Choosing a credit card with an optimal rewards program that is equally flexible, rewarding and a true match for our lifestyle, can be a challenging task. With all of the available options and rewards, from low-interest transfers to travel points and cash back, it’s no wonder that the selection process leaves many consumers confused and frustrated. But Toronto, Ontario fintech start-up Brim has a solution – why pick just one?

Founded in 2015 and launched in Canada in 2018, Brim is the newest credit card issuer in Canada with a reward system that allows users to earn unlimited rewards and redeem anytime, on any purchase, wherever Mastercard is accepted. Consumers no longer have to agonize over which reward card to pick because the Brim platform offers unlimited and uncapped rewards and benefits. It’s hyper personalized to each merchant and cardmember, and it’s integrated with all merchants worldwide.

“The entire concept of the platform is extremely consumer-centric.” says Rasha Katabi, CEO and Founder of Brim Financial. “What we build merges together the loyalty industry, banking and payments all in one, in real time. With no integration required and everything embedded seamlessly in our platform, the response to Brim has been overwhelmingly positive. Merchants have access to set bespoke offers while consumers benefit from hyper personalized and behavior-driven rewards, automatically and in real-time. Consumers also reap the benefits of instant redemption, allowing points to be allocated towards a purchase made at best market value anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted – that could be your Sunday brunch or flight to London.”

Brim’s customer-focused approach is already making waves. “What Brim has done has already influenced the credit card market in Canada quite a bit in the past nine months,” says Katabi about the effect of a new entrant shaking up the system. “And I think a consequence of our existence has been better services for all Canadian card holders in general.”

The Ontario Advantage

With aspirations to scale globally, Katabi wanted a team that brought an international perspective to product development, so that’s why Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, was a natural choice. “Toronto, Ontario attracts such incredible talent from around the world because it’s such an amazing place to live and it has so much to offer,” says Katabi. “We have people coming from Korea, Brazil, and Europe. It’s very much an international perspective but localized in Toronto. I don’t think you can ask for a better sort of mix.”

Brim’s international mindset is displayed in all aspects of their products and platform. Whether members are local or travelling abroad, they have access to all features including the globally open rewards platform and installment plans, both without jurisdictional borders and available right in the Brim app. Members also have complete control to lock the card in real-time or lock only online or foreign transactions while continuing to use the physical card.

If there’s one message Brim wants its international audience to know, it’s a warm invitation to collaborate with Brim’s platform, which is integrated globally at all points of sale where Mastercard is accepted. Brim welcomes global merchants and brands to leverage the platform – all with no integration and no set-up to access a state-of-the-art open rewards program and flexible payments that can be tailored to meet the unique goals of each business.

“We’ve also gotten messages from all over the world, both from potential partners and talent interested in working with our team,” Katabi says. “Very qualified people from their own markets, who are looking to be part of a cutting edge and scaling technology company here in Canada.”

Brimming with potential: Growth and plans for the future

In an industry where the structure of customer acquisition still circles around start-up bonuses and gimmicks, Katabi believes being a newcomer is an asset. “With more traditional financial institutions, comes a lot of legacy infrastructure issues. These large-scale industries carry a lot of weight to them, which keeps them back when it comes to any sort of real transformation and innovation beyond surface improvements.”

For Brim, the old merchant driven business model with jurisdiction limitations, reward restrictions and closed loop ecosystems is out. In its place, Brim has introduced financing options and rewards that mirror the consumer’s real habits and lifestyles. “Since we were setting up to build a whole new platform from scratch, without the limitation of any legacy system or any existing business model,” explained Katabi. “We had the luxury to put together the strands that make sense, always with the cardmember at the heart of the business”.

This same mindset that led Brim to re-think the entire space in the first place will be its guiding principle for all future pursuits. “Our innovative spirit and drive to deliver transformational value to cardmembers and merchants alike is deeply rooted in the DNA of Brim, and hopefully, with a lot of hard work and focus, will ensure that we are always ahead of the curve,” says Katabi.

Sector/subsector: 

July 4, 2019

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