Improve the wellbeing of young adults in finance
Fumopay, known as ‘fumo’ is on a mission to demonstrate that technology innovation within the banking and financial services sector can have a direct impact on the lives of our young generation to help them become financially savvy, in a somewhat desperate attempt to help people avoid unnecessary personal debt.
Seeing my three teenage boys having to make their educational and career decisions and navigate their financial independence really highlighted the total lack of personal financial education within this young generation, particularly providing the core basics of managing personal finances to better understand how banks and credit institutions really work, this was the real driving force behind launching fumo.
Having a long background within the eCommerce and payments industry, I have always known that one day I would bring a product to market that not only could I be proud of but would have an impact on people’s daily lives. This vision was finally realised with the advent of a new initiative called open banking. In 2018, the banking industry was finally being challenged with the introduction of this new approach to banking and payments, opening up the institutions to share information and system access to benefit consumers, this was the real catalyst that would allow me to design and launch fumo.
It’s quite a daunting task to launch a product in such a powerful sector, where the global institutions can swat you like a fly and not even notice it’s not only their financial power and reach, but they set the narrative of what consumers can expect or control how they will be serviced.
Social payments is at the heart of fumo. It's amazing to see how much money is borrowed between friends and families on a daily and weekly basis, so the first stage was to launch the fumo app to help consumers take control. We’ve all been there, we’ve borrowed money and can’t remember whether it’s been repaid - or whether you even got repaid - and had those awkward conversations over the smallest amounts, this topic has often driven a real rift between friends and families.
So, our narrative was really simple, before you trust the credit institutions - even if it’s to borrow a small amount - you firstly try a friend or family member. fumo provides a mechanism that gives both parties full transparency, what you’ve agreed, when monies are paid back and an ability to track payment status so there’s no awkwardness or ambiguity.
We realised at fumo that even with the growth of challenger banks, there’s no easy way to manage the entire lifecycle of borrowing between friends, it’s a conversation, a whatsapp, a bank transfer, back to social messaging, visits to the bank app to check and so on…. the beauty of fumo is the simplicity to be able to manage the entire process in one place, and more importantly not care who the users bank with, so consumers cannot be pressured or heavily influenced to switch banks.
We launched with a very strong focus on students and young adults in higher education as we could see they were most susceptible to borrowing but also the audience being heavily targeted by the institutions that fumo sets out to challenge.
That is only the start of the journey, as payments touch so many aspects of our daily lives, we are now looking at how we can help small business owners. Another audience at the mercy of the global payment providers, we aim to help these businesses get paid faster, cheaper and more easily. Again challenging the narrative set by banking giants.
As any Founder will know, there are so many learnings on the start-up journey and beyond, no matter your experience or tenure, every day is a learning day. No one believes in the product like you do or truly understands what ultimately drives your vision or sense of purpose. No one eats, sleeps and dreams 24 hours a day like you do but this is why you do what you do. Expect the unexpected and you can guarantee one thing, that your plan will never go to plan.