As a Scot, it’s assumed I’ll be quite canny (translation) with money and that I’ll be tight-fisted when it comes to spending any of it. This image of Scots has been around for decades and even makes a regular appearance in the Our Willie character in The Simpsons.
The reputation of Scots being careful with money should be remembered when considering the current success of the Edinburgh-based money management platform, Money Dashboard. The product, first launched in 2010, helps consumers track their finances across multiple financial products in an easy to use mobile app and website.
Whilst obviously you can do this via your own standard banking app thanks to the fintech revolution most of us now have a plethora of different bank accounts, investment platforms, and challenger bank accounts.
For myself personally, I have my historical bank and rewards credit card, my day to day Monzo card linked to Apple Pay for standard purchases, a robot investment platform for an ISA and a Coinbase account (I might be one of the few tech people who lost money on bitcoin).
This spread means I enjoy a lot more convenience than was afforded to consumers even 3 years ago, but it also means keeping track of everything is much more difficult. Steve Tiger, CEO of Money Dashboard, said on this point: “There is a clear trend for consumers to be multi-banked now, meaning it’s harder than ever to get a holistic view of your finances. But apps like Money Dashboard won’t just give you that single view, they’ll help you find the best deals on products like loans and mortgages while making bank charges more visible and allowing much better comparison against the competition. As these benefits are increasingly communicated to consumers, what you’re going to see is widespread adoption of third-party services like Money Dashboard.”
That’s where Money Dashboard comes in and is enabled by the introduction of Open Banking.
The company provides an easy-to-use app and website where consumers can connect all of their platforms together to track their finances in a coherent manner and stay on top of things in a much easier way. No longer necessitating jumping between apps or accounts to see how much money, or how little, you have on all of your various financial products.
The Money Dashboard dashboard is clear and easy to understand, splitting out your spending by categories and types, letting you quickly understand what you actually spend your hard earned paycheck every month. The concept behind this is that with a better overview consumers can change their spending approach and focus on saving for goals that really matter to them. Their site contains glowing testimonials from consumers who have done just that.
Alongside the dashboard you also get a handy email every week with a breakdown of your spending by category across your accounts, making it easy to quickly identify if you need to rein in spending on a particular element of your lifestyle.
The platform is offered to consumers as a free service and instead of making money from offering additional products to consumers, the business has a partnership with GoCompare and is monetized through selling anonymized insights to asset management companies to help them understand market trends based on consumer spending patterns.
With their offering, the business draws many comparisons to Mint in the US, which reached mass adoption but never crossed the Atlantic.
On this point, Steve is rather bullish. “The adoption of online tools like Money Dashboard is building momentum in the UK and are set to catch up with countries like the US where millions of consumers use comparable apps to help manage their finances. Research shows that 40% of adults in the UK don’t feel in control of their finances and as many as 20 million people don’t feel they have an approach to budgeting that works. Open Banking presents a significant opportunity for services like ours as it provides a safe and secure way for consumers to get on top of their finances and lead happier and more successful lives.”
As is the current trend the business has now turned to crowdfunding to fuel their next stage of growth and smashed through their £1.5m target in 45 minutes on the Crowdcube platform.
It’s no surprise that the business took this approach as their CFO formerly held the same role at Revolut, who previously raised $5m through crowdfunding before raising their $250m Series C.