By Mark O’Brien
A former financial broker has created an application that he hopes will revolutionise the way people approach their personal finances.
Sean McNulty is the founder of MyMoneyPlatform, a free-for-consumer online tool that allows users to analyse all of their personal finance and insurance needs in one place.
During their market research the company also found that brokers were lacking a medium on which they could engage consumers digitally. As technology enriches more and more of our daily lives, the insurance and planning industry is seen to be lacking in pace in terms of digital transformation.
“I realised that there is no education in personal finances in primary, secondary or third level education,” says McNulty.
“The people we learn how to manage our money from are the same people selling us complicated products.”
McNulty is a former financial planner and worked in the hedge fund industry with JP Morgan for three years after completing a Masters in Finance at Smurfit Business School. He was inspired to create MyMoneyPlatform when he decided to get help with his own finances and found that little was forthcoming.
“When I was working in JPM I started to see if I could get some help with my own finances,” he says.
I was referred to a financial planner by some colleagues but once he saw I wasn’t going to make him a lot of money I never heard from him again – even after chasing him five times.
McNulty decided to take matters into his own hands and set up a series of spreadsheets to manage his own money, that covered everything from potential loss of income to his retirement plans.
“Once I had this complete, I thought, ‘why not build in some extra calculations and hypotheses so that anyone could then use it’,” he says when explaining where the idea of MyMoneyPlatform came from.
Having secured funding for the project through Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers scheme, McNulty hired his first employee in June 2013 and began to develop the product.
Further funding was granted through the Competitive Start Fund, allowing McNulty bring in the resources he required to perfect the customer experience he knew a financial planning software required. MyMoneyPlatform was launched in August 2016.
Consumers can log in through the MyMoneyPlatform website and create a free account in seconds. Inside the secure platform they can then enter their financial details, such as income, spending and any insurance policies they may hold.
MyMoneyPlatform then analyses these details and scores the financial healthiness of each section and advises on the next steps users should take to improve their finances.
“There is absolutely no jargon involved, just simple graphs and explanations,” says McNulty.
“Users have a complete money management tool that is objective and independent.
“There is no bias, no human errors and they can do it anytime on any device.
So on a Saturday night in front of the fire, with a couple of clicks you can be in complete control of your money. You might be poor, rich or in between but knowing exactly where your money is, is the biggest stress reliever of all.
Users can also add their bank, mortgage and credit card accounts if they wish and the software will display their transactions and balances all within the platform. This allows users to have all of their money in one place, which McNulty believes is the best way to control personal finances.
Some people may be concerned about giving their personal account details to a third party but McNulty assures that security is priority number one at the company.
“We have adopted the highest level of SSL encryption,” he says.
“This means that data communicated from our servers is scrambled and more secure than some banks.
“We went the extra mile and obtained what is called Extra Validation SSL certificate so you will see our company name in green in the address bar much like PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and your bank.
“Any data you give into the platform is read-only, no money can ever be moved.”
McNulty hopes that MyMoneyPlatform will change how people look at personal finances so that they are empowered to control their money themselves, reduce stress and plan better.
The company will generate revenue by selling their software to brokers, planners and advisors. These existing players can brand the software as their own and can use it exclusively for their existing and future clients. They are even given control over the variables of the software like growth rates and text recommendations.
McNulty believes that implementing this software will drastically increase efficiency in the sales process and allow brokers to Spend more time on the things that matter.
“By taking this dual approach we are now building a community to change how consumers approach their personal finances, through a simple non-pressured approach with MyMoneyPlatform or on an executable level with their planner,” says McNulty
“We believe it is everyone’s right to have access to quality financial advice,” he adds.
“What we want to do is to be able to provide an option to users to address the shortcomings in their finances through the platform.”
Anyone wishing to use the platform can log in here from any device and create a free account.
Brokers and planners interested in learning more about how they can adopt this white-label solution for their business are encouraged to contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The software is currently a mobile responsive web application and there are plans to release Android and iOS apps in the near future.