Dozens, a finance startup with two FCA licences which has recently launched its app offering current accounts, budgeting tools and investment in the UK, has partnered with Westminster City Council to find out what local residents and businesses really want from their future high streets.
High streets up and down the country have come under pressure in recent years and suffered decreased sales in the face of stiff online competition. Meanwhile bank branches have been closing down, negatively affecting communities, businesses and employment. A lack of digital skills often leads to worse financial skills, affecting people and businesses further. Dozens and Westminster City Council want to find out what can be done to improve the high street and create renewed growth through community driven research.
Born out of a need to align business interests with the customer’s financial wellbeing, Dozens has launched its first UK consumer finance app in early 2019. It offers a current account, a smart budgeting tool and an investment manager, all in one app. By providing customers with simple, digital access to financial literacy, and opening up sophisticated products previously earmarked for smaller segments of the market, Dozens looks to take people on a journey from spender to saver to investor. Now Dozens is looking to expand its innovative business model to serve small businesses, by exploring an alternative presence for financial services and education on the high street.
There have been advances in financial technologies (FinTech) recently. But due to the digital skills gap in the population not everybody is served by the new banking apps, leading to a further widening of the financial skills gap. Dozens is focused on helping close both the financial and the digital skills gaps.
In collaboration with Westminster City Council, Dozens will host a popup at 470 Harrow Road for one month. It will be a focal point to gather insights about how local businesses, consumers and residents spend and save their money, and how a lack of local financial services on the high street affects their day to day lives. During the duration of the popup there will be exhibitions, workshops, conversations and skills focused sessions. The aim is to co-create a new service that offers positive financial impact for residents and accelerates growth for Harrow Road businesses.
“We are excited to expand our community with a form of high street presence to learn more about how consumers and businesses are affected by their local high streets. Harrow Road is an example of a struggling UK high street; the last bank branch has recently closed down. We are interested to explore what the bank branch of the future could look like, what local small businesses really think of the financial services they use to manage their businesses, and what can be done to improve them.”
Aritra Chakravarty, Dozens Founder & CEO