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NewTech Friday: SaveAway – the path to prosperity and wellness as an inextricable human right 07 January 2022

Om Kundu, Founder & CEO of SaveAway, spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier about how his company’s relentless consumer advocacy is reshaping the way people approach buying decisions and fulfill purchases sustainably. 

Why does the creation of SaveAway matter? What led to the creation of SaveAway?

That far too many find themselves leading financially precarious lives despite their best efforts and intentions is in no small part what inspires our SaveAway® platform — to further financial wellness through relentless advocacy and innovation on behalf of our users and partners.

The same forces of digitization and ecommerce that have removed ‘friction’ for purposes of speed and convenience, have also fed our spending impulses, putting them on overdrive. Contrast this with our agencies to be responsible in our saving and financial wellness which have been left languishing, evident in levels of consumer debt that were soaring even prior to the pandemic — the coronavirus may have served to make the situation worse for many around the world.

It is instructive that while many have likened the coronavirus — with its unprecedented spread, lethality, and toll on people’s personal and professional lives — to a black swan, N.N.Taleb (author of ‘The Black Swan’)  himself, had noted that it was instead a White Swan. i.e., An occurrence that was predicted and could have been avoided. The struggle of maintaining financial well-being has followed a similar pattern, a growing menace with plenty of ignored warnings. Neither the incumbents nor the insurgents appear to have made any remarkable dent in the trappings such as those of debt and acting in ways that are antithetical to the consumer’s best interests — in the name of “democratizing finance” such as in trading, the un(der)served appear to have been reduced to being the product (e.g, payment order flows) where their financial activity is up for sale. On net, the threats posed by lack of financial wellness have been left festering out in the open with the risk of becoming much worse. According to a UNU-WIDER working paper, up to half a billion people could be pushed into poverty following the pandemic. 

Knowing how to further your wellness in the pathway to fulfill your goals — and being behaviorally motivated to save as part of it — has always been foundational and yet, often overlooked. Its moment of fierce urgency is now. 

SaveAway® provides that compass for people to develop healthier purchasing habits and achieve goals they may currently think as out of reach. It provides a solution to alleviating purchasing constraints, where a plan of relief is often difficult to create. Most importantly, SaveAway® is here to empower consumers with the right mindset, endeavor, and the support of your well-wishing community: to ensure no goal that you set is out-of-reach — in deed as much as in word. Through our seamless tapestry interweaving social collaboration, financial technology, and e-commerce, SaveAway® changes peoples’ lives with their wellness manifest. 

Could you present SaveAway's offer? 

At a time when “customer obsession” has become the dominant corporate mantra, what’s oft overlooked is how divorced it is from working towards the customer's best interests. As recent hearings on BigTech, Big Finance, and for that matter fintech companies seeking to grow at any cost stand-to-reason, far too often the opposite is the case.

At the heart of our mission to do what’s best for the customer is the pillar of relentless customer advocacy.

With more than 17,000 people anticipating to experience the platform after the announcement of its limited early access, SaveAway® empowers people to save-up to fulfill purchases that otherwise would be out of reach, rendering the path to luxury as a human right for all — achieved in ways that equally further wellness. It is the antidote to the juggernaut of commerce and banking needlessly goading consumers to act with impulse in buying now only to expose themselves to regretting it later, resulting in unwanted debt. An outcome equally painful for merchants and financial institutions is how it opens them up to unwanted exposure -- be it with merchandise returns and delinquencies.

SaveAway®'s patented technology enables users to select a product, either existing in our inventory or creating a custom selection of their choosing, and create personalized saving plans to fulfill their purchase. This includes weekly and monthly payment cycles linked to your source of funds that automatically deduct a specified amount until your purchase is complete.

Users can also identify two products they desire and compare the two side-by-side. Our collaborative features then encourage friends and family to vote for which product they want the user to purchase. Not only does this increase the social activity but also ensures the buyer is receiving feedback from the ones they care about the most. Referrals further encourage socially saving together to fulfill current plans and purchases with bonuses awarded to both the user and the friend they refer to the platform.

Our SaveAway® users and partners are increasingly able to contribute that much more content to their community; and engage in a trusted network of friends, family and contemporaries while striving toward productive goals together. The platform digitally lubricates the messaging between users and their friends-and-family, with our patented technology enabling them to cultivate a community of supporters, who empower not only more responsible purchase-decisions (including less returns and delinquencies) but equally the ability to save more through social-gifting to fulfill purchases that would not have been possible otherwise. 

In the process of personalized planning to help consumers avoid the risk of credit/debt to fulfill purchases they wouldn’t otherwise make, our partnering merchants and financial institutions are also realizing the benefits of setting themselves apart as socially responsible brands in accessing customers they would not have otherwise. 

What's coming next for SaveAway?

Through the more perfect union SaveAway® enables, our users, partners, and social communities can improve their visibility, earning potential, and well-being — accomplished via the positive behavioral feedback loops that our platform is uniquely designed to further positive health, wealth, and collaboration outcomes.

Users and partners can also benefit from our latest tech-stack enabling smart contracts (for collaborative ownership or access of the merchandise or milestones being saved for) and fractional ownership — giving people what they need in a way that puts shared access in their fingertips.

Working together with Microsoft, Ebay, and Stripe to deliver these capabilities to our growing community in ways that not only ensure safety, security, and soundness, but equally speaks to our unwavering focus as we elicit inquiries from prospective partners and clients.

At a time nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and over 30% of purchases end in buyers’ remorse, SaveAway® 's abiding mission lies in delivering the remedy to these stressors and empowering consumers on smarter spending activities.

Finally, as we live through the gyrations resurfaced most recently by WallStreetBets, etc. one salient pillar with which our SaveAway® platform stands uniquely suited to plug the gaping holes in consumer financial wellness is in how "Financial Education" is interwoven into the DNA of our business and operating model — this is evident in the more perfect union with which our revenues directly follow from our abilities to drive the fulfillment of financially responsible (purchase) goals equally for our users and partners, propelling them to a brighter tomorrow of wellness and prosperity.

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