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Founder of banking and budget app Yondr on fintech futures

Step over “financial wellness,” the next frontier for fintechs is “financial intelligence,” says the founder of the alternative to digital banking Yondr.

Money management is something of an obsession for Melbourne-based entrepreneur Shane Chanel.

He first knew he wanted to be a financial planner as a 16-year-old student at Melbourne’s Nazareth College. After studying financial planning at Deakin University, he landed what he thought would be his dream job.

“I started doing financial planning thinking, ‘I’m going to be there to help these people with their finances and help them invest and grow their money,'” Shane tells Startup Daily. “And such a big part of it was insurance sales. It’s just something that didn’t sit well with me.

Shane made the move to the capital markets to take a more involved role in clients’ growing portfolios. Over the course of his 15-year career in finance and banking, it became very clear to him what was missing in the way financial institutions served their customers.

Shane saw the growth of neobanks such as Monzo in the UK and N26 in Germany and felt the Australian market was underserved when it came to lower cost, customer-driven financial services with budgeting tools embedded in their platforms.

“There are many trends within the banking industry that are beginning to change the expectations customers have of their providers and what they want beyond that. A bank isn’t just going to provide transaction services – they’re going to do a lot more,” notes Shane.

“We work closely with customers to determine the best possible product-market fit. They dictate to us what they want and drive our product offering.”

Enter ‘financial information’

While the idea of ​​“embedded finance” is nothing new in the banking world, the focus on financial literacy and transparency is becoming a core part of digital banking challengers like Yondr. Only two thirds of Aussies are considered ‘financially literate’. The recent HILDA (Household, income and labor dynamics in Australia) A survey of 17,000 Aussies found that financial literacy declined when participants were asked basic questions about savings accounts, interest rates and investments.

It’s no wonder that “financial well-being” and “financial well-being” have become such buzzwords in the banking industry. Shane says the ability to create products and services focused on “financial intelligence” is the next frontier.

“It’s based on behavioral science plus habits,” Shane says of Yondr’s upcoming developments. “We basically give them a budgeting tool that is fully automated. It should help people manage their money better.”

Using AI and other machine learning processes, these budgeting tools have the potential to change a customer’s spending behavior in a more proactive way than we’ve seen before.

“We don’t just base these predictive analytics on this budget advice and recurring transactions. We consider a lot of behavioral science, including things like the weather,” explains Shane. “If it’s a hot day outside, you’re more likely to have a drink. Or if it’s a cold day, you might sit at home and hop on Netflix or shop online. Understanding your spending habits helps you make better financial decisions.”

Banking, budgeting and behavioral sciences

Yondr, which officially launched in 2022 with the backing of former ANZ CEO Mike Smith, combines transaction services with money management tools. There are virtual cards and a multi-currency wallet with exchange rates that beat traditional banks, but there are also comprehensive budgeting tools to monitor, track, and set budget limits, split your expenses, and access real-time spending analytics.

“You’ll start seeing trends on your phone,” says Shane. “So in my case I spend the least money on Mondays. I spend the most on Tuesdays.”

“When I noticed I spent the most money on Tuesdays, I flipped through my transaction history and found myself buying a lot of drinks after work and eating out almost every Tuesday. I found that 74 percent of my eating out takes place on Friday and Wednesday. So this is collecting my data and telling me things I didn’t even know about myself.

“Having this information readily available makes it much easier for our clients – and myself – to be aware of any common expenses over time.”

In the current cost of living crisis, financial intelligence is financial power. The depth of the customer experience, as well as the speed at which it is delivered, will be critical for fintechs like Yondr and their major banking competitors.

“We are incredibly proud to be able to have a feature-rich product on the market with a few thousand customers and all the bells and whistles we have,” he says. “These customers are on board for just over $500,000. No other bank or major organization could do what we have done for even $50 million… we have the runs on the board.”

Shane says his own financial habits have changed over time, especially since he secured his first $500,000 capital raise.

“I think I became more money conscious later in life,” he laughs. “Mainly because of the startup life. You just have no choice.”

Yondr expresses interest in his next capital raise. Go to Yondr Money website And select ‘Investor’ for more information.

This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with Yondr.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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