Changing our behavior can be difficult but necessary if we want to see a change in our lives. This is true for every type of change we want to see in our lives, from our health to our finances, and for the latter, this human-centered tech designer, specializing in cognitive science, believes AI can help us change our behavior to make smarter financial decisions, save more, and retire earlier.
In today’s episode, we speak with Uday Akkaraju, Founder and CEO at BOND.AI, a leader in AI-driven financial insight technology, to discuss how their technology works and how it stands to help us find more financial freedom in our lives.
Akkaraju shares how he was living in Silicon Valley, spending everything he got on the weekend, living paycheck to paycheck until he was struck by a financial emergency. He tried getting help from banks and financial institutions but was rejected everywhere he went.
Because of this, he realized he had to create a solution to his problem, so he started looking at his behavior and transaction patterns. He explains that he initially looked at his situation in two different ways.
Firstly, how to get out of this bad financial situation as soon as possible. And secondly, how can he change his behavior to avoid this again. He set out to find a solution using his background in human center design and cognitive psychology.
He found that other apps that offered financial guidance services were disjointed, so he decided to create a better design that took a more holistic approach. After 18 months, he had raised enough capital and confidence in his product to launch BOND.AI.
Akkaraju explains what the Empathy Engine he created for BOND.AI is, and how it works. He also explains that in order to see change, the focus has to be on habits and behaviors, because whatever financial tools you have or whatever advisor you have is only valuable if you apply these insights to your behavior, and behavioral change can be incredibly difficult to do successfully.
Akkaraju gives an example to highlight its use, explaining that if the Empathy Engine can see that the individual has been traveling a lot, it can ask what their favorite airline is. With this answer, the Empathy Engine can use this as a data point to decide what financial avenues would benefit them the most. And thus, gives them insights they may not have thought, thanks to these data points.
We also talk about how data can be used to implement UBI, why Akkaraju decided to leave Silicon Valley to move to Arkansas, and why it has been such a beneficial move for the business.
Disclosure: This episode includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company