Investing now attractive for a large group of people

For a long time, investing was considered a pastime for people who enjoy taking a risk or who are simply wealthy enough to do so. With interest rates on savings accounts and deposits at an all-time low, investing is becoming popular again. Robo-advice service Munnypot helps investors understand the risk level, offering an alternative to savings or deposit accounts. This concept was created in partnership with Ortec Finance, Five Degrees and Virtual Affairs.

Optimal user experience

With BankingRight as a foundation, Aruba Bank has been provided with a modern customer environment in a relatively short period of time. With a renewed public website, a customer portal and a mobile app for iOS and Android, customer service broadly has risen to a much higher level from a user experience perspective. Peters: "In particular, the mobile app really is a showpiece for Aruba Bank."

Virtual Affairs has taken into account the future wishes and needs of Aruba Bank, creating a solid foundation and starting point for further innovation. Peters: “This ‘white label’ approach emphasises the flexibility of our banking platform. It provides our clients with possibilities which allow them to quickly create and support new business models and benefit from the centralised, secured and scalable structure.”

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Replacement of the traditional advisor

In the area of saving and investing Munnypot could be seen as a replacement for the traditional financial advisor, who generally charges a relatively high fee for comparable advice. The founders of the service, Andrew Fay and Simon Redgrove, believe that this can be achieved at a fraction of the cost and more efficiently. With Munnypot, they hope to interest a broader target group in investing. To do so, they harnessed the expertise of Virtual Affairs. Ortec Finance, specialists in effective financial planning, and Five Degrees, experts in client relation management and business process management, also made important contributions to this project.
Virtual Affairs Director Robin Peters: "We are often approached by start-ups and Munnypot’s founders had already shown their ability to make something out of nothing. The company’s directors are a respected authority in the field of financial advice. Furthermore, this is an initiative with a serious investment budget, because they recognise the importance of good digital customer service. Many of the requests we receive also require an investment from us. That’s not something we can do for everyone. It must also be profitable. We believe that Munnypot can make money, so we have also invested in the business case. Furthermore, we wanted to expand abroad and this was a way to access the United Kingdom, a market which had been difficult to target until recently.”

From start-ups to large organisations

Previously, Virtual Affairs helped set up financial start-ups like Ditzo and Knab. “That is another thing which is in line with our company. Obviously, we work extensively with large organisations too. But in the past, we have also demonstrated our ability to generate complex IT solutions in the financial world, rapidly and pragmatically,” says Peters. Virtual Affairs designed Munnypots concept. “Because we were investing in the project, we also wanted to contribute ideas. We didn’t want this to be just another robo-advisor,” Peters continues. Besides designing the concept, Virtual Affairs is responsible for the interaction between Munnypot and its clients, the design of the client’s personal website, the self-service environment on the website and the integration with services of other parties involved.
“We were immediately very enthusiastic about Virtual Affairs,” says Simon Redgrove. “They came highly recommended, which is why we contacted them. We had several meetings in Amsterdam. During those meetings, it was obvious that they had studied our service in-depth and were therefore able to explain their plans in detail. Virtual Affairs had very interesting ideas. In fact, we immediately felt at ease with them. They clearly demonstrated that they had the experience and knowledge that we were looking for.”


Now that Munnypot has taken its first steps on the market, Redgrove cautiously looks back. “We are delighted at how the public has received the service. This has matched our expectations; the publicity was phenomenal. The British press really embraced our story. And that also encouraged other parties to show an interest in Munnypot, making negotiations with potential investors and third party partners easier too. And we have many conversations nearly every day. All this means that Virtual Affairs may have more work to do in the near future. “This is just the start. Based on the initial feedback, we can implement new adjustments. Ultimately, the idea is to expand and potentially create an app, for example. That’s something else we would expect to involve Virtual Affairs in.”

Enrichment of the product

Peters: “The rollout of the online banking environment for Aruba Bank has brought us closer to our international ambition to position ourselves as a leading FinTech company in the field of retail and private banking. It has been a great international learning project. Not only have our employees gained valuable knowledge in this domain, the collaboration with the partners of Aruba Bank has enriched our product. Various wishes and demands of Aruba Bank, regarding laws and regulations, currencies and global transfers are now part of our product by default. This, combined with the experience of an international and long-distance implementation and collaboration, strengthens Virtual Affairs' business proposition. Therefore, we are more convinced than ever of what we can offer to worldwide customers with serious digital ambitions.”

For its digitalisation process, Aruba Bank took a large step towards international cooperation with some important partners. Peters: “I think Aruba Bank is a very ambitious and committed client. The renewal of their customer environment was just one part of the total programme, in which the bank worked hard to realise further optimisation and digitalisation of mid office processes. This has been a large project, but with results to be proud of. By choosing modern technology and solutions, Aruba Bank has ensured for itself a future with a solid foundation on which they can further innovate and improve their customer service.”

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