A study from financial technology firm Wealth Wizards also showed that 58 per cent would “struggle or panic” if they got an unexpected bill.
Twenty per cent of employees had difficulty paying off debt, and 62 per cent said they had not been able to save, even though they wanted to.
The data were gathered from 1,668 workers testing the firm’s new digital financial advice app, MyEva, which is fully-regulated by the FCA and launches this week. It is available to users via employers, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Unilever and Calvin Klein.
MyEva, available as a web-app and chatbot, will help employees improve their financial situation with independent personalised guidance and advice. It offers help, information and nudges on a range of personal finance matters, as well as regulated pensions and investments advice, supporting financial wellbeing in the workplace.
The app initially takes people through a simple financial health check and, based on responses, provides users with personalised recommendations, such as how much they should contribute to their workplace pension, how to build up longer-term savings and how to invest their money.
MyEva also provides employers with real-time, anonymised data on the most prevalent financial worries among their workforces, enabling them to provide help and support and to measure the success of their actions in subsequent data.
Andrew Firth, founder and CEO of Wealth Wizards, said: “We’re delighted to bring MyEva to the workplace market as we know from experience that so many employers are looking to improve financial wellbeing in the workplace and importantly, measure the success of that improvement as part of their benefit and engagement programmes.
“MyEva has been created with a personality that provides a supportive arm around the shoulders, nudging people to make better financial decisions that their future self will one day thank them for at an appropriate pace for all individuals, regardless of personal circumstances. At the same time, she will help employers develop policies and programmes that meet the needs of their employees so there is a double benefit.
“We hope MyEva will help usher in an era in which regulated financial advice is available not just to the wealthy but to everyone.”
The algorithms behind the digital financial adviser are created by expert chartered financial planners and technologists and where MyEva can’t assist, she will refer clients to a team of human advisers. The “beta test” of MyEva was beta-tested by several organisations, including Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).
David Bell, head of human resources at the trust, said: “The service from Wealth Wizards has had a significant impact across our organisation. It has helped with our understanding of the needs and wants of our employees and how best to proceed with our financial wellbeing strategy.
“We worked with the communications and marketing teams at both CNWL and Wealth Wizards to develop an effective plan to launch the service and our employees really enjoyed engaging with the Wealth Wizards staff at events across the trust.
“For CNWL it has been a fantastic initiative – we have been supported by great partners in Wealth Wizards and have some quantitative data about the financial health and wellbeing of our staff to help develop our plans.”
Unilever has also offered use of MyEva to its employees.
Nicola Wells, Global Reward Director, Unilever commented. “Unilever share a vision with Wealth Wizards to make financial advice affordable and accessible to all, to inspire societal change. A personalised approach to improving financial wellbeing with great MI to act upon will ensure that we as an organisation will be confident knowing we are helping people access financial guidance and advice that is right for them, regardless of their circumstances.”
MyEva is available now through selected employers. Please visit MyEva.com for more information.