This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.
It’s all too easy to get lazy with money and end up paying ridiculous fees just because you couldn’t be bothered to change your bank. Price comparison sites have emerged as an easy way to take action in recent years, but sometimes cheapest isn’t best.
Smart Money People bills itself as ‘TripAdvisor for financial services,’ and focuses on customer reviews rather than just on price. Covering bank accounts, credit cards, loans and more, users can leave feedback about their experiences for others to learn from.
This approach shows promise following a £150,000 investment round last summer. In addition to writing the reviews visible on the site, users can give private feedback to financial services companies. This goes into far more detail, covering factors like whether customers feel they’ve been treated fairly, and got good customer service and value for money.
Building better financial services
Founder Michael Fotis says that he wants to “make reviews a win-win.” The idea is the reviews validate buying decisions for users and also provide actionable insights to make the industry better. “(Financial services companies) know their own customers, but they can now benchmark against their rivals.”
Smart Money People has already gained clients including banks, building societies, insurers and alternative finance companies. These include the Vernon Building Society in Stockport. Fotis says the site is set to pass 40,000 monthly site visitors this month, with a target of 75,000 by December.
The company started up in October 2014, initially as a pilot run by Fotis alone. He’d spotted a need for financial services reviews while working in corporate consulting in London. Smart Money People has now expanded to a team of four, based in Newcastle.
Fotis says he’s now raising additional funding, and plans are afoot for new features. These include on-demand customer insights and a tool to help organisations plan better performance for the future.
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