Sydney startup Accurassi wants to help consumers easily find better deals on services

- March 1, 2019 3 MIN READ
Accurassi

Accurassi is the brainchild of Ross Sharman, who founded it with the goal of taking the hassle out of comparing essential service providers.

As he puts it, the current experience of comparing different providers for everything from energy to insurance – and much more in between – can be difficult and confusing for customers.

“Accurassi simplifies this experience through our platform, while at the same time unlocking greater savings for the consumer, by removing the hefty commissions which most retailers are required to pay. Our purpose is to reduce the cost of living and take financial pressure off all households throughout Australia,” he said.

The platform looks to do so through Kogbill, a learning platform that works to create an accurate data set by analysing bills, current pricing, brand, and usage.

“One of our key goals is ease of use, ensuring consumers can save money through very little effort. We want to make it easier to unlock savings across more and more products, thereby helping us impact more and more households in a positive way,” Sharman said.

“These small but significant ‘giving moments’ are vitally important to us at Kogbill and something we track and monitor closely.”

The system has been a long time in the making, Sharman said, with “many years of development, including lots of failures, lessons and learnings along the way”.

With Kogbill initially launched to solve the issue of commercial energy bills, Sharman said convincing an energy retailer to be the first adopter was extremely challenging.

“We needed a couple of forward thinkers to show the way,” he said. Kogbill found them in Powershop and Momentum.

Once they had the first on board, the others joined: the likes of Origin and AGL are now using Kogbill, allowing customers to upload their latest energy bill on their website to get a quick comparison.

The startup has also worked with the NSW Government to create a full marketplace comparison service, Energy Switch. Customers can again upload their bill, get a comparison across 4,800 tariffs and 27 retailers, and be provided with a list of the best value plans for them in order of how much they would save.

According to Sharman, more than 4,000 NSW residents have switched through the platform since it launched last November, with an average saving of $408 per customer.

The startup is now working on a full marketplace comparison service for energy with a bank, with an insurance service next on the to do list.

“In this scenario, the consumer will receive a ‘zero-commission marketplace concierge service’ delivered directly via their banking app,” Sharman explained.

“We call this comparison 2.0. What does that mean in practical terms for customers? No more annoying calls, no more wasted time trying to compare different providers, just a seamless and trustworthy digital service that makes managing some of life’s costs so much easier.”

While comparison sites for services such as telecommunications, insurance, and energy are nothing new, Sharman believes Accurassi provides a strong value proposition to its retailer customers.

“[It’s] around providing a transparent digital shop front for consumers. This is a far cheaper form of customer acquisition and retention that traditional models which include using the large comparison sites,” he said.

“The smarter consumer is now expecting these types of digital interactions for comparisons to be easily available. Once a retailer is using Kogbill for their shop front, we invite them to participate in our marketplace.”

Sharman added that the platform was independently validated against competitive technical products when it went through the tender process for the NSW Energy Switch platform, and came up trumps.

“Accurassi’s advantage over its competitors – Choice Transformer, EZ Switch and Handled – is in the matureness of the technology, however we are continually looking to re-invest in this technology, to ensure it can quickly adapt to other emerging market opportunities, such as personal insurance products,” he said.

With the concept now proven, Sharman said, the startup will spend the next few months exploring the financial services market, while also looking to expand the service beyond energy to personal insurance, health insurance, adn telecommunications.

“In addition, we’ll also be working to make even more improvements to the customer experience, so that a consumer can have their energy bill checked without having to locate it themselves,” he said.

“If you are already going through a trusted and secure mechanism such as a bank, then this type of seamless experience is now possible thanks to new regulations and also consumer expectancy around convenience.”

If that weren’t enough, Sharman said the startup will then look to start expanding overseas next year.

Image: the Accurassi team. Source: Supplied.

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