Want to call the shots? DIY platforms might be for you.
Author: Jono O’Grady
Written: 07 12 2022
In New Zealand we live and breathe ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) culture. As a little country at the bottom of the Earth we have always done things differently. Out of necessity we’ve been tinkerers, inventors, and pragmatists. Many of us like to go at it alone, making personal but informed decisions, calling on what we know and learn rather than always relying on ‘experts.’ The last ten years in particular has seen Aotearoa have an explosion in our DIY culture. But we’re not talking about paint rollers, number 8 wire, or even tech start-ups – we’re talking about digital platforms for personal finance.
In the last ten years these platforms have become more prevalent in everyday use. Perhaps this is due to the general tide of digitisation, and ‘platformatisation’ or maybe there truly is a better way to keep your personal financial house in order. The realm is wide, with platforms now across personal investments, insurance and even the creation of your Will.
Footprint and Flint Wealth are two digital platforms aimed at New Zealand consumers interested in consciously managing their personal finances. They both enable their customers to make informed but personal choices about their financial futures. Footprint specialises in online Will creation – digitising a process which has often been lengthy, time consuming and expensive, and as a result, they’ve made having a Will more accessible for Kiwis across the country. Flint Wealth on the other hand is an investment platform specialising in managed funds – lowering the entry point for investing in managed funds directly from as high as $10,000 down to $50.
So, what role do platforms play when it comes to financial literacy, and why should you consider using a digital platform? We spoke with Angela Vale, CEO of Flint Wealth, and Belinda Heunis, Chief Business Officer (CBO) of Footprint to get their thoughts on the role that digital platforms can play.
Belinda explained that “Footprint is on a mission to shift the perception in New Zealand that Wills are only for the older generation. We have set out to build awareness of Wills, increase knowledge and enable action to protect families and avoid financial hardship through encouraging people to have a Will in place. With Footprint it is easy to do a Will in on average 15 minutes, and customers are supported with learning modules and special offers through the Footprint platform.” Footprint is an interesting example of the wider function that personal financial platforms are playing in New Zealand, with a heavy focus on customer education.
Angela expressed similar thoughts about the role of online platforms. She explained that “online platforms have made it so much easier to access financial products and have really made personal finance accessible to so many people. Gone are the days of needing $1,000, $5,000 or even $10,000 to invest directly with a fund manager. On the Flint platform you can access these same funds for as little as $50. Online platforms have an important role to play in financial wellbeing, not just through providing financial products but through facilitating educational content and empowering people to make their own, informed financial decisions.”
From the conversations with Belinda and Angela two themes emerged: the role platforms play in financial education and accessibility.
Both Footprint and Flint Wealth focus on customer education. Increasing knowledge is part and parcel of offering a platform where customers are encouraged to make their own informed decisions. While both platforms don’t provide financial advice, they do provide education and resources to inform customers and allow them to make their own educated decisions. It highlights the role that digital platforms have to play in education – reducing the knowledge gap in this important part of life.
Accessibility is a large part of why digital businesses like Footprint and Flint Wealth exist. There are multiple aspects to accessibility including ease of use, reducing cost barriers, and digitising manual processes. Both Footprint and Flint Wealth provide accessible services for customers compared with their traditional counterparts.
These two areas highlighted by Footprint and Flint Wealth – education and accessibility – are two key aspects of digital platforms. It’s part of the reason why Footprint and Flint have collaborated to produce a series of content, and why Footprint customers are eligible to receive special offers from Flint Wealth through the Footprint platform. The collaboration is a natural fit, with both platforms empowering customers to make confident and informed financial decisions.
IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER:
All content shared is of a general nature, current to the time it was penned, and is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions, please be sure you have completed full due diligence. This should include reading the product disclosure statement (PDS), considering fees and taxation, identifying your time horizons, and understanding the performance history and reputation of the investments you are considering.
Please note: When investing you are not guaranteed to make money (and on occasion you may lose some or all of the money you began with). Seek independent advice to establish if an investment is suitable for your financial situation and long-term wealth generation goals.