Why inclusive banking matters

Debut is banking shaped by you so that everyone can succeed. Find out why we're creating this bank for all audiences.
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Sep 22, 2023

People sometimes make assumptions about others based on their own lived experiences. This can affect how we picture our audience when pitching ideas, designing products, communicating with customers and making decisions about the future of Debut.

Shared experiences can also help us to form connections with others. – “That thing happened to you too?” – “Your childhood was like that as well?” – “You also have trouble with activities like these?” – In that way, shared experiences allow us to relate to one another and differences help us to learn. Though, it is easy to forget that not all people see and experience the world in the same way. This form of unconscious bias can limit our ability to see the entire picture and affect decisions that impact others.

When we make decisions around how to shape our products at Debut and even the company itself, we believe that hearing from people with diverse perspectives is essential to helping us better understand our customers and their needs.

We communicate regularly with our customers and publish our intentions transparently. We welcome open discussion so that we can have a healthy and respectful dialogue. No one can know everything, so by collaborating with the community and creating a safe environment to share ideas, comments and challenges openly, we gain a far richer and more diverse understanding of the people we’re building Debut with. Ultimately, we know that this approach is what will lead us to create the best banking products.

Diversity and inclusion and why it matters 👏

At a high level, we may think of diversity and inclusion as a concept for a workplace or society where everyone feels valued, respected and safe to be their authentic selves. This includes having a team that represents the diversity of the population it serves, as well as creating a culture where all employees feel welcome and included.

I can honestly say, we have a really great and supportive culture inside of Debut too. Everyone is approachable and there’s a genuine sense of respect and caring among peers. It’s a little embarrassing to gush about, but it’s true. As we grow, I feel this foundation will serve us well in delivering a more thoughtful and human service.

Inclusiveness in our products and product design 🎨

With Debut, our goal is to create the best banking products. Sometimes, that means breaking the mould of how things have been done traditionally and forging a new way. 

In the same way we seek to hear from customers representing a diverse range of genders, racial and cultural ethnicities, sexual orientations, financial literacy, neurodiversity, abilities and economic standing, we also want to ensure that the people in the room include a diverse cross-section of New Zealand society. A different perspective can make a world of difference.

Building an inclusive bank that helps everyone to succeed 🦾

We’ve heard from the community and it’s clear that banks still have a long way to go to make things better for all New Zealanders. By prioritising inclusive banking as we build Debut, we ensure that everyone has equitable access to beneficial banking products and services. This includes people of all income levels, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and abilities. Inclusive banking also means providing financial education and resources to help people improve their financial well-being. This helps us to support and grow financial inclusion in New Zealand. Personalised, intelligent banking gives people access to tools that meet them where they are and helps them to grow and succeed.

Levelling the playing field through practical financial literacy tools you can use in the moment 🪙

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that helping Kiwis develop their financial literacy and put it to practice is a major focus area for us. We’ve built several tools into Debut that help Kiwis put real financial literacy skills into practice. Best of all, we’re focused on making it super easy for everyone to use with automatic guides and prompts.

It’s your turn to share 🎤

To see the whole picture, we need your perspective. We want to hear from you. Join the conversation Backstage and share your thoughts on feature ideas, what unique or common challenges you face in everyday banking, and how we might shape Debut to better help you succeed.

Derrick Olivier is Head of Community and Growth at Debut
Debut is the best way to save, track, budget and understand your money.
We’re doing something that’s never been done in New Zealand. We’re building a bank carefully, thoughtfully and with feedback from our customers. This is only the beginning.