Pennyworth, Your New Year Solution
The launch of our New Year campaign this week seems a perfect backdrop on which to reflect. On where we’ve got to with Pennyworth this past year. On where we are heading next. And most importantly, why.
Mind the gap. The problem we’re aiming to solve at Pennyworth is complex. We live in uncertain times, facing a combination of global threats and risk of complacency. Many people are hard at work making their way in this uncertain world - aspiring to progress and live their best lives. Often too busy or unsure about how best to plan or get the most from their finances. New Year is for many a time to reassess goals and set new resolutions.
Unfortunately, traditional banks don’t solve this problem. They have little to help these people plan or progress their goals, and most must make do with poor value and impersonal service. The reason is that the banks are an industrial legacy: high-cost branch networks and computer systems mean they are unable to offer better rates (at least without hurting profitability); whilst centralised and siloed organisations make customisation difficult and adaptation slow. The result is a value and advice gap.
Our mission at Pennyworth is to fix this. To build a bionic bank for busy people, so they can reach their goals. Closing the value and advice gap with AI-driven tailored finance. There are perhaps more important problems in the world, but this is the one we are best equipped to solve:
Reach your goals. Our New Year Solution is a goals-based financial planning app. We believe in goals-based planning as research shows that setting goals is one of the most effective ways of achieving your objectives. We also know that many find the process mentally effortful. Pennyworth’s financial planning technology helps you discover, set and track your most important goals easily and turn them into a financial plan at the click of a button. Check out how the app works in our new video or try it yourself by downloading from our website.
Bionic banking for busy people. It is also in this New Year that we will be truly remaking banking for the twenty-first century. With new bionic capabilities that put a private banker in your pocket to manage your financial wellbeing. Helping you reach your goals faster and more confidently with leading rates, tailored savings strategies and a bespoke borrowing line. Building the UK’s first AI-powered bank, aimed at the 10 million UK aspiring-affluent consumers that face the most serious value and advice gap.
Support for our thesis: For those that believe banking has already been disrupted, our vision is perhaps a contrarian one. In fact traditional banks remain hugely profitable and the first wave of neo-banks have failed to replace them or solve the financial value and advice problem. They have mainly acquired younger, low-value customers onto expensive current accounts and it is now difficult and costly for them to change. It is therefore pleasing to see a number of well-known industry commentators support and reinforce our thesis:
Fintech investor, advisor and author, Alessandro Hatami, could be describing Pennyworth when he writes about the Bank Of The Future (BOTF) as a real-time personal bank authorised to use the customer’s data and take the best course of action. Providing personalised solutions, such as intelligent guidance and a master credit line, rather than one-size-fits-all products: “We believe that the BOTF is the first truly customer-centric bank, finally acknowledging that customers do not want to buy banking products, they want solutions to help them achieve their financial goals”.
CEO and co-founder of Fintech consultancy 11:FS, David Brear, describes our model well as he outlines his big idea for banking in 2022: "#9: Self-driving money will transform our financial wellbeing. Your device becomes your private banker in your pocket...I see providers algorithms getting you from A to B to C with minimal intervention".
Fintech influencer, lecturer and author, Helene Panzarino, put Pennyworth on her holiday wish list as a favourite money management tool, as part of the 2021 Fintech Countdown: "I like the goal-based investing and saving features and tools that come with visual dashboards, as they appear in some of the new banks like ... Pennyworth. Having a cohesive plan and view makes it easier - and more rewarding - to set and achieve financial goals".
Payments expert and Fintech advisor, David Parker, notes that fintechs increasingly realise that with the help of open banking, they don’t need to provide a current account. Commenting on how freelancer-fintech Coconut had ditched current accounts for open banking: “We will see many other businesses such as Pennyworth and others I am sure follow the same route. Current accounts used to be at the heart of a financial relationship, today they no longer need be. At the heart is the provider that gives the best customer experience and added value.”
Progress to date has been significant: We’ve assembled a proven team that have successfully built banks together before. In 2021 we completed the UK bank licence pre-application process in just 12 months, at zero cost and quicker than many start-up banks. And finally, we designed, built, tested our goals-based financial planning app with 400+ beta testers and now launched on App Store and Google Play.
New year solution: 2022 promises to be a pivotal year. Objective one is to complete our first external funding round with the help of private and angel investors (if interested, get in touch directly and follow the raise here). These monies will be used to grow the team, add open-banking and other product features to the app and finalise the bank authorisation process. All whilst helping more people discover and reach their goals.
We’re now embarked on our mission and you can track our progress by registering here.