Co-Founder and COO, gohenry
Louise Hill is co-founder and COO of gohenry – the prepaid pocket money card and app that empowers young people to take part in the digital economy.
Louise co-founded gohenry in 2012 along with two other parents when she realised that her children, now aged 18 and 21, needed to learn how to manage their money in an increasingly digital world. Fast forward seven years and gohenry now has a community of over 950,000 active users in the US & UK who fiercely believe that good money management is a vital life skill.
Prior to gohenry, Louise studied languages at Westminster University in London, and worked as an interpreter before moving into retail. She joined the ‘fast track’ graduate trainee programme at House of Fraser then, once internet shopping began to gain a foothold, she moved into e-commerce. In the past 20 years she has launched e-commerce websites and run contact centres and warehouses for many of the UK’s big-name retailers, including Next Directory, John Lewis, The Innovations Group, Past Times and Debenhams.
Louise now splits her time between gohenry’s headquarters in London and their Lymington office – which is housed in a former sweet shop. She dedicates time to talking to MBA groups at a number of universities around the country and, until recently, was a governor at a local secondary school.
What is it about FinTech that excites you?
The opportunity to use FinTech for good. This is very much at the heart of our product. At its simplest, gohenry is a pocket money card and app, but used to the full, it’s an educational tool teaching kids as young as six how to be good with money in the digital age and setting them up to be able to manage money confidently throughout their life.
What do you envisage being the biggest development in FinTech in the next 5 years?
Real-time payments becoming the norm; card to card, bank to card, bank to bank, device to device. It means many of the more traditional institutions will need to rethink the way they operate to keep pace with both the technology and the expectations of the customer.
Open Banking will also come into its own, taking new services mainstream and helping people to manage their money more effectively by pulling it all into one easy-to-access place.
What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
I love the simple things in life; travelling, walking my dog and spending time with family and friends.
What is the biggest change that you have witnessed in the sector over the past 12 months?
The changes driven by GDPR and PSD2. Those two pieces of legislation have forced many in the industry to reevaluate how they provide – and market – their services.
Who would be your top 3 dinner party guests and why?
Catherine the Great – I’ve been reading an amazing book about the Romanovs recently, so she would be top of my list.
Emmeline Pankhurst – such a brave woman in a time when women were just not supposed to do what she did.
Blondelle Barnes – my ex-husband’s cousin who grew up in Antigua where she was labelled the ‘school dunce’ until a visiting Aunt realised she was almost blind. She went on to become a Professor at the University of California in Berkley and has travelled all over the world supporting partially sighted students to gain access to education. She has some amazing stories.