My writing on Financial Wellness is designed to help the Fintech industry think about how to make change happen and what is needed to motivate people to reinvent financial services for the 21st Century. That means developing a Fintech sector with a social conscience because it is the right thing to do and because it makes sense for our customers and therefore our bottom line.
Three things drive people who want to make change in society happen: Engagement, Self-reliance and Altruism.
- Know what change you want to make it happen.
- Be able to make things happen on your own.
- You need to want to do it for the good of others.
When these general principles are in action then we can achieve change.
Altruism for Entrepreneurs
For entrepreneurs, the same qualities can be applied. Altruism does not mean that you do not want to make a living from what you sell but if you are only driven by greed you will not succeed. You must be driven by the desire to provide a service, sell a product or make an innovation that you get paid for us but that serves a socially useful purpose. Otherwise, why get up in the morning.
When citizens take or are given control over their lives and their choices and they have these qualities, then change happens. When entrepreneurs think beyond balance sheets and engage with customers needs, they create successful companies.
But we need to add one more to this list: resources.
This is a transforming age. Austerity is ending but debt is still very high. Jobs for life are disappearing but the gig economy not yet fully embedded. Financial Wellness needs to be at the heart of the tools entrepreneurs in Fintech use to create new products and services.
Security in an Uncertain Age
When you ask people what they want, it is generally to be financially secure, to have their health, to educate their children and broadly for their children’s lives to be better than their own. That is at the heart of the Financial Wellness that I seek.
If you are going to become an agent of change, then the challenge is to decide for yourselves what your general principles are. Not to be undermined by the cynics nor be less than idealist.
It is not sufficient to merely imagine the world as we want it to be.
We have to work at ways in which we can make it like that. To drive Financial Wellness to the top of the agenda we need to:
- Consult and build coalitions in favour of holistic approaches to financial security within our industry and more widely
- Treat citizens as self-reliant human beings so that they behaviour like citizens and with financial responsibility they become customers
- Embrace new technology as the means of delivering security and linking social well-being to financial services
These things are happening in start-ups all over the world. A slow revolution in the Fintech world is underway.
You can see me speaking more about my thinking on Vimeo here
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