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Women in FinTech: A chat with Ana Gallagher, Founder & CEO, Baby Ready Finance

Ana Gallacher
women in FinTech

Tell us about your business and your current role – what attracted you to the industry, what problem you are trying to solve and the role technology can play in this

Growing up, I never received any formal education on how to manage my finances. Even when I studied economics, it didn’t provide any practical knowledge on personal finance. It was when I started working in finance that I realised just how complicated the financial system and its products can be. And unfortunately, it’s not just me. Many people struggle to understand financial jargon and the complex array of products and tools available to them. This lack of financial education and transparency often leaves people vulnerable to misinformation and poor financial decisions.

That’s why I founded BabyReady Finance – to help make financial planning and savings accessible and easy for new parents, especially Millennials and Gen Z, who are tech-savvy and prefer digital platforms. Our AI-powered platform provides tailored financial planning, cashback, and savings, using open banking data to make personalised recommendations. With 34% of UK households having less than £1000 in savings and a lack of accessible financial advice, BabyReady Finance aims to bridge the gap and provide a clear vision for a better financial future for new parents.

Are we seeing consumer expectations change around financial services? What new challenges are businesses facing in relation to this?

In today’s world, customers expect companies to provide personalised solutions that meet their specific needs and goals. This is particularly true in the finance industry, where every individual has unique financial circumstances and goals. It is no longer enough for financial institutions to offer generic financial products or advice – customers want tailored solutions that take into account their personal financial situation and goals.

My personal experience has shown me that all-types-fits-all solutions do not work anymore. The data supports this as well – with only 5% of people in the UK having a stocks and shares ISA in 2021, it is clear that the current offerings in the market are not meeting the needs and goals of the majority of customers. Ultimately, customers want to feel like their unique financial circumstances and goals are being taken into account when it comes to their finances. One-size-fits-all solutions may have worked in the past, but today’s customers expect more. Companies that can provide personalized financial planning and advice using technology and data analytics are likely to gain a competitive edge and succeed in the long term.

What are the biggest trends and technologies you see powering products and services in personal finance and advice?

As someone who works in the field of personal finance, I know firsthand that technology is revolutionising the industry. Two of the most significant trends are leveraging customer data through machine learning and AI technology and the security and ethical use of customer data.

On the one hand, AI and machine learning technology are transforming the way we analyse and use customer data. By analysing vast amounts of data, AI can identify patterns and provide insights that were previously impossible to find. This technology allows us to personalise financial advice and planning to suit the individual needs and goals of each customer, ultimately improving their financial well-being.

On the other hand, the ethical and secure use of customer data is paramount. We must ensure that customer data is used only for legitimate purposes and protected from malicious actors who might use it for nefarious purposes. As someone who cares deeply about customer privacy and security, I believe that it is crucial to adopt robust data protection and security measures.

What personal skills have been fundamental to the success of you and your team at Baby Ready Finance? WHat advice would you give to other entrepreneurial teams who are just getting started on their own journey?

As an entrepreneur and problem-solver, I’ve learned to think creatively and find alternative solutions when faced with challenges. As a non-technical founder of a tech company, I knew I needed a team with diverse skill sets to bring our product to life.

My co-founder Irina and I knew we needed tech skills and regulatory compliance expertise. Luckily, we were able to find our CTO Carlos, an experienced fintech developer. Together, we formed a team of three co-founders (finance, marketing, tech) and three advisors.

To all the non-tech founders out there, I want to say: don’t give up. There is always a way. Non-code solutions are becoming increasingly popular in the market, and you can build a prototype without intensive technical knowledge. With determination and creativity, you can build a successful tech company, even without a technical background.

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Ana Gallacher

Ana Gallacher is the founder of BabyReady Finance, a financial planning and savings platform for Millennials and Gen Z in the UK.
Ana worked on digital transformation at Aegon UK, a leading financial services provider in the UK. During her time there, she identified a gap in the market between the needs of young parents struggling to manage their finances and the industry’s ability to offer tailored support. This experience led her to establish BabyReady Finance, a financial planning and savings platform that uses AI and open banking to help new parents plan their finances and save for their children. The platform provides tailored financial planning, cashback, and savings and learns from its users’ data to improve its accuracy over time. With her economics and project management background, Ana leverages her expertise to lead the company and provide value to its customers.

Irina Del Villar is the CMO of BabyReady and has a background in marketing, entrepreneurship, and professional communication. She has a BA in International Relations and an MSc in International Project Management. Irina is a serial entrepreneur and founded her marketing agency in Glasgow in 2018, where she helped B2B and B2C brands increase brand awareness and scale their businesses. As an expert in Google, Facebook ads and community management, Irina focuses on the go-to-market strategy for BabyReady helping parents to break bad financial habits and create better opportunities for future generations.