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Brits Spend Most of Their Life In Debt

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  • 63 per cent of British adults spend over half of their life in debt

  • A fifth of British adults admit they own 3 or more credit cards

  • Debt is one of the leading causes of shame for Brits

BRITISH adults spend more of their life in debt than out of it, as new research reveals 71% of adults feel the strain of not having enough money throughout their life.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults conducted by leading personal insolvency practice, Creditfix.co.uk, and published in the The UK Spending Report, has revealed that 63% of Brits spend an average of 46 years of their adult life in debt.

According to the study, those aged 25-34 were most likely to find themselves in debt due to mortgage/rent payments (75%), student loan repayments (53%) and owning a car (48%), while Brits aged 55 and over confess to their debt being the consequence of extravagant living (such as holidays) (54%) and home improvements (38%).

As Brits enter retirement, over a third (37%) still find themselves in debt which they will struggle to pay off while receiving their pension.

The data suggests that the impact of this debt on British adults is detrimental, as 34% of people confess that they haven’t exposed the true extent of their debt to their close friends and family, and 1 in 5 admit that they haven’t told their partner.

Almost half of British adults (45%) admitted to debt being one of the things they are most ashamed of in life, as well as the majority of respondents (82%) professing that being in debt would bother them.

Shockingly, 23% of people now admit to having 3 or more credit cards to cover the cost of living while keeping up to date with paying off debts.

Taylor Flynn, head of marketing at Creditfix, comments: “It’s difficult to hear that such a high percentage of adults spend so much of their lives in debt. It seems from the moment people become independent they are having to fret about keeping their heads above the water and the bank balance out of the red.

“Although we can see from the research many adults struggle to talk about their debt, there is plenty of friendly advice available to help work through financial problems and ease the strain. This way they can spend less time worrying about money and more time enjoying themselves”.

With over 70 years’ experience between their insolvency practitioners in the financial industry, Creditfix has successfully helped over 141,000 people with their debt over the years which has led to them becoming one of the most experienced in the market. Creditfix Limited is one of the largest personal insolvency practices in the UK, servicing Scotland, England, Wales and Norther Ireland.

Source: https://thefintechtimes.com/brits-spend-most-of-their-life-in-debt/

Payments

Digital Health Ecosystems Part 2: The Discovery Growth Engine

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In Part-1, ecosystem characteristics and successes in digital health were discussed. In Part-2, the focus turns to Discovery’s Vitality health ecosystem.

In September ’18, John Hancock declared that it would discontinue traditional life insurance and instead offer only its Vitality branded interactive health policies. This announcement was newsworthy at the time, as behavior-based programs such as Vitality had begun to transform insurance into clickable media content. As a leader in this market, Vitality provides pertinent insights for self-tracking in health insurance. Discovery Limited, a 1992 founded South African financial services group, became the largest health insurer in South Africa at the turn of the century. It soon initiated an international expansion spree centered on Vitality, a health promotion program comprising financial and non-financial incentives. The core proposition: resulting healthy behavior lowers rates of healthcare consumption and the price of cover.

Discovery’s approach resulted in record reductions in health costs as well as policyholder mortality. The success helped it replicate the model in 20+ markets through an ecosystem of partners with global insurers such as Ping An, AIA and Sumitomo Life in Asia; John Hancock and Manulife in North America and Generali in Europe. While retaining the core tenets of motivation and reward, the model was fine tuned for each geography, aligning with nuances of wellness, business models  and regulatory contexts.

In the past year, Vitality Group’s profit increased by 38% to US$27.1 million. Fee income grew 14% and insurance partners’ Vitality-integrated premiums grew by 26% to US $1.3 billion, as Vitality expanded to 30 markets. Membership from partners grew 33% to 2.4 million with total membership touching 4.4 million.

The central brand value hinges on three pillars: behavioral assessment, improvement and reward. Members opt for standard assessments including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar combined with a review of individual nutrition and wellness habits that result in Vitality points. By completing a Vitality check, customers earn up to 28,000 points. On meeting weekly fitness goals, customers can choose gifts between 150-750 Discovery Miles, which can be redeemed for rewards like  coffee or smoothies, or be saved to purchase larger rewards like plane tickets. For those that meet Vitality goals across Health, Drive, and Money, more attractive rewards are offered.

The Vitality Drive incentivizes vehicle insurance customers for safe driving behavior, using advanced telematics technology to track driver behavior. Vitality Money is offered by Discovery Bank, which rewards risk-averse financial habits like making long-term investments, purchasing insurance, and other “healthy” behaviors.

This shared-value insurance model has delivered superior value for clients, with much improved actuarial results for carriers, besides promoting a healthier society. The overarching strategy has been to pursue adjacencies while building arguably, the world’s largest behavior change platform. This strategy is most evident in cases like Ping An Health, where Discovery has a 25% equity partnership with China’s Ping An Group. In 2021 first half, this business segment witnessed a 62% growth over first half of 2020.

In the case of Generali Vitality, the program has engaged both retail and corporate customers across Europe in their journey towards healthier living. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was heightened engagement as exercises and a healthy lifestyle reduced the risk of hospitalization, even for those with comorbidities.

Discovery continues to invest in innovation, as demonstrated in its latest Connected Care platform that connects members to a range of home-based services. Virtual consultations are remotely guided by a doctor through connected TytoHome devices, which relay live feeds of clinical-grade images for more accurate diagnosis. Members receive post-consultation feedback such as EHRs, e-scripts, treatment plans and referral appointments. This engenders a coordinated care pathway suited for members who need to better manage their chronic conditions.

In the final Part-3, other dominant players such as Manulife with a different tack to health ecosystems, are elaborated.

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Source: https://dailyfintech.com/2021/09/16/digital-health-ecosystems-part-2-the-discovery-growth-engine/

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Fintech

JPMorgan head of fintech: Prepare for the ‘platform of platforms’ economy

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Financial institutions should plan now for the next major tech-based business paradigm — the platform of platforms. If that’s confusing, think of Uber. A platforms platform essentially means one platform that connects to other platforms — just like Uber has done, Jeremy Balkin, head of fintech and innovation, wholesale payments at JPMorgan Chase, told audiences […]

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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/payments/jpmorgan-head-of-fintech-prepare-for-the-platforms-platform-economy/

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Fintech

100 days until Christmas

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With only 100 days until Christmas Mozo has come up with a number of tips and tricks that could help you get on top of your debt and plan your purchases heading into the festive season.

“Many Aussies have gone into debt on a credit card or racked up a Buy Now Pay Later debt this year as they shopped online through lockdowns, but with Christmas fast approaching now is the time to tackle it,” says Mozo spokesperson, Tom Godfrey.

Tackling credit card debt 

When it comes to credit cards, the latest RBA figures show our national credit card debt is topping $20 billion, but the good news is if you act now you could put yourself in a better financial position before the sleigh bells start ringing.

Mozo’s database currently has 74 balance transfer cards with a 0% transfer fee and of those 50 have no establishment fee. Mozo found that if you’re carrying a $4,200 balance forward on a credit card with an average interest rate of 17% by taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer, you could save $157 before Santa pays a visit and $629 over 12 months.

“Taking advantage of a credit card balance transfer offer might be a good way to get on top of your debt but it’s important to continue to pay the balance down and be disciplined with your spending as the festive season approaches,” Godfrey says.

Pay down your Buy Now Pay Later balance 

Buy Now Pay Later services are booming with Mozo research finding 66% of Australians now have an account.

“With 100 days until Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to pay down your Buy Now Pay Later balance and put yourself in a good position to take advantage of the pre-Christmas sales,” says Godfrey.

Start saving now for Christmas 

With the latest industry research finding 35-49-year-olds are expected to spend an average of $726 each on gifts this year, now is a good time to start putting some money aside in a savings account to prepare for the peak retail season. By depositing $60.50 a week into a savings account you could achieve this balance two weeks before Christmas, leaving you time to complete your Christmas shopping and make the most of sales.

“Putting a little money aside each week in a savings account could be a good way to help  cover the cost of Christmas without putting the family finances under pressure,” Godfrey says.

See if a budgeting app can help you get on top of your finances

With many of us keeping our money in different places, it can be challenging tracking your expenditure across various banking and finance products. Open Banking apps such as Frollo let you sync up your various accounts so your transactions are automatically categorised in one place. You can also use them to set up and manage a Christmas budget to help ensure you’re not under financial pressure when the tinsel is packed away.

“Although the big four banks have been slow to embrace open banking, you don’t have to be. Using a budgeting app that allows you to see all your accounts and transactions in one place, can be a good way to see your overall financial position as we head towards Christmas,” says Godfrey.

Festive Finance Tips:

  • Start planning your Christmas purchases now and keep an eye out for pre-Christmas sales

  • Consider a 0% balance transfer offer to help you pay down your credit card debt. You can also use an online calculator to work out how quickly you can pay off your debt

  • Pay down your Buy Now Pay Later balance before the peak retail season arrives

  • Set up a Christmas present savings plan and see if you can bank a little interest along the way

  • Consider taking control of your finances and budgeting for your Christmas purchases using an Open Banking app such as Frollo

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Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/100-days-until-christmas/

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Crowdfunding

Another one Buys Now Pays Later: Goldman acquires GreenSky

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It’s official: Buy Now Pay Later firms should start picking out Lamborghinis.

In the fifth example of major industry news in four weeks, it was announced another BNPL would be acquired. 

Wednesday morning Goldman Sachs, not looking to be left behind, announced it would be acquiring GreenSky for $2.24 billion. Goldman PR described GreenSky as the “largest fintech platform for home improvement consumer loan originations,” but the firm also offers healthcare and consumer loans. 

GreenSky stock jumped 52 per cent to $11.79, likely to hover below the $12.11 a share price point Goldman agreed to buy. Goldman stock did not move an inch.

After going public at a valuation of $4 billion in 2018, GreenSkys stock has tanked in the three years since. Still, the US-based firm boasts a network of 4 million consumers financing a total of $30 billion using the “apply and buy” online tech and holds a $9 billion loan portfolio.

Goldman has already been on top of the BNPL game. At the beginning of August, Apple and Goldman announced a US-based BNPL system called Apple Pay Later. Goldman would underwrite US-based Apple Pay users who wanted to… pay later. But soon after, Apple said they would work with Affirm for BNPL outside of the US, starting in Canada. 

In a short span of days things heated up: Square is acquiring Australian Afterpay for $29 billion, Paypal bought Japan’s Paidy for $2.7 billion, and Amazon announced customers could pay later with Affirm. Though, like the yet-to-be acquired or public Klarna, most of these firms are e-commerce based BNPL. GreenSky is more of a Merchant focused, contractor financing option firm.

Sachs bought now, getting paid later

Goldman may be aiming for the US home improvement market, recently exploding— people have been stuck at home with nothing to do but build new cabinets for nearly two years.

Some estimates put the improvement market at more than $420 billion to optimistically rise upward of a trillion by 2030. Goldman can aim to finance that exact market through more than 10,000 merchant partners that use the GreenSKy platform.

“We have been clear in our aspiration for Marcus to become the consumer banking platform of the future, and the acquisition of GreenSky advances this goal,” Chairman and CEO David M. Solomon said.

It’s not a style of the time, one-off purchase from a neo banking/fintech/payments company. Instead, Goldman Sacks will add to its collection of financial startups and companies forming the growing Marcus brand.

Goldman has been building its consumer banking app before it was in vogue. In 2016, Goldman bought a web-based retirement savings firm called Honest Dollar. Two years later, it picked up a personal finance startup called Clarity Money.

Last month, Goldman bought Insurer NN Group’s money management arm for nearly $2 billion.

“The GreenSky team and I are thrilled to be joining Goldman Sachs,” David Zalik, Chief Executive Officer of GreenSky said.

“From GreenSky’s inception, our mission has been to deliver exceptional value helping businesses grow and delight their customers. In combination with Goldman Sachs, we’re excited to continue delivering innovative point-of-sale payment solutions for our merchant partners and their customers on an accelerated basis.”



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Source: https://www.lendacademy.com/another-one-buys-now-pays-later-goldman-acquires-greensky/

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