Each day, we are presented with thousands of opportunities to spend, but nearly no opportunities to save.
We should be saving as we spend, but for most of us that means collecting the spare change from our purchases.
Today, 25% of Brits have less than £100 of savings, about what you can fit in a piggy bank. Moreover, the economy is changing in ways that make saving even harder. As more people begin to work in the gig economy, employees are choosing to compromise on earnings for the sake of flexibility.* A median self-employed worker now earns just 55% of what the median employee earns*. For the self-employed, there are fewer institutional encouragements to save: just 21% of the self-employed in the UK have contributed to a pension scheme. At the same time, saving is made more difficult due to an often irregular income.
But it is not just putting money away that is difficult. Growing your savings its own challenge. The amount of money you are ready to invest is called your “initial capital.” In the world of investments today, your opportunities to grow your savings are directly tied to how much initial capital you have. Those with the most money find it easiest to make their savings grow as money managers compete to win their business with hundreds of investment products and services. Those with the most initial capital are also offered ways to grow their money faster than those who starting with more modest savings.
How did it get this way? The financial services lost sight of three key values: inclusion, education and fairness. Financial companies have spent billions developing amazing technology to turbocharge investments - but only for the benefit of their largest clients.
Consider your bank’s app. It shows you your account balances, helps you transfer money, but does nearly nothing else. Your bank is barely helping you manage your spending, let alone helping you grow your savings. Something is wrong with this picture.
Oval Money was created to bring user-focused technology and values-driven service back into personal finance.
Importantly, Oval is not a bank. This is what helps us lookout for the best-interests for all parties. Oval is a platform that helps financial providers reach a new set of customers directly, particularly those with lower initial capital. To do this, we have put the values of inclusion, education, and fairness at the heart of a new multi-sided marketplace that will connect users with financial products and service providers.
Users will benefit from a single place where they can see a full range of financial products and services to help their savings grow.
Financial firms benefit from scale-- a way to put their offerings in front of many users at once, reducing the need for them to just favor those with the most initial capital.
Creating such a marketplace helps keep both sides honest. Our community of users can rate and recommend the financial products they feel worked well for them, helping them grow their hard-earned savings. Financial companies, whether traditional banks or new fintech firms, benefit from better access to information about users, helping them tailor products to a whole underserved side ot the market.
Better access to information helps make saving and investing more reliable. Financial reliability helps users feel in control of their financial futures.
We can’t reshape the economy. But we can leverage technology and a community to help users to spend smarter, save faster, and invest with confidence.
The Oval team is composed of young, but experienced entrepreneurs. We have backgrounds in technology and finance and our backers include major banks and investment funds. But these are not the characteristics that truly inform what we do.
What motivates us is what we have felt. Everyone on our team has had those moments of feeling overwhelmed by money. We have felt the guilt of spending and the frustration of saving. We have turned to our family and friends for advice when our banks had nothing to say. We have seen things that we want and felt it would be impossible to acquire them. We have felt we deserve more.
Oval Money was created in response to these feelings.
It is not just a technology that lives on your phone, but it an answer to what we feel about money when we don’t know what we should do.
Oval Money helps you know more about your finances, so you can do more with your finances.
That is what is means to #BeMoneyWise.