Established in Amsterdam, Otly is a young startup setting out to bring a modern way of family banking into households. Starting with their home market in the Netherlands, in the near future Otly aims to introduce their services in other European countries including Germany, Belgium and France.
Otly is driven by two beliefs: financial education for young people and convenience for parents in managing their children’s finances.Otly gives parents control over their kids’ allowances without headaches like lost coins or forgotten weekly contributions. Gone are the days of allowance misunderstandings between parents and their children. Making sure they have the spare change for this week’s allowance becomes one thing less to worry about.Moreover, Otly provides financial tools and educational content to help parents make their kids smart with money and curios for learning more.
The Bank of Mom and Dad
Otly is The Bank of Mom and Dad, meaning that the parents can configure the rules governing their children’s accounts. For example, they can set different interest rates on the saving boxes their kids define, set different spending limits, or, in the future, control the way a payment card is used.
What can you do with Otly?
The basic functionality provides a simple and automated way for the parents to give weekly or monthly allowances and to keep track of their kids pocket money and their spendings. For children, Otly provides their own taste of the ‘grown up’ way of banking, making it simple and fun at the same time. Instead of a physical piggy bank they will have their digital account and they will learn the concepts of internet banking at an early age. Kids will be able to save money in safeboxes, to do payments, and older kids will have an Otly card to spend their money. All this under parental supervision, and configurable by the parents depending on age and capacities of the individual child.
In addition to services for immediate family, Otly also provides a way for extended family members, like grandma, to contribute remotely.
Why is financial education so important?
It is a well know fact that adults will be able to manage their finances more responsibly when they have had experience with pocket money when they were young.Children will learn to be smart with their money and prepare for an independent financial future when they are able to have a clear overview of their assets and when they know how to use the tools to make that money work for them. With Otly they learn the value of digital money, ownership and the accountability associated with it. Otly is cooperating with people and institutions from the field of financial education to provide content and tools that help parents to educate their kids in a responsible way.
How will Otly be implemented?
Currently Otly works in a so called ‘virtual’ mode, meaning that no actual money is being transferred. The current version is mainly aimed at younger kids. Parents keep the physical money, do the expenses for the kids and manage the expenses in the Otly app. The kids have their own app that allows them to see how much they have now and how their money was spent. However that is just the start, Otly is already busy integrating an eWallet infrastructure. Soon, parents will be able to connect their bank account to their Otly household. Then it will be possible to transfer real money through Otly and make real payments. A private beta for the Otly eWallet will be available at the end of Q1 2016.
The platform runs on the IBM Bluemix environment and it is increasingly integrating IBM Watson technology to provide smart analysis features for Otly users. Expect more innovative features to be offered in the future based on this infrastructure. "Otly is an amazing platform that helps kids to learn and explore finance. I truly believe that kids will love it! – Michel Splint, Manager IBM Ecosystem Development & Cloud Consulting".
Who is behind Otly?
Otly was founded by Lior Bornshtain (CEO) and Vedran Vego (CTO), both veterans in the Fintech industry. They invited Jaron Borensztajn to join the core team and he assumed the role of VP Business Development. The team, together with support from experienced advisory board members from AVG Innovations Labs and ABN AMRO, are set out to change pocket money as we know it.Otly was financed by a group of enthusiastic private investors who believe in the vision and the team.
For more information visit: www.otly.net