Edenred, a provider of corporate payment solutions to 830k clients worldwide, is teaming up with the Bulgarian fintech startup Klear to reduce personal finance stress at work. The partnership means that employees, part of Edenred’s customer network, now can have free access to financial education, receive up to 50% of salaries in advance, and apply for personal loans at low-rates.
Building on the food vouchers, incentive programs and gift cards the company offers to businesses in Bulgaria, Edenred expands its employee benefits portfolio. “Some of our customers voiced their concern about the financial well-being of their employees and we wondered how we could help them. We looked for an innovative solution and found Klear. I’m thrilled to start providing this new service, which enlarges the product range of Edenred and will reinforce our leadership position,” said in a press release Medhi Benbouguerra, CEO of Edenred Bulgaria.
This news comes just a few months after research by BNP Paribas Personal Finance revealed that Bulgarians are one of the biggest pessimists in the EU in regard to their economic well-being. On a similar note, in 2018 Moitepari.bg discovered that while 70% of local respondents find financial planning important, only 11% plan for the long-term, often because they cannot afford to do so.
Less stress, more productivity
Employees from all over the world cite financial worries as the number one stressor in their lives. Such mental strain does not go without consequences for the employers as well. It is estimated that those anxious about money are up to 7.6 times more likely not to complete their daily tasks, 5.7 times more likely to have conflicts with co-workers, and 2.2 more likely to be seeking a new job.
Sure enough, businesses also cannot afford to increase salaries all the time. Responding to these complex dynamics, the launch of Klear Financial Well-being powered by Edenred, looks to create a win-win situation for everyone involved. Companies get to take care of employees without breaking the bank. Employees receive tools to better manage their financial situation. Edenred can provide a valuable and differentiating service to its customers. Last but not least, Klear seizes an opportunity to scale fast and offer its products to new audiences.
Partnerships as a growth strategy
“We have developed good products. We know it by the fact that our customers come back and even refer us to their friends without any monetary reward. That’s very positive but it is not enough to scale up massively. It’s why we started to look for channels to distribute our products. Hence the idea to contact a large corporation like Edenred and see if they would be interested in distributing our products to their customers, to the employees of their customers indeed,” says Klear’s CEO Loic Le Pichoux.
The collaboration with Edenred is not the first time Klear enters into a strategic relationship to reach the next level. Back in June, the German bank Varengold acquired a 20% equity stake in the P2P lending platform in exchange for € 750K. The funds came with the extra benefit of Varengold’s banking license that makes Klear’s expansion in Central and Eastern Europe a bit easier than it would have been otherwise.
Should we expect more from Klear in the corporate segment? “No. With Varengold Bank as a financial partner and Edenred as a business partner, we believe we now have the resources and the potential to grow significantly,” concludes Pichoux.