Can technology help improve our financial wellness?
Bola Oh, yeah, for sure. But do not talk to me about financial wellness and then make me talk to a bot. I'll be very angry. I'm going to talk to a human being. It's more practical if you have an app that does it as opposed to a service, but I don't think that's the way we should start. Financial wellness and counselling through an app can feel quite impersonal.
You teamed up with Stormzy’s publishing imprint, #MerkyBooks, to lead a series of events in schools to teach kids about money. That’s very cool. Tell us more.
Bola It was amazing. A lot of older kids want to know about crypto and are talking about what they want to do with their money and how can they invest. So it was about being honest with them and relating to them - making sure that they’re doing the right thing, not blowing their money fast and listening to songs that encourage such behaviour. After we did our last session, the school turned the third lesson of the day into one about finance and that just makes me so happy. How great is it to go home to your parent or guardian and say, ‘hey, guess what? We spoke about money today.’ We introduced the conversation into their home. Maybe a conversation that isn't happening already.
What’s your advice to help financial services businesses better relate to people?
Bola You need to put people over profit. Put them first and understand where they are. If you can invest in their problems and try to solve them, you will find people will stay with you. There are a lot of Africans, for example, who will tell you to open up a bank with Barclays Bank. Why? Because when they came to this country, it was the only bank that would allow them to. That is putting people over profit. And this is what institutions need to come back and do. Because once they do that, then you have customers for life.