A healthy outlook: how Mintago is bridging the gap between fintech and financial wellbeing
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Mintago CEO Chieu Cao tells BDO why a technology-based approach is key to getting people excited about their finances and their future
What is Mintago and what makes it unique?
Mintago was established in 2019 and is a complete financial wellbeing solution, supporting both the employer and employee. When we approach businesses, we ask whether they’re on a salary sacrifice pension. If they don’t have it, we offer a simplified onboarding process to enable them to save on National Insurance [NI]. These savings help fund the whole solution. If they say yes, we will provide them with the full financial wellbeing solution as normal.
When the employees save more, the employer also saves more on NI. But our platform isn’t just a one-off setup for NI. We engage with employees to help employers save by offering a world-class financial wellbeing solution. We have trusted partners but we're unbiased, which is crucial. Our platform allows us to solve and support the needs of all employees, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
We're not a financial fund, we're not trying to acquire assets and we don't want your pensions. We're 100% user-centric and unbiased.
HQ: London, England
Size: 11 - 50 employees
Where do your revenue streams come from?
A very simple licenced model on a per-employee, per-annum basis. It's an annualised contract. This licenced model is important because we don’t make money from upselling to employees. We treat every employee the same. We charge every employee the same in terms of a fixed fee for the year.
In our current economic climate this service has real value, so who benefits?
With your physical health and mental health, you can always be a little healthier. In the same way, everyone can improve their financial health. You would assume that many businesses are on top of their finances, but the reality is that they're not. The majority of businesses are not aware of what financial wellbeing really means. Pension management is a good example.
They know about pensions and know the value of managing them, but don't have the time. We deal with companies that have solutions for mental health or gym memberships, but that doesn't mean that they’ve covered financial wellbeing. The traditional view has been to hire an IFA [independent financial advisor] or have a pension scheme you log into once a year, and that’s it. We're redefining what financial wellbeing means.
"Every user has unique financial needs and, just like health - it must be looked after on a one-to-one basis."
How do you engage younger people for whom a pension might seem far off?
Creating delight in finding money is the hook. We understand the psychology behind people's motivations and tap into that. You can’t just put technology in front of people; they're not going to respond. It needs to be a human-led approach. We look at the psychological triggers that get people excited about money. For example, when they find out they’re worth more money than they thought. Once they have the money, what do they do with it?
This creates an avalanche of interaction because now it's of value. Pensions are no longer just an asset. Also, the ‘fire’ movement—financial independence, retire early—is capturing young people's imaginations and we’re giving them control. The second part is giving them the tools. They can talk to an advisor and move money around as they wish. This creates a snowball effect. They set, forget and then move on to the next thing, like fixing their credit score.
How are you using the technology?
When we introduce employees to the platform, we also give them access to a general dashboard and one for pensions. Within the pension dashboard, employees can locate all their past pensions and manage contributions toward their current pension. We offer free access to financial advisors, debt counselling and tools for savings, mortgages, credit scores, insurance and more. We also offer an educational programme, and our app allows open banking.
You can also view your net worth and that’s rare. Because of this, you have more control over your financial future.
What's your view of the way these tools are now being used in the fintech industry?
There's segmentation happening in the market. You get early adopters and millennials who are comfortable with apps and managing their own pensions and services, but the majority of people aren’t like that.
"Many don’t know what open banking is. That's why we’ve got to make it easy for people to understand the outcomes, not the inputs."
Ultimately, the more you talk about how it works, the more you push people away, so it must be very human-centric.
What trends do you see in financial services, and how are they dictating your future strategy?
We're seeing more solutions to make it easier for people to access information. There's an explosion of assets that you can see with NFTs [non-fungible tokens] and different ways to invest money. But what do you do with all that information? People make bad decisions, so I think there's going to be a shift in how people use technology to cut it down. We see ourselves as a gatekeeper to help employees make better decisions.
What is your strategy for growth over the next three to five years?
We’re trailblazers. We believe there’s a global opportunity and we’re excited about our growth potential. We've been well funded through venture capital and angels. When I came into this space a few years ago, I thought it was already crowded but it's the opposite.
Very few people are doing what we're doing in an unbiased, holistic way using technology, understanding the psychology behind people, and delivering value to the employer. We want to create a great brand that people can trust. We really care about what we do and believe that everyone should have a helping hand regardless of their background.
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