05 May Member Spotlight: Figlo
Member Spotlight: Figlo
Financial planning is an essential aspect of a persons’ life. It defines what we can consume, what we must save, and how to time our financial decisions. Figlo, an international software company which began in the Netherlands back in 1996, specializes in making financial planning software for banks, pension funds and insurance companies in the form of a B2B2C application, allowing individuals to fully assess their financial positions.
Figlo, which stands for “financial globalization”, started off in 1996 as the Infa Group, supporting financial advisors, planners and banks with their business and financial calculations. By 2000, Infa Group had become the market leader in the Netherlands, serving more than 50 percent of the Dutch market. By 2006, with international expansion looming, the decision was made to change the name to Figlo in order to reflect this strategy of expanding focus abroad. Since then, Figlo has expanded to serve finance professionals across Europe and Asia. Currently, the offices in the Netherlands employ around 60 professionals including IT programmers, financial professionals and support staff. In 2014, Figlo was acquired by Advicent, a worldwide provider of financial advisory services to third party finance professionals based in the United States.
The service provided by Figlo is delivered in the form of an API software package, which is compatible with many internal CRM and IT systems. It could, however, also be linked to externally acquired systems, such as Salesforce®, giving clients optimal flexibility to incorporate Figlo’s software into their own service systems. Furthermore, Figlo incorporates data from the databases of the National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud). Nibud is an independent foundation in the Netherlands that gives information and advice on financial matters of private households to harness a large pool information from which financial planning and calculations can be performed.
Figure 1: This image displays the Figlo platform, which optimally integrates external data sources to a CRM system and client front end portal, allowing managers to give both financial insights to their customers and create this knowledge for themselves.
Two of the most important aspects of financial services resolve around ease of use and customer satisfaction, which are closely linked, according to Thomas Vermeire, Enterprise Account Executive at Figlo. He highlights a case study from a client of Figlo, which shows both ease of use and customer satisfaction coming together in the financial planning systems at Knab-bank, a Dutch internet-only challenger bank launched in 2012 by Aegon. Figlo’s software was implemented in the Knab banking platform, which worked on the principle of buying all banking services for one transparent fee and ensuring that customers are fully in control of their personal finances. The financial planning software allowed Knab customers to incorporate external data from “Mijn Pensioen Overzicht” in their financial plan, providing insights into their pension planning and future cash flows from pension schemes, net of tax. The system also includes active alerts, keeping customers of Knab updated on their financial position by asking for their attention when certain changes occur. All these components came together using the Figlo ecosystem, which is meant to translate the financial data into an understandable and easy-to-follow advice. This system can be regarded as a part of the reason why Knab has been receiving an 8 out of 10 in their customer reviews – the highest score of all Dutch banks.
Figure 2: The customer system of KNAB, which was constructed using Figlo’s financial planning software.
Thomas’s view on the Dutch FinTech market definitely falls in line with the vision of Figlo on financial services. When discussing FinTech, we discuss usability, automation and a better customer journey at an affordable price. Over the last years, many firms have invested in these three aspects of their service, and many start-ups have attempted to cater to this demand by creating a part of the value chain. Many expectations, however, still have to materialize. For the time being, Figlo will do its best to ensure that the financial service industry is brought to an ever-higher standard.