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“I have a picture of a mountain in my room and I will put post-its on it – what I spent, how much I saved, how much I have in my bank accounts… Every day before I go to bed, I will look at this picture, at my expenditure and my savings, and I would think: how am I going to achieve my dreams and goals?”
– Kartini, LiveOlive user (not her real name)
Before she started using LiveOlive, Kartini was very much like other middle-class women in Jakarta, Indonesia. She enjoyed shopping and eating out with her family; she managed the household finances and made most of the financial decisions; she had her dreams – to send her children to university, to own a house, to be able to retire comfortably. Yet, she knew very little about just how to realize these dreams. She simply could not afford a professional financial planner, and received most of her rudimentary money management advice through word-of-mouth. As a result, she was hardly in a positive state of long-term financial health; daily budgeting, credit card debt and medical expenses, amongst others, were real and pressing concerns for her.
LiveOlive hopes to address the needs of this very segment of the population. Founded by Jocelyn Pantastico, LiveOlive seeks to provide affordable financial literacy education and money management plans through a web-based platform. With its proprietary algorithm, LiveOlive can easily design customized money management plans based on users’ inputs, such as monthly income and average expenditure, and financial goals. Whether users want to send their children to university, buy a house or save for retirement, LiveOlive’s Money Maps provide advice on what steps to take to achieve these goals. More importantly, LiveOlive’s partnership with financial aggregator websites then allows users to compare available options for basic financial products and complete transactions online – all this set within an innovative dashboard with status updates, gamification tools (think avatars and badges), and an online rewards system. With such a seamless approach towards financial planning, LiveOlive truly demonstrates the potential for technology to disrupt conventional markets and deliver maximum impact.
As it stands, LiveOlive plans to launch the Money Centre by July 2015 after completing its final round of product testing. LiveOlive already reaches out to more than 100,000 unique monthly visitors through its website, which provides free resources on basic financial literacy. Yet it was Jocelyn’s desire to deepen this impact on LiveOlive’s users that drove her to participate in Shujog’s Assistance for Capacity-building and Technical Services (ACTS) program. With ACTS, LiveOlive received a host of services that facilitated the launch of the Money Center, including business advisory, impact assessments and assistance with capital-raising. During our field visits, the IIX and Shujog teams were able to witness firsthand the impact experienced by LiveOlive users; it was remarkable to see just how enthusiastic they were when they were introduced to the Money Center for the very first time. Kartini was one of the women whom we spoke to, and she had this to say: “LiveOlive really opened up my views on managing money… Things that we never thought of before are now on our minds – things that we consider whenever we make financial decisions.”
LiveOlive wants to be a game changer for the women in Indonesia, and it clearly has made significant strides in doing so. Its use of technology has been crucial in making professional financial planning services accessible and affordable for the average woman on the busy streets of Jakarta. The potential impact that follows on is tremendous – as households better manage their daily finances, they are able to have a better quality of life, provide for their children’s education, and more importantly create the foundations for multi-generational impact. At IIX and Shujog, we are thrilled to have been able to play a part in LiveOlive’s drive to empower women through technology, and we would love to see how LiveOlive continues to help women like Kartini achieve their dreams and goals.
By Shang Hui Chia
Research and Programs, Shujog