Corporate Yoga Out, Financial ‘Wellness’ In

Forget corporate yoga – financial wellbeing programs in the workplace are now serious business, and the opportunities for fintechs are vast.

London based Salary Finance, a financial wellbeing platform, has reportedly raised a $20M Series B round, to further their expansion globally, putting weight to that claim.

The business works with employers to help employees tackle short-term debt. By integrating with payroll software, they are able to help automate debt repayments.

The fintech claims it can save employees around £600 on an average £3100 loan.

Last year competitor Neyber raised £21M in a series C funding round. Similar to Salary Finance, the fintech offers affordable finance to employees, with repayments deducted from regular salary payments.

With financial stress a leading cause of depression globally, the subsequent drop off in employee productivity means the issue is a live one for employers. It also cuts across big and small business alike.

Salary Finance and Neyber aren’t alone. In Australia, corporate wellness startup Springday is building a solid book of corporate customers interested in their proprietary wellness scoring technology and ecosystem of wellness partners, of which financial wellbeing is a stream. Other platforms like Flare and Employment Hero are making plays here too.

Group insurers also want in on the game too. No longer is it enough to deliver a suite of policies – companies like MetLife are exploring wellness, as are a number of other big life companies, eager to capture some of the captive employee audience. Financial wellbeing is seen as a core differentiator.

These startups do raise some interesting questions for employees. What’s at risk by opening up your intimate financial life to your employer? Could this data point be used against you in the future? I mean, who really wants their manager or HR department to know they are knee deep in credit card debt? It’s a little bit ‘awkward turtle’, as us millennials would say.

But on the flipside, if this market can be cracked, it’s a great distribution channel for a fintech. The entire superannuation industry in Australia has flourished thanks to default saving via employer programs. Who’s to say a lender, under the guise of financial wellness couldn’t do the same in Australia, let alone anywhere else in the world?

Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia.

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