Price comparison site is on the money
The Internet has empowered consumers to access more information than ever before, but it has also made it that much harder sometimes to zero in on exactly what one is after. MoneyHero.com.hk, a Hong Kong-based startup, has introduced a financial comparison platform that helps people quickly and easily find the best financial product for their needs.
“Hong Kong consumers may come cross hundreds of options when it comes to shopping around for the best financial products, but there was no service to help people compare them,” says MoneyHero co-founder Alister Musgrave.
The site simplifies the comparison process for financial products. With the click of a mouse, consumers are able to search, compare and apply for a range of financial products, including credit cards, personal loans, and travel and health insurance options, offered by both local and international institutions operating in Hong Kong.
Musgrave, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley in London, says he created the site out of his own frustration while searching for such products.
Whereas a comparison platform like MoneyHero is quite a novel alternative for Hong Kong people, in Europe and elsewhere such services have been around for a while.
“When I was in the UK, I used comparison sites all the time for my banking and insurance needs. They are used by many people in the UK to save money and get the best deals,” Musgrave says.
“I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong over the past few years. When I tried to get a credit card here last year, I couldn’t find a comparison website to help me get the best product. The market was not transparent and it was difficult and time-consuming to get an overview of all the products from different banks,” he explains.
Musgrave saw the gap in the market as a great opportunity. Around the same time, his former Morgan Stanley colleague Gerald Eder, managing partner of CompareAsia Group, was building price comparison sites in Malaysia.
“We joined together and set up MoneyHero in Hong Kong a few weeks later,” Musgrave says. With seed capital from Nova Founders Capital and a few other Hong Kong venture capital firms, MoneyHero.com.hk started operations in May last year. paid to the startup by providers and brokers in Hong Kong. A person using the website to look for something specific like a credit card will be directed to the website of the provider they select. If they complete an application for a product, MoneyHero.com.hk is compensated for the use of their infrastructure and services.
The site offers information about nonsponsored products as well. Musgrave says the company gives no priority to sponsored products on its page.
“We only represent facts and show the best products to our clients. We don’t put advertisements or anything that will degrade the user experience on the site,” says Musgrave, emphasizing that MoneyHero.com.hk is an independent and impartial comparison portal.
But Musgrave admits that convincing banks and other financial institutions to forge partnerships with MoneyHero.com.hk was the biggest challenge he faced. “As a foreigner, I have to earn trust from these financial institutions. Fortunately, I have a good team that has the knowledge and expertise to make this idea work,” he explains.
The site simplifies financial products down to the key determinant factors. Take credit cards for example. Users can rank credit cards by air miles, overseas spending, cash-back options, and so on. They can also take a step further by choosing a number of cards and putting them side by side to compare all the details.
The company said that, according to their recent survey, more than 70 percent of credit card users do not know their cards’ annual percentage rate (APR), which is used by banks to determine how much interest to charge if customers have not paid up in full at the end of their billing cycle.
Only 5 percent know the rate is more than 30 percent as the APR of most credit cards in Hong Kong range from 30 percent to 40 percent, and this changes according to the credit worthiness of customers.
“Ultimately we want to help people save time and money. The monthly credit card total debt amount is HK$115 billion and we assume 70 percent of cardholders are eligible for cash points. If they use MoneyHero.com. hk and choose the right credit card for their needs, they can find out how they can earn 1 percent cash back on average instead of only 0.4 percent cash back offered by most credit cards,” Musgrave notes.
The service also provides money-saving tips and guides on its page. For instance, if you expect to have a good credit standing, you might not want to apply for a number of credit cards in a short time. That is because too much credit activity can hurt a credit score.
Currently, the company is focusing on product base and expanding its marketing campaign. “Moving forward, we aim to become the market leader and the most comprehensive and easy to use financial comparison platform in Hong Kong. We will expand to cover more financial products to maintain organic growth,” Musgrave says, noting that they will offer mortgage comparisons shortly.
Says Musgrave: “The market in Hong Kong is primed for growth. We believe that financial comparison portals will have a dramatic impact on how Hong Kong consumers purchase financial products.” Contact the writer at email@example.com
The startup p is fortunate too have a good teamm with the knowledge dge and expertise too make the idea work.