This week we are joined by Matt Ford from Pariti.
Pariti helps you take control of your money. The app connects to your different bank accounts and credit cards to provide a simplified view of where you stand, a plan for improvement and relevant financial products when needed.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
Pariti is a small but hugely ambitious company with a team of just five!
• Matt Ford (founder and CEO) – strategy consultant turned fintech entrepreneur, studied at Durham and Cambridge. Before founding Pariti, he was Head of Acquisitions at OnTrees, another fintech startup which exited to MoneySuperMarket
• Pete Townsend (tech lead) – Kiwi, who has been working in London start-ups and corps for the past ten years. Previous development lead at OnTrees.
• Caylee Farndon-Taylor (product designer) – studied fine arts, female tech trailblazer with geek girl
• Luca Chiarelli (mobile lead) – Italian man about town, based in Barcelona. Previously lead iOS developer at Peak and Busuu
• Emily Kaye (marketing & communications) – international relations graduate, and yoga aficionado.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
Matt Ford – CEO & founder
My general responsibilities? … where do I start 😉 Given we’re such a small team, I lead all the commercial side of the business, including marketing, business development, operations and also product. Did I mention we’re hiring??
Can you give us an overview of your business?
Pariti is a mobile platform to help people take control of their finances and access fairer financial products.
The app connects to a user’s bank accounts and credit cards to provide a simplified view of where they stand and a plan for improvement. We automatically forecast your upcoming income and bills to show you what you can afford to spend each week and notify you about what’s ahead. In cash positive weeks, users are incentivised to save money to build up their financial security, while in more difficult weeks they are motivated to make savings and avoid falling short.
We think of ourselves as a “distributed bank”. One that identifies problems and opportunities that may be ahead, encourages positive financial behaviours to improve your situation, and offers relevant credit and savings products when needed.
Tell us how you are funded.
Pariti is venture capital funded. We raised our seed round in 2015 from well known investors including Index Ventures and JamJar Investments.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
Pariti was born in late 2014 out of a desire to improve people’s financial health.
Our vision is to fundamentally change how people think about spending and saving, and to help build greater financial stability across the nation. In the UK alone, one in five adults are deemed over-indebted and 43% of 18-24 year olds have less than £250 in their bank accounts. This lack of financial resilience is impacting people’s well being and limiting their life choices.
Skewed commercial incentives for financial product providers (archaic credit scoring and silo’d banking) have also exacerbated these challenges and left millions fighting to make it to their next paycheck with limited support.
Pariti helps address these problems. We’re a mobile platform that 1) helps people take control of their money, 2) provides fair, relevant financial products and 3) provides a better way to assess and improve financial health.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
We have a strong millennial user base, with 63% of users under 24 years old. Most of our users want to save, and want to start building their future, but have previously found it difficult either due to volatile income, the cost of servicing credit cards/debts or simply because they struggle staying on top of their money.
Our revenue model is two-fold:
• Firstly, (upon FCA approval) we aim to provide relevant savings and credit products to users when needed, delivered by trusted partners. These products all aim to improve financial wellbeing by, for instance, reducing existing interest repayments, or identifying micro savings opportunities.
• Secondly, we will provide a credit assessment API for third parties (telcos, utility providers etc) to help them better understand the financial standing of applicants and reducing their credit risk.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
I’d accelerate the open banking movement. PSD2 has the potential to fundamentally change the industry, breaking down the data silos that currently exist and allowing consumers to access products more effectively. Huge strides have already been made, but there’s a lot that’s still undefined.
Pariti is very much a first mover in the UK, and the concept of ‘information banks’ or ‘distributed banks’ is still very nascent. Over the next few years however, we expect consumers to increasingly turn to ‘over-the-top’ players such as ourselves to have their primary banking relationship, which unlocks the potential to build much more consumer-orientated services and products. That can only be a good thing!
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
The future of banking may not be a bank at all. Banks need to start recognising that the days of ‘owning’ a customer relationship for life, servicing them only with their own products, are over. With the rise of fintech, consumers now have broader and cheaper products to choose from which are not delivered by their primary bank. The large banks are certainly not going to disappear tomorrow, but they need to accept that certain areas of their business will become a utility and that more consumer orientated fintech players such as ourselves can better service the market by utilising these services and building mutually profitable partnerships.
What phone are you carrying and why?
Iphone 6. It’s big (but not a crazy phablet), it seamlessly syncs with my other Apple devices and it’s ideal for showcasing Pariti!
Where do you get your industry news from?
I find Twitter great for breaking fintech news. There’s a very active and enthusiastic fintech community who surface interesting thought pieces and certainly don’t hold back on championing the emerging business models in the sector.
For more long-form content, Medium is one of my main go-to sources. If you can cut through the general fintech hype and noise, there are some fascinating and insightful articles by investors, entrepreneurs and industry commentators that are well worth a read.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
Jan Hammer @janatindex, fintech guru and our partner at Index
Rob Moffat @robmoff, Balderton VC with a great perspective in European fintech
Huy Nguyen Trieu @huynguyentrieu, author of disruptive finance blog and Citi MD
Can you suggest the name of an Angel Investor or VC that might be interested in being profiled?
Startup Funding Club
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
Revolut. Zero fee international money transfer… what’s not to like!
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
I think 2016-2017 will be the year when we really see how the new ‘neo banks’ will play out. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the likes of Mondo, Tandem and Atom, but they all face a major uphill battle. Gaining adoption of prepaid cards is relatively easy; capturing share of the current account market is very different. I suspect we won’t see who the real winners in this space will be for a few years, but I predict there will be some major casualties along the way.
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