‘Social’ fintech startup Kandoor grew in the innovation garden of APG, the largest pension provider in the Netherlands. Focusing on the scenario that more and more people want and have to make difficult to make financial choices completely on their own, APG wanted to provide accessible guidance. Kandoor now blossoms as the first platform for free financial information, by connecting financial professionals (volunteers) with consumers and using a chatbot that utilizes machine learning. Time for a chat with Tom Romanowski, founder of Kandoor.
Why did you found Kandoor?
“Some people have trouble managing their finances and experience stress as a result of this, while they can be helped with these financial challenges. APG noticed that the consumer had three ways of finding financial information: searching online, asking friends or paying for information. The pension provider wanted to play a role in society by helping overcome this issue. And they wanted to discover how they could reach the consumer. Therefore, Kandoor was founded. By exploring what questions are relevant, APG can offer relevant knowledge to their customers and partners, like the SVB (the social insurance bank, the government institution that handles AOW). The promise of Kandoor is a financial feature with fewer worries, by making knowledge accessible in a personal, simple and reliable way.”
How does Kandoor work?
“First of all, we are a match-making platform between consumers with financial questions and financial experts. Think of students with the financial knowledge, financial professionals, and financial advisors. There are about of 150 experts on Kandoor and they all like the fact that they can share their knowledge, stay up to date and are challenged by the questions on the platform. The platform is visited by about 80.000 to 90.000 unique visitors each month and every week a couple of new experts join us. We also make use of a chat-bot. He is able to understand the questions and link them to a relevant expert. Even better: he can already answer most of the questions about pensions since it uses machine learning. By developing the chat-bot, offering content on the FAQ’s and finding more experts, Kandoor should be able to scale.”
Do you see any trends in the questions on the platform?
“We actually do. Because we started under the umbrella of APG, a lot of the questions used to be about pensions. Think of questions like: ‘How do I get my pension?’ Or: ‘When do I receive AOW?’ The questions on the platform are actually correlated to societal events. When people have to fill in their tax return, a lot of questions on the platform are about taxes. When the new school year starts, more and more questions are about study funding. The bigger trend is that people have urgent matters and want to be helped promptly. The bot offers an on-the-spot answer and is able to clarify most of the questions about pensions. Experts need an hour to a day to reply. Because of these response times, we get highly positive feedback from our users.”