Data is knowledge but is meaningless until it is processed and interpreted in context at which point it becomes information on which a judgement or decision can be taken. This article, the first in a series, will examine the social, political and economic opportunities of open data and the potential impact on people and business.
Older and vulnerable people may be missing out on the benefits that fintech can bring, especially if they are dismissed under the assumption that only young adults are tech savvy. Kalgera is among various fintech companies actively address this problem and the team is creating a digital platform to protect the finances of older people tailored to meet their specific needs.
Of the many traits that are associated with the millennial generation in the UK, financial uncertainty is probably the most prominent. Indeed, the they have come to be associated with prioritising avocado on toast over saving to buy their own homes.
On the other hand, one thing that may not be commonly associated with millennials today, is their role as a family caregiver, which is a responsibility becoming more prevalent. This involves overseeing the finances of those they’re caring for, especially when they become vulnerable. This can carry a high stress burden. Kalgera will play a vital part in helping to relieve this stress, by allowing carers to safeguard the finances of their loved ones in an easy and accessible way.
We are living in an ageing population. In the UK, 11.5 million adults are over 65, equating to 22% of the population (FCA). By 2032, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to grow by more than a third, and those over 85 to double (ONS). To further demonstrate this shift, when the NHS was firsat created 1 in 2 people died before they reached 65 and that has now dropped to around 1 in 8 (NHS England). Whilst positive, this shift is altering the cultural landscape in an unprecedented way.
People are having children when they are older, and living for longer, so carers are beginning to widely vary in age. Across the Atlantic in the USA 10 million millennials care for a family member (AARP). Millennials are generally understood to be born between the early 1980’s and mid 1990s, and were coming of age around the time of the financial crisis in 2008. Like all carers, millennial carers deserve support when they begin to take responsibility for the safety of a family member. Arguably, they may need more support than their older carer counterparts, considering that traditionally they have never had to take on such a role (AARP).
Millennial carers may even suffer a heavier burden than older carers, due to the amount of responsibilities they may already have in their lives. For instance, they are likely to be juggling employment simultaneously, making them time-poor. In contrast to this, the average caregiver (currently between 50 and 64 in the UK) is more likely to be further along in their career, working part-time, or even retired, and thus more time-rich (carersuk.org).
Along with this, millennials are not as financially resilient as their older counterparts. The Financial Conduct Authority found that only half of those aged between 18 and 34 are financially resilient, whereas three quarters of those aged 55 and above, have financial security. Without the time, or money, the pressure to care for a vulnerable family member may become very challenging.
As well as taking care of their own finances, millennial carers may feel the burden of worrying about managing the finances of their vulnerable family member, especially because any one of us can become financially vulnerable at any given time.
Kalgera is combatting this problem. The app allows carers to safeguard the finances of vulnerable family members by alerting them of any unusual financial behaviour, and enables them to take more proactive action if necessary (fintech4life). This technology serves to unburden carers and vulnerable family members who need it most.
Although the Kalgera team comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds, our values and motivations for creating this technology are shared. This inclusion and alignment of values has contributed to some fascinating and productive team discussions on how to improve the suitability and accessibility of Kalgera’s novel solution for all its users.
Love is in the air. As Valentine’s Day approaches, some of us will send little romantic offerings, some will rant about the commercialism and some will feel just as lonely as we did just a few weeks ago at Christmas.
Sadly, older, lonely members of our society are specifically targetted by sweetheart scams. Older LGBT people are particularly vulnerable to financial fraud and becoming a scammer’s victim. However, although Kalgera can’t protect your hearts we can help protect your finances.
Scams and frauds surge during the festive season. Distracted and often stressed about making sure we’re ready for the Christmas holiday makes us vulnerable to falling victim. even if we’re usually on top of our money.
Although our Kalgera app will help protect your and your older loved ones’ financial life, it’s still in testing. So, here are some tips to keep the scammers at bay.
At Kalgera, we take the view that our diversity will bring the skills and experience necessary for the whole team’s success: there’s a 50:50 split between the men and women on our team.
Although technology stereotypes are changing and encouraging more diversity, especially as millennials flow into the workplace, room remains for more women to join our quest to make tech work for good.
Can doing good pay off for investors?
Kalgera is a company with a social aim and we want to make a positive impact on the community around us and the wider world. We need to make profit so we can not only bring innovative services to our customers but so we can earn a living and meet our obligations to our regulators and investors.
The focus of the impact we are making is in the improvement of financial inclusion of vulnerable people, and we are starting with older people and those who care for them. This section of society tends to be an overlooked part of our communities outside the realms of health and social care. However, as our population ages this niche will make up an increasingly large part of society with its own unique set of concerns and needs.
Capitalism has traditionally prioritised maximising profit, but it is now becoming clear that business ventures that solely prioritise maximal profit and efficiencies are less sustainable, especially if they unintentionally open up vulnerable communities to exploitation. Impact investments are an alternative to this traditional model and has the potential to address the dilemmas facing capitalism today. Many businesses do struggle to strike a balance between short term revenue generation targets and the often more long term social and the environment impact of the business.
Revenue that ensures the viability of a venture with sustainable growth benefits us all as we all share the indirect benefits of responsible business. According to the Global Impact Investing Network, impact investments are those made into companies, organisations and funds that intend to generate a positive social impact alongside a healthy financial return.
Is there evidence to support change?
Impact investors are eager to demonstrate that social value and competitive financial returns are not necessarily mutually exclusive, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Until recently little more than the profit made has been considered when making an investment, which might have been due to difficulties foreseeing the impact that is only revealed over a long period of time and is complicated to measure.
In addition, an increasing number of companies are being exposed for failing to address exploitative and/or harmful practices, particularly on social media platforms. This has resulted in investors, particularly millennials, demanding a wider and deeper range of information about social and environmental impact when assessing investment opportunities. Barclays, recently found that millennials are four times more likely than older people to invest their money to achieve a social or environmental impact. This may be because the parameters considered when investing are widening and take into account mistakes that have been made and which younger generations feel it is their duty to address.
Can change happen?
Kalgera is an example of a company that is able to show the potential for both financial gains as well as having a significant positive social impact. For example, safeguarding vulnerable people from financial abuse and scams is likely to have great positive effects on quality of life and overall wellbeing for the individual as well as their social support system (i.e. their caregivers and relatives).
Our Founder, Dr Dexter Penn, founded Kalgera after caring for Peter*, one of his hospital patients. Peter was due to be discharged into a care home when it was discovered that a large sum of money had been taken from his savings. Scamming affects five million older people in the UK every year and by safeguarding the lives of older and vulnerable loved ones, Kalgera prevents much heartache and stress while simultaneously having a positive impact on the nation’s economy.
Kalgera also embraces a diverse and inclusive team, representing an underserved market that we aim to help and offering fresh insight while listening to their customers. Additionally, our vision actively dismantles the harmful stereotype that only the young are able to use technology. With careful consideration of how it can be adapted to meet the needs of older people, technology can be both accessible and helpful, and of huge benefit to improving our quality of life.
Is there a future of Impact Investing?
There’s good reason to believe that impact as a marker of investment quality will be used more in the future. A study by Barclays into impact investing behaviour found 90% of those that have invested previously in impact investments were likely to do so again. This indicates that even after the “feel good” factor has worn off, impact investments make financial sense to continue to pursue. In turn, this has the potential to attract more investors and become a more commonly used measure.
Perhaps more importantly, impact investing creates a financial return without a guilty conscience, as investors are reassured that their money is contributing positively to the improvement of the society in which they live and participate. §
Note: Kalgera is not responsible for the content of external websites and this article does not constitute investment advice. Please seek advice from a regulated financial advisor to see if impact investment is right for your portfolio. *Peter’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.
When it comes to decision-making within a company, there is a general image that comes to mind: a pale (and stale) group of men calling the shots. This exclusivity is becoming more familiar within mainstream conversations and the need for diversity within the workforce is not a new phenomenon. In Kalgera’s endeavour to support the elderly and vulnerable, embracing diversity across the company encourages unique and varying insight, increasing the chances of creating any positive customer experiences.
Open Banking - What does it mean for the future of personal finance?
OPEN BANKING, a potent disruptor to the way we manage our personal finances, arrived in the UK on 13 January and drew commentary and analyses from experts in accountancy, personal finances, consumer watchdogs and the business correspondents in the media.