Scale-ups in the spotlight

One quick and easy way to save money is to cut your regular household expenses. But most people never get around to it. Founder Joran Iedema explains how Dyme does that for you, to make getting – and staying – on top of your finances automatic.
Posted on June 15, 2021

So tell us a little about Dyme.

Dyme is a free mobile application from the Netherlands that helps people save money by getting better deals on their regular household services and eliminating the services they don’t need. You simply connect your bank account to the app and authorise us to optimise your contracts, such as for utilities, internet and insurance. Once Dyme works out what you pay for these services, you can have us automatically renegotiate the contract, cancel it or switch you over to a different service provider.

What’s the story behind Dyme?

The founding team and I struck upon the idea for Dyme after selling our first company, a bicycle sharing platform. We wanted to take the proceeds – and that great experience – and create something new.

So one day, Wouter, our CTO, was going through his bank statements and saw he’d been paying for access to a gym that he hadn’t been to for six months. He felt ripped off.

That got us thinking. Many people take out a membership or subscribe to something and then forget about it. They also have lots of contracts with service providers that they’ve had for a long time, and it could cheaper to renegotiate with their current provider or switch to another. People can do that on their own of course, but many find finance tedious and don’t want to spend that much time on it.

Dyme shows you what you’ve been paying for these services so you can decide whether to ditch the service or have us find a better deal for you. Whatever way you decide to go, Dyme completes that process for you. Dyme does all the hard work so you can relax.

Isn’t authorising an app to look through their bank account and renew contracts a hurdle for some people?

It certainly is. That’s why we’ve been targeting early adopters. Yes, some are hesitant to connect their bank account to Dyme. But when they realise we use the same data encryption as their own bank, most are okay with it. They see the benefit.

Our next step is to expand to serve a more generic audience. So we really need to make people understand they can trust us. We don’t run any ads business through Dyme. And our business model is based on fair play. For example, when we switch people over to a new insurance contract, we earn a commission, which is how we fund the app. That fee is the same for us across all insurers: there’s no financial advantage for us to favour one insurer over another.

So this is definitely going to be one of our biggest challenges: how to convey this message of trust to a larger user base.

What are your goals for the next six to twelve months?

We definitely want to go international. In fact, we’ve already started to offer our services in the UK. And we want to offer more categories where people can save. We do this now for telecom and energy, and we’re launching car insurance.

Right now we’ve been saving people up to 800 euros a year, and that can go up to 1,100 based on our road map for all these different kinds of contracts. Our 12-month goal is to enable everyone who uses Dyme to connect at least four contracts, to make Dyme more relevant in their lives.

Any cultural differences?

In the UK, where banking has had a greater presence, we’re seeing higher connection rates and higher conversion, where people actually let us handle their contracts for them. That’s been very encouraging. In the long term, we also plan to expand to Germany. We’ve run some tests, and people there seem more conservative about connecting their bank to a mobile app. So we’re going to need better marketing and brand awareness to show that we can be trusted.

What other challenges do you see down the road?

We also want Dyme to feel genuine. During the launch phase, we thought everything should be automated. But once we got moving along, we discovered that the best approach is to go 50% technology, 50% human.

So now, actual humans are involved when you ask us to change your contract or look for a better deal. They can see whether a solution fits your personal situation. The next step is to broaden that so users can call and talk to one of our advisers. We really want to push the human aspect. Trust is vital to Dyme, and it’s easier to gain that trust if users can talk to humans.

TFI has been working with several start-ups. Where does Dyme fit in?

A lot of these technologies focus on changing people’s spending and saving habits, which is also important. But that’s much more difficult to achieve than simply cutting your annual expenses. And you don’t necessarily have to be in financial distress to benefit from the app.

Let’s face it, we can all use a little extra help – even if you’re at the top of your game financially. Dyme really is for everyone. That’s one of our strengths.

Check out more about Dyme here!