Forty percent of households in the Netherlands have difficulty making ends meet. More than 2 million households
have arrears or problematic debts but are not reached by the regular
debt counseling. For this reason, municipalities joined forces in 2019 and created a
tender issued to develop a digital PSD2 solution with a suitable market party for
Budget coaching and budget management so that the municipality can gradually help more people better.
As a result of the tendering procedure, a group of large municipalities will win in September 2020
The innovation partnership started with the Rotterdam Fintech Buddy Payment. Within the Innovation Partnership
Together with Buddy Payment, municipalities are developing the necessary innovative technology to combat poverty
debt strategy future-proof. A 4 to 8 year collaboration has been chosen in the
knowledge that it will take years to implement this vision technologically and organisationally.
Innovative technology to help more citizens
The Innovation Partnership has been underway for 18 months, counting from the first delivery of the Buddy App
and the App has provided over 2,000 vulnerable users with daily financial support. The
As a digital assistant, Buddy App provides daily insight into the financial situation, sets the fixed costs
visually separate and calculates a monthly budget to live on, automatically saves for users and gives
daily advice (push notifications) for improving the user’s financial situation. In addition, there are
continuously developed new applications, such as the automatic supplementary test, technology that
for a user to check the entitlement to national surcharges and local regulations via the Buddy App.
This comes from independent research carried out by research agency AEPB at the request of municipalities
forward that the Buddy App contains all the functionalities required in the tender and that there
high-quality and well-functioning technology has been delivered. Users also indicate that they use
like the App, that the Buddy App causes less financial stress and that they would like the App
recommend to others. However, the research shows that further development is still necessary and the one
The challenge is to reach the target group and let them use the application for a longer period of time.
Despite the fact that the Buddy App has been live for a year and a half and the partnership had taken 4 to 8 years to complete,
the municipalities jointly announced in April that they will end the Innovation Partnership.
The reason for this is that they consider the results of the application to be insufficient for the collective
innovation partnership. Because without the commitment of municipalities it is not possible to
To make a business case, the management has not found a takeover candidate. With the bankruptcy of
the company will lose the developed technology and the citizens who use the Buddy App can
no more digital support from this week.