【初創手記】開拓亞洲個人理財應用程式市場

By team gini on July 26, 2018

大約10年前,美國首個個人理財(Personal Financial Management,PFM)應用程式 Mint面世,令單調無聊但至關重要的事情,如個人財富管理、追踪及預算變得有趣。更重要的是,Mint是一個免費的手機應用程式。

Mint的出現在當時十分轟動,它在短短兩年間內已吸納了150萬名用戶,其後更被數據整合公司Intuit以1.7億美元收購。不久之後,其創辦團隊的成員相繼離開,並以個人名義成名,其中包括500 Startups的創始人Dave Mcclure。

 

美國 成熟的個人理財App市場

在收購Mint的時候,Intuit 只是一間市值100億美元的公司,時至今日,它的價值已經是當時的四倍,而Mint估計佔當中的至少25%。但隨著創辦團隊的離去,Mint已經風光不再,由受消費者歡迎的產品變成了偏重預算的理財App,漸漸開始變得有點單調。

 

長江後浪推前浪

在推出Clarity Money時,其創辦人Adam Dell 指因Mint功能不夠多元化,所以才銳意開發Clarity Money。這顯然是大部份人的想法,因為Clarity Money在推出的短短5個月內就吸引了10萬名用戶,並獲得了1,100萬美元的B輪融資。而Clarity Money並不是唯一一間挑戰Mint地位的初創企業,同時期還有Personal Capital、Toshl Finance和MoneyLion。

隨著整體的金融服務逐漸趨向以客為本,PFM程式的出現越來越受年青人歡迎,尤其是他們已開始厭倦使用沉悶的銀行理財app。

 

歐洲— 領先全球的「開放銀行」(Opening Banking)

放眼歐洲,消費者漸漸開始積極管理他們的財務生活。最新的歐洲支付服務指令(PSD2)成功引領了一大批正著手革新傳統銀行服務的金融初創企業更進一步。只提供app 版本的理財管理工具如Monzo、Revolut和Starling Bank正在重塑銀行體驗、提供消費追踪、預算、即時匯款以及降低銀行費用方面均取得重大成功。

 

亞洲—年輕且充滿活力的市場

亞洲的本土市場細小且分散,受到市場規模所限制,亞洲現時並沒有一個能主導整個金融市場的個人理財app,有些地區甚至沒有出現類似的應用程式。環觀亞洲,香港、台灣、韓國和日本等地擁有完善的金融體系,長久以來都均是由傳統銀行所主導。而這些地方,大部分的金融科技公司都是專門向銀行推銷產品的B2B企業,只有少數公司推出針對消費者的金融科技產品。

 

香港 — 全新的市場

香港金管局總裁陳德霖曾經表示:「提升我們的銀行系統至更高水平的智能系統不僅是一件可以做的事,而是一件必須要做的事」。而金融管理局最近對開放API的倡議證明了這並不是空談。嶄新科技的出現、智能手機的普及,以及機不離手的年輕一代,將會是推動香港金融科技領域發展的重要因素。

我們深信只有將個人財務控制權交還給用戶,才能讓他們掌握自己的財富,並做出謹慎的財務決策。一直以來,香港的金融市場都是由少數大司所主導,嚴重缺乏透明度。香港值得擁有一間專為滿足消費者需要而設的公司,並且提倡金融資訊的透明度及認知,而gini正正向這個目標邁進 。

我們正積極收集Beta用戶的意見,以構建更完善的gini。隨著開放銀行逐漸在不同地區興起,這熱潮將會為有意開拓香港及亞洲市場,利用先進科技改革當地銀行服務及產品的金融初創企業帶來龐大的商機。

 

作者:Raymond Wyand 衛理文

gini 行政總裁兼聯合創辦人

曾為花旗銀行亞太區金融市場結構性信用產品與解決方案部副總裁,負責優化監管資金、CLO整合、證卷化及信用衍生工具。擁有英國倫敦國王學院所頒發的社會科學及商業學士學位。

The Massive Untapped Personal Finance App Market in Asia

 

About 10 years ago, Mint, a US Personal Financial Management (PFM) App was an instant hit. Mint came out of nowhere and made boring but crucial things like managing personal finance, budgeting and money tracking kind of fun. And most importantly, it was free.

Mint was a sensation amongst consumers, hitting 1.5 million users within two years before being acquired by data aggregator Intuit for US$170 million. The founding team left shortly after, and many went on to become famous in their own right. This included Dave Mcclure, founder of 500 startups, and Noah Kagan (the original Digital Guerrilla marketer).

USA, the mature PFM App Market

When Mint was acquired, Intuit was a $10bn company. Today it is worth 4x that amount, with Mint estimated to be at least 25% of the valuation. But with the founding team gone, Mint has turned from the exciting consumer champion into exactly what it was trying to disrupt. With its heavy emphasis on budgeting Mint has become kind of boring…

The disruptor becomes the disrupted

When Clarity Money launched, founder Adam Dell claimed that he “…started Clarity Money because I was frustrated by how little you can do with Mint”. He was clearly not alone, within 5 months they scored 100,000 users and landed $11 million of Series B funding. And they are not the only startup taking the fight to Mint’s backyard – Personal Capital, Toshl Finance, and MoneyLion are also joining the battle to topple Mint.

With an overall financial service shift towards customer-centricity, this new breed of PFM Apps is getting popular among millennials, who are tired of being stuck with the poor user experience often associated with banking apps.

Europe, far ahead in Open Banking

If we look at Europe, consumers are beginning to take a more active role in how their financial lives are run. The new European Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) has helped to usher in a segment of fintech startups that have begun eating into the market share of traditional banks. App-only service providers like Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank have all had significant levels of success in reinventing the banking experience, offering spending trackers, budgeting, instant money transfer and minimal bank fees.

Asia, a young and dynamic market

In Asia, where local markets are diverse and in some cases limited by size, it is not only hard to find a dominant or leading PFM App – in many cases there are no PFM apps at all. Well-established financial systems like Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan are dominated by the traditional banks. For these markets, ‘fintech’ has referred largely to B2B businesses that exclusively pitch products to banks – and very few of these ever reach the consumers. But this is all about to change…at least in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Norman Chan said, “The upgrading of our banking system to a new and higher level of Smart Banking is not just something nice-to-have but a must” – and this turned out not to be a soundbite. The new Open API initiative shows that regulators have embraced action over conversation, and the influx of new technologies, high smartphone penetration rate and increasingly tech-savvy millennials look set to propel HK into a leading position in fintech.

Hong Kong, a fresh ground market

At gini, we strongly believe in putting control of personal finances back in users’ hands, giving them the ability to track their money and make prudent financial decisions.

For too long finance in HK has been conducted in the shadows; dominated by a few players who benefit little from transparency. HK deserves a company that is built around the consumer, that addresses their own needs, and is an advocate for transparency and financial literacy. We hope to make gini that company.

We’re building our product from the ground up, based on the feedback from our amazing beta community that has grown to over 5,000 in less than a week. With the prevailing trends of Opening Banking and Open APIs in different regions, there will be tremendous opportunities for fintech startups who want to help consumers with advanced technology and reshape banking services and products to expand their footprints in Hong Kong, as well as Asia.

 

Raymond Wyand is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of gini, the first personal financial management app powered by bank-level security in Hong Kong. Prior to this, Ray is a former Vice President at Citibank, part of the Global Credit Trading Business based in Hong Kong. His areas of expertise included Regulatory Capital Optimization, CLO Syndication, Securitization and Credit Derivatives.

www.gini.co


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