Q&A with Mat Megens

Last week our CEO Mat Megens hosted an Instagram Live and answered some questions from our HyperJar users. He also mentioned some new features that are coming this summer. We’ve put this blog together with all the answers to the questions he was asked just in case you missed the Instagram Live. Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions!

 

  • Why should I use HyperJar? / How should I be using it?

HyperJar is a great way to get in control of your money, in a fun way. We’ve tried to design a way to almost incentive you to save and so that it fits in around your life. We’ve done this in a visual and fun way with the structure of Jars. If you use HyperJar you’ll be better off as a result. We make money by helping you do well with saving rather than you getting into debt. HyperJar compliments your existing bank relationship instead of replacing it. 

  • How did you come up with the idea for HyperJar? 

When I was investment banker, I worked on product called Supply Chain Finance.  IN simple terms it tries to help smaller suppliers of large buyers get paid earlier on favourable terms.  However in practice often the larger buyer can manipulate the payment terms to be longer, say 200 days and the small supplier has no choice but to use the bank’s Supply Chain Finance product.  I thought why not remove the bank, and allow regular consumers like you and me who have money in banks earning nothing pay early to the places they shop, earn an attractive return to do so and that shop can pay its suppliers early. Crowd source working capital in a way.  It has then evolved into what we see today but that was the original idea.

  • How is HyperJar different to a bank like Monzo?

We aren’t trying to be a bank or replace your bank, we are a tool that sits beside your bank. We aren’t trying to offer you all the tools that a bank offers and we don’t want to lend money. We’re trying to help people save so they don’t need to borrow money, that’s why we've built a savings app that can also be your daily spending card. We make money when you plan ahead with our merchant partners, not when you are taking out a loan. Most banks are very solitary, there are lots of socially shared expenses that can be difficult to manage with a traditional bank, so we’ve created our tool which can help with socially shared expenses. 

Shared Jars

  • How do shared Jars work?

Conceptually shared  Jars act like a customisable joint bank account where each user can have different permission.  For example, Billy can spend up to £50, Janet can spent unlimited and Michelle is only able to view transactions but not spend.  All users can add notes and they use their own cards to spend from the jar (by connecting their card to the jar in the app with a single click).

  • If I share a Jar with someone with a bad credit rating will it affect mine?

Absolutely not.  We don’t issue debt and have no need to check your score or anyone you share a jar with. That said in the future we are looking at ways to help your savings history be an input to improve your credit score (we’re very confident we’ll be able to do this).  This will allow someone to, for example save with HyperJar, never get a credit card but still be able to access good debt like a mortgage.

Features 

  • Can I do round-ups to a savings jar?

Not yet but soon!  You’ll be able to assign a round up jar (which you can change as you wish) and any spend will have a round-up transfer to that jar.

  • What automation will HyperJar have in the future?

HyperJar will be full of automation in the near future, from round-ups to scheduled transfers and payments. They’ll also be integrated budgeting tools, behavioural tools and social saving groups.

  • How much interest will I get with a merchant Jar?

At the moment it’s around 5% per annum which means if you put in £100 and leave it for a year it will be worth £105 of spending power.  This will soon expand to different types of incentives but all incentives will encourage planning.

  • Can I use HyperJar with Apple Pay?

Not yet but coming very soon! Google Pay is now available.  A bit of a technical point but because of what we’ve built with our ability to automatically redeem prepay at merchants, the process of activating Apple and Google Pay is more difficult than the typical spending card.

Merchants 

  •  How do I get my business on HyperJar?

Email merchants@hyperjar.com or reach out to any of our social channels and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.

  • Will you be getting other companies joining?

Yes! MyProtein and Amara joined today, a couple more in the next week or so and we are in conversations with over 50 other merchants.  The more people speak to merchants the better so any merchant you want both let us know and the merchant know, it all helps.

  • What is a Merchant Jar?

This is our name for a jar where you prepay to a merchant.  However, this will be changing very soon to a more exciting and more intuitive structure.  Stay tuned to see how!

  • Will you soon be accepting prepaying to local businesses 

Absolutely yes!  For HyperJar to work best, it needs to cover where you shop and local businesses are key to your shopping and the wider economy.  This will be available very soon and we will be broadcasting this soon to get as many local businesses to join the platform as possible.

Wellbeing 

  • I’ve always struggled to make budgeting a habit - what are your top tips to help me get started?
  1. Start by writing down your expenses and income, on a monthly basis (there will be a tool coming soon to HyperJar!).  Don’t try and do it all at once, have a sheet handy and write things as you think of them, or look at your bank statement.  It might feel painful at the start but once you start it feels good.
  1. Start keeping track of what you spend outside of your bills, find out what this is on a daily basis, initially write it down on a sheet.
  2. Then set goals – goals to reduce discretionary spend and goals to save up for.  Start small initially, one or two things.  For example – a simple spending goal could be to limit yourself to £20 in the month for coffee.   A simple saving goal could be I’ll save up £100 in a clothes jar before I buy my next outfit, starting with £10 this week.
  3. Awareness of your finance is most important thing and then get into a daily habit, it can go from stressful to fun

 

  • When is it okay for someone to have debt?

Debt is a very personal topic for people, so firstly, thre is no simple answer. However if it’s within people’s power, debt should see a return on investment – this could be something obvious like a house (appreciating house price) or could be a car (it gets me to work to earn income) Debt gets trickier for me when it’s conspicuous consumption like clothing.  Because you get the item, then the item immediately begins to lose value and yet you still have to pay it back.  It can destroy the soul and prevent you from doing other things.  It can become a trap.  99 times out one hundred, if you save up for the item, you’ll feel better about it. 

Questions about Mat Megens

  • Which Jars do you have?

Shell, Bloom&Wild, FeelUnique, ATG, Dyson, Café Rouge, Grocery (shared), Pocket money (for each of my kids), Christmas, Frog pedals, kids lessons

Shared with me 6 jars -Uni fund, Eve, Date night, Lululemon, Canada, Dance World Cup

  • How important is social life for you?

I am in the context family/sports/adventure, kiteboarding/surfing/snowboarding/cycling

  • Describe yourself in 3 words

Ambitious, Loyal, Adventurous

  • Where do you want to travel if you could go anywhere? 

Tahiti