Money Alive has a mission to Engage, Educate and Empower those of us who have are approaching their retirement or are already enjoying it. They plan to do so through a series of educational video journeys. Information is power, and MoneyAlive will educate to make hard decisions, easier to make. Ian Beestin one of the co-founders of MoneyAlice explains more.
What challenge is MoneyAlive solving?
Money Alive is addressing the challenge of bringing more engagement and trust into financial services in the UK. We aim to Engage, Educate and Empower consumers to make better financial decisions through a series of enjoyable video journeys. We have a direct to consumer website (moneyalive.co.uk) and a B2B white label offering. The B2B proposition allows organisations with communication needs to license our content and website and offers a range of features giving it wide reaching compliance and client administration applications. There is more information about our B2B offering at www.thepensionsportal.co.uk
What are the tools MoneyAlive is creating to solve this challenge?
We have created a video centric website that hosts enjoyable educational video journeys and have recently launched the direct site which initially features a suite of media on the subject of pension freedoms. In order to build trust all our educational media is impartial and accredited by the Pensions Management Institute. The site presents the videos as an educational ‘video journey’ and our B2B offers features including analytics on individual usage (potential compliance gold), video lock/unlock and the option to ask questions and capture the reply (eg can you confirm you have watched and understood this video) and white labelling. The control of media means it cannot be seen out of context.
Our plan is to expand the range of subjects covered to build a consumer marketplace with information on a wide range of financial subjects of particular interest to the 20m + people in the UK who are aged 55 and over. We plan to generate revenue for our direct site through remunerated links to partners who can offer a range of products and services relevant to the subject the site user is learning about. For example, on Money Alive pension freedoms we have a link to an annuity broker and a directory of financial advisers with a post code search option.
Who can use these tools and what are the benefits for them?
There are 320,000 people a year retiring in the UK every from defined contribution pension schemes who have to decide how they want to take their pension benefits. Their options include buying a guaranteed income (via an annuity), staying invested and taking a flexible income, taking lump sums, mixing options and also doing nothing – ie leaving it for the time being. Each of these options offers advantages and disadvantages – hence our raison d’etre to Engage, Educate and Empower consumers to make better financial decisions. Don’t forget however, this is just one subject and we plan to expand content and coverage.
What legislation/s have given retirees more control over their retirement funds?
Freedom and choice which gave retirees more control over their pension. The legislation came into force in 2015.
Why do retirees need to learn more about their retirement options?
People can spend a working lifetime building up their pension pot (tens of thousands of hours at work) so it is important to make an informed decision about the best way to take it. Knowledge is power and by understanding the different options in more details they are able to make
Knowledge is power and by understanding the different options in more details they are able to make a more informed judgment about subjects including tax, what happens to the remainder of their pension when they die and the risks and benefits of different approaches.
What are the pitfalls that retirees fall into when accessing their pension pot?
They include making withdrawals without understanding the tax consequences, underestimating life expectancy and running out of money, not shopping around if they decide to buy an annuity, not getting their annuity application underwritten (which could give them a higher income for life) not shopping around for drawdown products and taking too much income/lump sums from their pension pot if they elect to keep their pension invested.
How are the partners selected and what value do they bring to your clients?
Our annuity partner has been selected as they have an outstanding track record in getting clients better deals on annuities, first by shopping around the market on their behalf and secondly by making sure any health or lifestyle factors that may mean life expectancy is less than average are fully captured from the client and presented clearly to the product provider who is producing the quote.
Our advisor directory is provided by Unbiased who have a long track record connecting those who have recognised the need to take advice with appropriately authorised and qualified advisers in the enquirers area. This seamless journey for a client from education to adviser is more important than ever as the scam industry proliferates and becomes more and more sophisticated.
MoneyAlive has been shortlisted in the most “innovative Robo/Advice Guidance”, what has led to this success?
The industry has recognised the unique nature of our proposition, its wide application and the skill and determination we have shown to bring money alive! Pensions are often regarded as dull and boring and this is compounded by the way the industry traditionally communicates with its customers which can often be jargon packed and heavily text based.
A recent report by Digital Wealth Insights about Money Alive said ” The Industry is crying out for this kind of functionality which fills gaping holes in the current processes”.
What are the key events for MoneyAlive customers in the next 36 months?
We plan to launch new education packages on a range of pertinent financial subjects and refine the way the site integrates with our partners to make it an even better customer journey.
What makes the difference between success and failure in fintech businesses?
Hard work, determination, vision and maybe a bit of luck!
Any further points?
We thank Ian Beestin for the interview.