The journey from spender to saver to investor

FinTech challenger brand, Dozens hopes to offer products designed to help people reach their financial goals, whatever they may be, because every journey is different – even if that journey starts at “the worst high street in Britain”.

What is Dozens – what problem are you solving?

Dozens is a new FinTech that offers a range of features to help consumers better manage their money. We offer a current account, smart budgeting and savings tools and an investment manager, all in one app.

The traditional model for financial institutions depends on credit products for profitability, meaning there is a fundamental misalignment between the incentives of the business and the consumer; consumers are rewarded for spending rather than saving because their debt drives profits.

At Dozens we’re designed differently. Our interests are aligned with the consumer’s financial wellbeing, so we do well when our customers save, invest and grow financially. We aim to open up access to financial products and provide our customers with simple, digital access to financial literacy, so that saving is easier and more rewarding for everyone.

You say your app will help people move from a ‘spender, to saver to investor’, how does it do this?

It’s important to point out that this journey won’t happen overnight, and that not everyone starts and wants to end in the same place – but we want to help people, wherever they are, to get to where they want to be. We want people to feel empowered by their finances, not encumbered by them.

The way we help people on their journey is by providing a range of tools that they might need –for those looking to become a saver, our smart budgeter will take into account all of your expenses and adapt as you spend, so that you know exactly how much you have left today, this week and this month. Then, they can set up unique IFTTT savings rules (like save £1 every time it rains) and auto roundups (that will round up your transactions to the nearest pound), which make putting money aside easy and automatic.

For those looking to grow their savings with no risk, our 5% p.a. Fixed Interest Bonds could be the way to go. The minimum bid is just £100, and the bidding system is designed as a reverse auction, so the lowest bids are always prioritised. The 5% p.a. Fixed Interest will not fluctuate and there’s no lock in. This is part of our mission to open up access to those higher return products to people who don’t usually have them.

For those who are in a suitable position to invest, we have an easy and accessible investment feature, with a revolutionary ‘swipeable’ risk assessment and a range of thematic investments organised by risk level.

All of these products are designed to help people reach their financial goals, whatever they may be, because every journey is different.

You opened a high street community space in London, how was this different to a branch, and what happened there? Why was it launched?

Harrow Road was recently ranked as the worst high street in London in terms of economic performance, and its last bank branch closed down over two years ago. We wanted to know how the lack of local financial services, has affected local businesses, consumers and residents.

The popup we opened on Harrow Road, in collaboration with Westminster City Council, was conceived as a community space where we could run financial and digital education events and talk to this community about their relationship with money. We know that there is often both a digital and financial skills gap and we wanted to try and bridge this gap and reach people who aren’t using banking apps yet. Our aim was to help people learn about finance and how they can better manage their money, and to get an idea of what their ideal financial service on the high street would look like in the future.

How was the launch – How much engagement did you see?

We had really good engagement and learned a lot from the local community members, community leaders, councillors and local businesses.

Our stay covered a variety of topics for different audiences (residents and retailers), from better budgeting to tech for retailers, social media and email marketing, a Google digital skills workshop, spreadsheets and financials and how to build your savings.

Our aim is always to help people increase their digital and financial capability, because we know how closely the two are linked. It takes time to engage with a community, and we really valued the time we had to get to know people in Harrow Road.

What advice would you give new startups in this space?

Focus on the community you are aiming to help. Dozens was created in collaboration with an online community of 300 hundred people from across the UK. Their experiences, and stories about their relationship with money really helped us create an app that would improve how our customers manage their finances, whatever their financial situation.

Also, focus on the culture of the company you’re creating, because it is what your staff will live day to day. At Dozens we’ve worked really hard to create a transparent environment where open discussions are actively encouraged. Our hiring process is not based on CVs and when assessing our staff, we put greater emphasis on values over performance. People are given opportunities to get involved in aspects of the business that are outside their usual remit. All of this creates an environment where people feel valued and motivated.

We have an array of craft beers and independent music at FinTECHTalents – Give us a great song to listen to AND tell us your favourite tipple.

Midas by Maribou State. Meantime Yakima red ale.

Dozens will be taking part in the Day 1 ‘Keynote debate’  at FinTECHTalents this November.