Here at Hnry, our main focus is on financially empowering the self-employed. It’s our aim to make earning an independent income simpler for all – from tax filing to invoice management and expense tracking, we’ve implemented features that make Hnry the one-stop ‘concierge’ service for the self-employed.
So for the whole month of October, we looked at how self-employed people actually manage their finances. At the start of the month, we shared some data we’d collected on trends within self-employed groups: where people get financial advice, where they put their money, what their financial goals are. Each week since then, we’ve been sharing tips and conversations we’ve had with our friends at Sharesies, One Percent Collective, and Foxplan, all about ways in which self-employed people can feel more financially empowered, plan for their future, and arrange direct debits. This then brought us to create the ‘Allocations’ feature.
What is the ‘Allocations’ feature, and why did we create it?
We knew the challenges we were hearing weren’t just limited to Wellington or even New Zealand. So to help fix this problem we created the ‘Allocations’ feature, allowing anyone to nominate a percentage of their income to be paid into any other New Zealand bank account, every time they get paid. No more frustrating direct debits that come out of your personal account, even before you’ve been paid by clients. Now you can make regular payments to someone every time you get paid.
You can set aside 5% to your Savings Account, 2% to KiwiSaver, and 10% to your mum. We’ve also extended the Allocations feature so that you can set aside money to those very companies (One Percent Collective and Sharesies) that we talked to earlier in the month.
We created the ‘Allocations’ feature because we wanted to further fix those problems that come with being self-employed: the monthly direct debits, the fear of being late to pay, punishments for making late payments. We had the ability to help from a foundational level, plus it felt like a really good benefit for our customers. Even better, it would be something we could provide at no extra cost to them, and they would get a great deal of benefit in return.
We’re really excited to see what our customers use it for - the fact that you can transfer to any NZ Bank Account means it’s an open playground for anyone to use.
How does the new Allocations feature affect the “Future of Work”?
A big challenge for self-employed contractors and freelancers is that the government and banks treat them as though they are small businesses. As a result, these workers are expected to operate to the same degree as a small business: paying tax and compliance on top of their own individual obligations. Hnry’s Allocations feature is providing workers with an additional foundation upon which to build their futures. We’re fulfilling our pledge of ‘What you get paid is yours to keep’ and emphasising confidence and peace of mind for all of our customers. Gone are the days of looking at that bank balance, wondering “is that mine?”
Moreover, the barriers for self-employed people to get on the property ladder are lowering, and as a result, Hnry customers get enabled confidence, knowing that we provide the right data to banks.
What’s the future of the Hnry Allocations feature?
We’re always looking for other options of helping Hnry customers save, invest, and feel confident in their self-employed work. So in response to a suggestion from one of our customers, we added a Student Loan Top-up allocation earlier this week so that our customers can nominate an extra contribution on top of their standard student loan deduction.
It’s also been really interesting seeing other organisations come to the table, asking how they can get involved. For instance, we’re in talks with Utility providers to get them on-board as well – making the Hnry service even more of a one-stop shop.
We’re keen to hear any feedback you might have about our new Allocations feature: feel free to comment below with what you’d like to see us add!