Three years ago, gini launched in Hong Kong as one of the city’s early fintech companies, using technology to bring consumers a better way to manage their finances.
Today we are using insights from that experience to still provide ordinary people with better tools to manage their finances – but now we are also doing this by helping financial institutions provide more personalized experiences to their customers in smarter ways.
Financial freedom starts with data insights
Since starting gini, our aim has been to remove the stress and the fear of making financial mistakes. And we know just providing visibility to bank and credit card transactions doesn’t do that. In a recent study of Australian consumers, it was discovered that 86% of people don’t know how much money they are spending each month, because they find expenditures so difficult to calculate.
People not only need help with the aggregating and calculating their expenses, to understand their current financial situation, but also with identifying patterns in their spending which enable them to make behavioural changes. They need notifications when a bank fee was charged to their account, or help understanding how much money is okay to spend each day, while still paying bills on time and hitting savings goals. It’s data that makes possible this kind of valuable service.
Photo credit: unsplash - Timon Studler
Over the past few years, we have learned a lot about how people save, how they spend, and what they want. We have developed our own technology in the field of artificial intelligence to find patterns in user behaviour and figure out the best way to take data and “enrich” it so it can be better understood. Our mission is to make anyone in the world great at managing their finances. Acquiring, analyzing and recalling the right user data allows this to happen.
Open Banking Trending in Asia
The new trend rising across Asia, including Hong Kong and Singapore: open banking. What it boils down to is banks, fintechs like gini, and other companies like e-commerce sellers or merchants, to allow their customers to access their own data and choose how it is used.
Traditionally, banks and other financial institutions have been jealous guardians of customer data. That’s partly because they are obliged to protect that information. But they also consider this a competitive advantage. In traditional banking, your depositors are prized assets that banks don’t want to share. The problem with this strategy? Most banked consumers across APAC use multiple financial service providers and mobile wallets. So a single bank never gets to see the full picture of their customers.
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In Hong Kong, with the Monetary Authority now setting timelines for banks to gradually comply with new data-sharing rules, there are growing opportunities for all kinds of companies to use data to create better products and services.
Under the emerging open-banking environment, consumers can choose to allow fintechs like us to help them analyse their data. The ability for a consumer to access data that improves their credit profile or helps them manage their finances better is a huge benefit. That’s especially true of younger, better-educated people, who make up the majority of our user base.
Photo credit: unsplash - Sean Pollock
The paradox of consolidating a user’s finances into a single app like gini is that they need yet another financial app on their phone to do it. When we listened to our consumers we found that few felt their obstacle to financial greatness was a lack of financial products, what they craved was their existing products to be better. By working with traditional banks, lenders and card issuers, we use our technology to solve the problems of our partners customers at scale.
Because our technology is built from the ground up to be data-driven, this puts incumbents in a position where they will not only be OpenAPI ready - they will be OpenAPI winners. By using A.I. and “big data” techniques (finding patterns or correlations from a very large amount of data), our data models can help banks identify better services and products that can be provided to their existing customers - keeping them loyal in an era where high switching costs are rapidly being eroded It’s an indirect path to the same destination--using fintech to help consumers manage their finances wisely. Only this time, thanks to open banking, we can bring our expertise to traditional financial institutions as well.
What other opportunities and impediments will come along with open banking? Download our latest report Open Banking 2020 and get industry insights from 300+ finance and technology influencers. Discover how open APIs will impact your business. The future of finance is open.