One in five Dutch households has to cope with financial difficulties. This is evident from the 2018 figures from Nibud (Dutch National Institute for Family Finance Information). According to the Amsterdam start-up Dyme, a lot of debts are the result of a lack of an overview of what the financial situation is. Their app changes this. You link your various accounts via PSD-2 and in a matter of minutes you can see where your money is going. A subscription for that gym you never visit can be easily cancelled via the app. You can also use Dyme to switch to another energy supplier or negotiate a better rate.
Did this idea stem from personal frustration?
“We found out ourselves how little insight we had into our own financial situation. I was still paying for a museum card without realizing it. Once a year that amount was written off, so that’s easy to overlook. And because I had moved, that card ended up at a former address. One of our other founders had been paying for a gym for two years without ever going there. So, yeah, we’ve faced these problem ourselves too.”
How does it work?
“These days you do practically all of your spending online. People lose control as a result. The first step to financial health is to have an overview. You should want to know where your money is going. But a lot of people have no idea where to start or don’t even dare start because they’re afraid that it’s an incredible amount of work. Using our app, you’ll be done in a few minutes. The app automatically imports, categorizes and sorts all your linked accounts.”
“It works under the PSD-2, European regulation which enables consumers to share their payment details with third parties. It ensures that banks no longer have a monopoly on this data. You have to comply with all sorts of strict security requirements before you are granted this kind of license. When you link your account to Dyme, you receive an overview of all your subscriptions within a few minutes. Unnecessary or duplicate subscriptions can subsequently be cancelled. Our algorithm also looks for the best price in the market for your energy. You have the option of switching or negotiating for a better rate through us.”
You’re not the only ones working on this, what makes you different?
Yes, that’s true. We cannot distinguish ourselves based on the overview that we provide. What makes us especially unique is that via our app, you can also get notifications of subscriptions that you have, but which might not have been used in a long time or are no longer worthwhile. You can unsubscribe from these via the app. We are also able to negotiate on your behalf to lower your energy tariff if you have been a customer for a while. Or the algorithm searches for a cheaper rate with another provider and then we can arrange the changeover. Soon we want to introduce this for all-in-one and telephone subscriptions as well. At the moment, the algorithm does not yet recognize all subscriptions. But this is something that we’re working on.”
What is your revenue model?
“We charge a small fee for cancelling subscriptions, but we don’t earn anything from that. Only if you make any savings do we earn money. For instance, if you manage to arrange a cheaper rate. Or if you personally benefit from making a switch. We charge about 30% of the total amount saved. Perhaps in the future we will move to more of a premium model as we add more tools and services. One thing we definitely do not do is store user data in order to resell it.”
Where will the most money be saved with the help of the app?
“That’s hard to say precisely. If you look at EU figures, households spend an average of a few hundred euros too much on energy costs per year. That’s because they don’t know that it pays to switch or because they don’t renegotiate their tariff if they’ve been a long-time customer somewhere. But there are also plenty of savings to be made on all-in-one subscriptions. As there is on telephony for that matter. We don’t offer that yet, but we are working on that as well.”
Is there anything else you would like to add to the app?
“We often hear from our users that they want to gain more insight into their variable costs. Things like clothing, outings and groceries. A little bit like the traditional housekeeping notebook. That’s what we aim to offer in the short term. But we are also looking at the long term. For example, there are plenty of consumers who buy laptops, yet they don’t know that EU legislation provides them with a standard two-year warranty. We want to make it possible for them to use our app to start a warranty procedure. We also want to enable consumers to claim money back from webshops via the app. Our goal is to give them full control over their finances.”