Sunday, 13 September 2015 21:07 ready to compare in the US market

By founders Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia announce US launch founders Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia announce US launch

Australian comparison website is expanding its business to the US, co-opting top American Barack Obama impersonator, Reggie Brown, to help launch its bid to tackle the American market.

One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites with a claimed one million-plus visits each month, finder, which started life as a credit card comparison website – creditcardfinder- says it has launched the new US website in a bid to help more people across the world make better financial decisions.

The US launch in Sydney, with co-founders and directors Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia, featured Regie Brown as the headline act.

“We first launched our comparison site in Australia in 2006 because we wanted to help and empower as many people as possible. We’ve always had that dream of doing this on a global scale,” Schebesta said.

“Now we’ve grown into an international team that’s driven by that same desire – and boy does America need it.

“There are about 14-times more Americans than Australians (321.6 million compared to 24 million) and they have $906.5 billion worth of credit card debt compared to Australia’s $51.6 billion.

“They need our help and we can’t wait to be that go-to site for Americans who are seeking better, or simply weighing up their options.”

Schebesta and Restucci say now compares thousands of products across more than 20 niches including home loans, credit cards, savings accounts and investments, insurance, shopping and more, and the past financial year saw 63% revenue growth year-on-year.

The new US site will be based out of finder’s office in Santa Monica in Los Angeles.

iPhones and plans compared

Interesingly, finder moved out of the financial area with a new comparison in the last few days of Australia’s  four major mobile phone carriers and their plans for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus.

According to the comparisons of all 126 plans on offer from Telstra, Optus, Virgn Mobile and Vodafone.

Finder says Virgin Mobile offered the cheapest plans across all models, with the iPhone 6s 16GB at $61 per month or $1,464 over 24 months.

At the other end of the price scale, according to finder, Telstra was the dearest across the range, with the 128GB charging $3,768 over 24 months – $2,016 dearer than Virgin Mobile's offering of the same model.

“However, the data difference is huge – Virgin's cheapest plans offer just 0.3GB while Telstra provides 10GB for its top end plans. Also, both Optus and Vodafone have 20GB plans,” says Angus Kidman, Tech Expert at finder

" has compared all 126 plans by Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone, and all of them are for 24-month contracts, although Vodafone has some other ‘non-contract’ options available, but they're more expensive.

"All of these Optus and Vodafone plans include unlimited calls and texts to standard Australian numbers. The cheaper Telstra and Virgin Mobile plans offer a certain value to spend on calls and texts each month. The more expensive Telstra and Virgin Mobile plans include unlimited calls and texts to standard Australian numbers.

"With more than half (55%) of Australian mobile phone users buying on a plan, this comparison is the most comprehensive in Australia and will help consumers sift through the mountain of options to choose from,” Kidman said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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