Bitesize InsurTech: MyFutureNow
June 2, 2017 Greg Brown
MyFutureNow is a platform that helps people consolidate their pension pots.
CEO Alan Browne is a former IFA who believes that not enough is being done to fill the advice gap. He was part of the 2016 Startup Bootcamp cohort.
Alan started the business in Ireland but moved to the UK for two reasons:
- RDR and impact on commission, resulting in a large advice gap
- The expected growth in lower value pensions pots as a result of auto-enrolment. Auto-enrolment is a UK government initiative that makes it compulsory for employers to automatically enrol their workers into a pension scheme.
How does MyFutureNow work?
MyFutureNow has built a platform to help consumers find their pension pots and potentially consolidate them. Alan is selling it to insurers and pension providers as co-branded or white-label product, but the platform itself is designed for consumer use.
Users are first asked to provide basic information about their current pension scheme. The platform then locates the customer and their other UK-based pensions using a combination of automation e.g. database searches and ‘a good old-fashioned phone call’ where needed.
Alan and the team believe that this is a valuable service in itself – many people are simply not aware, or cannot locate, pensions set up with a previous employer for example.
The customer is then presented with a cost / benefit analysis of consolidating these pensions into their active pension. If the customer chooses to progress, the platform automates the consolidation process.
Currently the functionality is ‘one shot’: either consolidate into your main provider or not. MyFutureNow want to be able to offer more flexible advice in the future and help customers make more decisions about their pensions.
MyFutureNow’s first client is Smart Pension, an auto-enrolment solution provider for SMEs. They recently landed a deal with a top five UK pension provider and are launching this month.
The Oxbow Partners view
The obvious challenge for businesses like MyFutureNow is inertia: people just don’t worry about things like pensions.
But the business does two smart things. First, it makes it very easy to take a decision on your pension and even easier to do the consolidation process. Second, they are not trying to build a D2C brand, but licencing their technology to existing players. The latter is, in our view, important: it’s one thing overcoming inertia, but it’s another entrusting your savings to an unfamiliar brand.
Another challenge will be data and the business’s ability to automate virtually all processes. Given that target customers will have relatively small pension pots, there will be little money available for fees. The government is pushing pension providers to apply PSD2, a European Regulation due to come into force in November 2017 for banks. PSD2 requires institutions to allow API access to customers’ account and payment details to approved third parties. The intention is that this will apply to pension providers by 2019. Just what MyFutureNow needs