I’ve read in other topics a range of thoughts about what Dozens should (or shouldn’t) be doing. Sometimes these were implicit rather than explicit, so I thought it’d be useful to air(e?) our thoughts.
A few things that I think we know:
- Project Imagine (Dozens’ parent firm) has limited runway (assured funding).
- While looking for investment (and presumably Pi1 customers) that means a) being really careful about where to invest for the future; b) not launching any new long-term products while there is uncertainty over funding.
So with that in mind, let’s think not about immediate moves but longer term strategy.
Here are my thoughts.
I think there’s a gap in the market for a niche(ish) consumer fintech. One that:
- provides impeccable customer service (think FD back in the day, or first days of Monzo);
- targets the current or future mass affluent - to either help them manage their wealth (although they probably wouldn’t think of it that way) or plan to create wealth;
- provides visibility across all assets and financial service categories (note: I strongly believe that a broadly neutral hub is better than doing it all yourself - that’s the old vertical model that the big banks are desperately holding on to);
- provides comfort (or a state of Zen maybe) - that might mean instant notifications for everything when you’re watching your pennies - or later in life alerts by exception so when you don’t hear anything then all is working smoothly and transparently in the background;
- let’s the user orchestrate their finances - especially across non-PI products. That might mean, in practice, the thing I keep flogging: rules-based transfers like “salary in = transfer £200 to savings and £300 to Chase to take advantage of their 1pc back offer” - or more sophisticated things like optimising where my savings are on the basis of interest rate.
I have no data, but I think such an offering is fairly niche. As I understand it (but @ac should be able to correct me), First Direct numbered 100s of thousands of customers at its peak. I think that’s probably the target number for this sort of offering.
Provide an outstanding customer service for the first 25k customers - then scale upwards. I think this would be profitable - especially if it’s a broadly paid for service. In parallel get Pi1 sorted then… done?
To foresee an objection: there are lots of folk on forums like this who are radically rational about their financial lives. That means chasing the best rates and looking for the best thing for them. This is totally rational. This service, in my view, probably isn’t for them. Instead, I think it would differentiate itself through a) unique paid-for services - like the thing I called financial orchestration above, or integrations that we currently don’t have in any product, like house prices or live share portfolio prices, even if held elsewhere; b) excellent, market leading customer service, and c) hopefully an eventual reputation for platform neutrality - I.e. working with any providers to give the best rates, where the sophisticated customer realises that they’re paying for the platform so there’s no in-between fees…
Anyway that’s what I’d like to see - either in Dozens or elsewhere. What are others’ visions?