By Daphnée Malboeuf
Whoever said that spending and saving don’t go hand in hand? With the Mylo app, there is no longer a need for a piggy-bank to help you save.
Merging spending and saving was what Philip Barrar was thinking when he created Mylo, a free mobile app designed to facilitate saving for all Canadians, and in particular, Generation Y (18- to 36-year-olds).
After conducting a vast survey of nearly 10,000 Canadians, Philip found that millennials struggled with putting money aside. That’s why he decided to design a mobile app that connects with different user bank accounts and rounds up each purchase to the nearest dollar for the sum of $ 1 per month. The small amount remaining from mundane daily purchases is automatically invested, allowing people to gradually set money aside.
“Reaching our financial goals can be a pain,” says the former Concordia student. “Financial advisors usually recommend cutting unnecessary daily spending—which, for most, is easier said than done. It’s for this very reason that one of our objectives was to instill healthy spending habits in clients without leaving them feeling deprived.”
For example, if you spend $3.25 on your morning latte, Mylo will round it up to $4, investing $0.75 into a diversified, personalized Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) portfolio managed by experts from the former management firm Tactex, acquired by Mylo Financial Technologies Inc. in June 2017.
The advantage of this application, available for iOS and Android devices, lies in its simplicity.
Users are asked to answer a few questions about their saving goals and their investor profiles, based on their risk tolerance thresholds. Every Monday, the app adds up all of the rounded totals and debits the amount from the bank account and moves it to the investment account on the application. Don’t worry, though: once the money is in this account, it is still accessible at any time for deposits or withdrawals.
The importance of financial inclusion
Above all, Mylo has chosen to use technology wisely in the aim of promoting financial inclusion for a population that is not accustomed to using different kinds of saving services.
“When the economic crisis hit back in 2008, banks stopped innovating,” says the entrepreneur, a Boston native. “At the same time, Steve Jobs launched iOS (iPhone) technology, and people started to change their spending habits. For the first time ever, people were making purchases from their cell phones.”
Unlike banks, which have been slow to adapt, this simple and efficient application meets the needs of the different types of consumers who don’t have time to spare for long meetings with financial advisors.
“The problem is that most people don’t know where to start,” Philip claims.
With less than a dollar, Canadians can now invest their small change, as children used to with a piggy-bank.
“Our priority was to really make investment accessible and affordable for all, and today, technology allows us to do that.”
Thanks to the significant investments obtained on Dragon’s Den, from Desjardins Capital, Robert Raich and the founding investor of First Capital Partners (FCP) back in January, Philip intends to put pedal to metal in expanding Mylo’s operations in the coming months in order to provide more personalized service to users.