Financial product comparison startup targets “savvy” but “time poor” consumers

A free web-based service is promising to help consumers take control of their finances by allowing them to compare services in one place.

 

Monetise lets users compare financial products and provides tailored recommendations across six categories, including savings accounts, superannuation, credit cards and home loans.

 

During the startup’s beta testing from December last year to January this year, it claims to have helped its 100 users save more than $2000 per year and increase it by 50-70 basis points.

 

Chief executive officer Taichi Hoshino, an ex-McKinsey & Company consultant, says that his startup is unique in aggregating in measuring consumers’ financial health across products.

 

“Users sign up and link their online accounts after which they get information about how much they are receiving and paying in interest rates and fees,” he says.

 

“It is an automated and secure process that is targeted towards people who are reasonably savvy but don’t have time to extensively go through the market. It has utility for everyone, whether you have excellent or poor cash flow, have 6-10 financial products, are a little bit lazy or just time poor.”

 

According to Hoshino, a dedicated team carries out the market research, which is then integrated and embedded into the service and is updated at least fortnightly or when the market improves. He adds that the aim is to solve problems that customers have and help them make more meaningful choices.

 

“A lot of intelligence goes into scanning the top 90% of the market when providing product recommendations,” he says.

 

“The average individual has to spend a lot of time, expertise and fees in understanding the current state of the market. Banks and consumers are speaking different languages and markets constantly change. Hence, we offer people our financial research for free so that they can incorporate that in their decision-making.”

 

Hoshino says the startup is independent and not aligned with any bank or financial institution. He admitted that despite making no money right now, the organisation is in a “privileged” position for the medium term and remains internally funded as they explore a number of revenue models.

 

He adds that a good understanding of customers and smart market structures will enable his company to solve future problems with institutional engagement.

 

“Banks today have a one-size-fits-all approach to their customers,” he says.

 

“Customers should be able to utilize their own data and get tailored rates and prices that meet their specific needs. We have to engage the institutions and help them to talk to the customers and believe we are well-positioned for those opportunities.

 

“We hope to expand the categories to encompass a broad spectrum of financial products such as insurance, telecommunications, gas and utilities, retail, banking and rewards programs.”

 

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