Finax plans for 2022
Are you curious to see what we’ll bring to you in 2022? At Finax, we believe that investing and financial education can be an experience for you. That's why you can look forward to a decent dose of innovations and improvements this year again.
Juraj Hrbatý | Our results | 22. March 2022
The satisfaction I experienced towards the end of 2021 is difficult to express in words. If I had to compare it to anything in my life, it would be the moment my son let go of my wife's leg and took his first four independent steps in life towards me. A moment I will never forget.
In December, Finax reached its break-even point, at which our revenues matched our expenses, enabling us to take a significant step towards long-term sustainability and growth. A step where Finax can walk independently and no longer has to rely on its parents to support it financially.
From the very beginning, we set the goal of not representing another of those startups that spend millions of euros on growth without a plan to achieve profitability. Instead, we chose a pace that would be sustainable and fundable from our organic growth.
We seek to make our clients confident that we’ll take good care of their wealth for many decades to come. The fundamental prerequisite for the long-term survival of any company is sound economic management.
Even the €1.5 million we raised in the last funding round in the summer of 2021 now lies in our bank account in full amount. If we want to teach our clients to manage their finances properly, we need to have the same strict standards in performing our business.
Achieving sustainability presents us with new opportunities in three main spheres:
- gradually reducing fees,
- improving and enhancing our services,
- creating new and more profitable products.
To sum it up, we want you to get more value for a lower price. Hence, our primary motivation will not be to increase profits at any cost. The client has always been and remains at the center of our vision.
Rado reviewed Finax's results and contrasted them to our past-year plans in his blog The Results of Finax in 2021. Therefore, I will focus on our goals and plans for 2022 in this article.
Main Goals and Plans for 2022
As far as the company's plan is concerned, I will not burden you too much with our figures. In short, we have set the following, very ambitious, goals for 2022:
- 620 million euros of assets under management, which represents a year-on-year growth of more than 120%,
- 60,000 active clients, an increase of almost 100%.
From the client's point of view, which is probably of most interest to you, I would summarise our current objectives into these six main areas, which I will discuss more deeply below:
- we will launch the Finbot personal finance management app,
- we will launch a financial literacy education project for children,
- the Finax mobile app is due for several improvements,
- we will launch the Pan-European Pension Product (PEPP),
- good debt will help your savings grow more efficiently,
- we will expand our range of insurance products,
- making the Intelligent Wallet more attractive.
Finbot Launch is Around the Corner
We have informed you about the project of the digital platform for personal finance management in our communications several times, and some of you already have had the opportunity to test its beta version.
This project has proved to be more challenging than initially planned. The biggest challenge was connecting the bank accounts, where we had to discard six months of work and program the connection through another aggregator, which cost us a delay of several months.
What Can Our New Finbot Platform Do?
Around the world, there are a lot of mobile apps that help families with their personal finances (called PFM or Personal Finance Management apps). They are used to help you identify how and where you spend your money or to create budgets for different spending categories (for example, a monthly grocery budget).
A PFM app can save the average person up to 15% of their income. That way you can increase the value of your wealth faster thanks to Finbot.
We know that there is a large group of Central Europeans today who do not put any money aside because they simply have no money left for that purpose. They live paycheck to paycheck. The ebb represented by the pandemic unveiled who was swimming naked in the sea. People who had no financial reserve and lost their income suffered.
With this product, we, therefore, seek to reach people to whom personal finance has so far been a mystery. As was the case of Intelligent Investing, we have a long way to go. First, we need to get all the people out of financial trouble, show them the path of saving, and only then teach them to invest their spare funds.
You might think that your bank provides a similar tool. Wrong. Our app will consider your needs in many areas that you and your family need. Let me provide you with a few examples:
- We'll combine your account and your partner's account into one shared report, something banks don't provide,
- we will automatically synchronize all bank transactions with the bank and categorize them, leaving you with almost no extra work to do,
- we'll display your finances much more clearly than any available banking app,
- are you a family with two children? Compare your spending with other families with a similar profile and discover potential room for improvement,
- the app will proactively advise you on what steps you need to take to save more.
Finbot will have far more useful functions, but we want to keep some aces up our sleeve. This app starts our journey of vertical expansion in money management. Our services will no longer be solely about investing the saved funds, but by taking a proactive approach, we want to help our clients create the resources to invest as well.
No service currently available in Central Europe goes through all your expenses, even the smallest ones, seeking to find potential savings. Financial entities usually focus on sizable expenses and on creating space in your budget to sell financial products.
However, as they say in financial jargon, "the devil’s in the detail". A large number of small "painless" expenses hold the greatest potential for savings and more efficient financial management. By curing your expenses comprehensively, including the small ones, you can work wonders leading to your financial security. And that will be the goal of the Finbot app.
With this product, we believe we will deliver a significantly higher quality of service to our clients and make Finax an even more popular platform in personal finance.
In addition to the web app, the mobile app is almost ready as well, and a relaunch for beta users is planned for February.
Financial Education Project for Children
Another thing close to my heart is our project of financial education for children. This is an activity we’ve been working on with a team of students for over a year and a half now, and at the time of writing this blog, we are about to start the pilot phase.
Our ambition is to bring a set of complete study materials to teachers and students in a very simple and playful way that will not only be entertaining but also informative for children. In the pilot phase, we will launch the project for the second level of primary schools (grades 5-9) and gradually extend it to the first level (grades 1-4) and high schools.
We believe that this will give our children a better understanding of the financial world. However, let's not rush prematurely, we will soon provide closer information.
For many clients, the mobile app is becoming the tool they would like to use to comprehensively manage their investments while also using it to increase their financial awareness. Logging into the online account overview on the website is more of a rarity for them.
That's why, since last year, we've been improving the accessibility of our services and functions that you previously used through the web interface directly in the app.
We are gradually incorporating the most desired functionalities from the survey conducted among our clients last year.
At the end of the year, we focused on the most frequently used features such as the friend invitation program, quick deposits, and notifications. From the list of important improvements planned for this year, I would name the following:
- Notifications about purchases, sales, rebalancing, and discounts applied,
- client registration via the app,
- opening a new investment account,
- tracking accounts of multiple clients through one app (e.g. for families),
- clearer menu design and purchase of other services.
I personally can't wait for several new features. What about you?
Get a European pension with Finax
This is one of the products I was perhaps most looking forward to launching. Unfortunately, because the state didn’t find the money for a contribution of 100 euros per year for savers in the Personal Pension Product in its budget, the Ministry of Labour has decided to limit this product significantly.
We will be launching the pan-European pension plan anyway, mainly because of Poland and the Czech Republic, where the governments have prepared very favorable conditions for savers.
Given the fact that this is a long-term product with no early withdrawal option before retirement, it will also be significantly more profitable in terms of the fees Finax plans to charge on this product.
We can only hope that the competent people in Slovakia will also move forward and open competition to the 3rd pension pillar, which is currently expensive, technologically outdated, and inefficient.
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Good Debt Will Grow Your Savings More Efficiently
In 2021, our communication on the debt has focused on distinguishing good and bad debt. We have begun to separate the wheat from the chaff. Because good debt (debt with a very low interest used to buy assets), if set up well, can have many benefits, especially for the younger generation.
It does not have to end with just a mortgage, which makes housing more affordable. With house prices rising over the long term, your net worth also rises significantly faster if you use mortgage funding compared to avoiding debt altogether.
Over the last year, we've devoted much time to studying the impact of good debt on the growth of your investment wealth, deciding to come up with a product that can multiply the assets of our clients faster. We will use the premise that it is advantageous to borrow cheaply as long as the long-term return on your investment significantly exceeds the interest cost of the debt.
Naturally, higher return also means higher risk. Hence, this product will neither be suitable nor accessible for everyone. However, we will set the product responsibly enough to avoid threatening your savings by the risk.
Improved Offer in Term Life Insurance Coverage
Note: The following paragraph currently only applies to the Slovak market.
In 2021, we launched the sale of term life insurance in cooperation with our partner, the Czech insurance company Komerční pojištovna. We introduced the cheapest risk insurance of death from any cause.
For example, in the age range from 18 to 35 years, the insurance with a coverage of 50 thousand euros costs only 31.2 euros per year, unarguably making it the best offer on the Slovak market.
A recent survey, in which many of you participated, demonstrated an interest in:
- Increasing the insurance coverage to a higher amount,
- extending the offer to other types of risks.
Consequently, we will extend our risk life insurance offer to 100 thousand euros and introduce coverage for three main risks – disability, critical illness, and permanent consequences of an accident – this year.
These coverages will also spare you of a doctor's visit and filling out a complicated health questionnaire. The insurance contract will be concluded conveniently online in just a few clicks. Last year, we talked about a minor revolution in insurance. This year, we can already talk about a major one.
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Enhancing the Intelligent Wallet’s Attractivity
We are also working hard to enhance the appeal and differentiation of our Intelligent Wallet, a conservative portfolio for short-term investments. The vision is to replace the cash in the portfolio with an asset-backed fixed-interest security offering a higher yield than bank deposits or government bonds.
However, this is not a simple challenge with guaranteed success, as it is a relatively unprecedented solution, somewhat typical of Finax. Therefore, I will not go into details yet, so as not to promise something that we’ll be unable to deliver.
I believe that the list of our 2022 innovations will not end with these currently worked-on ones. Over the year, other ideas will surely emerge, improving our services and increasing your satisfaction, making your finance management more efficient and enjoyable, and increasing the long-term returns on your investments.
Thank You for Your Trust
What else to add? It is you, our clients, who keep moving Finax forward with your suggestions, ideas, or by finding answers to the problems that bother you. We just need to listen carefully and be open to changes that will improve the service we offer. Step by step.
Over 40 people are making sure your life stands on a solid financial foundation at Finax. Thank you for your trust.