While Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the global population, young people, in
particular, are anticipated to be one of the most significant casualties of the pandemic.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), past recessions have shown that young individuals are usually first to be laid off work, while three out of four work in the informal economy, with little or no social protection. In addition, youth are overrepresented in sectors ravaged by the pandemic, such as hospitality, retail and tourism.
Berniece Hieckmann, Head of GetUp, a new offering from financial services provider
Metropolitan, adds that, “If contracted, a virus such as Covid-19 can affect your ability to earn an income, or your income may cease as a result of turbulent economic conditions, leaving you unable to meet your financial commitments.
“While these are challenges faced by young people globally, when set against the backdrop of our existing socio-economic landscape, they have the potential to financially cripple a generation of young South Africans at the very start of their professional journeys.”
GetUp was born out of the desire to empower a younger, digitally-minded consumer – one who faces mounting financial pressures – with the tools and knowledge they need to help set them on the path to future success.
The offering was designed with the needs, challenges and lifestyles of young South Africans firmly in mind. “We conducted a deep-dive into our target market, drawing from anthropological and ethnographic research, trends and behavioural patterns as well as quantitative data. These insights enabled us to build relevant, innovative solutions and a strong brand identity, which will connect with consumers.”
GetUp’s solutions include a debt consolidation loan, savings and education plans, as well as funeral and income protection cover.
“We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to products – just as we have specific priorities at different junctures in our lives, so do we need personalised, flexible financial solutions, which support the life stage of the individual.”
Hieckmann points out that Covid-19 has only increased the existing disparity between the financial needs of young consumers and their elder counterparts.
She cites debt as an example. “Our research revealed that debt is the lived reality of many millennials. As the financial burden on them increases, so is debt expected to mount – creating a trap that they may struggle to escape.
“The cost of debt servicing – especially when one has multiple loans or credit arrangements – further exacerbates the cycle. Yet, people have multiple financial commitments and expenses, and it is not realistic to expect that one has the funds immediately available to settle all of their
“With this in mind, we partnered with Bayport to design a solution that would allow clients to consolidate their loans, structuring a path that would empower them to – affordably and flexibly – pay off their financial commitments, while slowing the credit-debt cycle.”
Omni-channel agility is an integral part of GetUp’s offering to consumers. “We know that digital channels are preferred by millennials for convenience – and with the arrival of Covid-19, this is now a non-negotiable. However, our research revealed that in complex or urgent situations, young consumers still prefer human interactions; thus, it was important for us to be able to offer a
seamless user experience, regardless of channel.
“Engaging through our platform, also negates the need for a sales person, thereby reducing the cost for the consumer as there is no commission payable on products, as well as taking away undue pressure to buy, which is common in traditional sales models.
“We want to put young people in the driving seat of their own lives, empowering them to make informed decisions that will help them meet their financial goals,” says Hieckmann.
For more information, please visit www.metgetup.co.za