Buddy Payment

Digital debt platform

Key Data

  • Trading Name: Buddy Payment
  • Legal Entity: Buddy Payment B.V.
  • Activities: debt prevention app
  • Location: Netherlands
  • Regulations: DNB, the Dutch central bank
  • Key People: Camiel Kuiper (Linkedin), Marco van Etten (Linkedin), and Ralph Oudshoorn (Linkedin)

Buddy Payment is a debt prevention app that helps users pay and manage their bills.

The Rotterdam-based startup, which currently has 11 employees, has developed an app that enables citizens who have problems with their daily finances.

The company obtained a PSD2 license (AISP) from DNB, the Dutch central bank. This license gave Buddy Payment access to the PSD2 APIs of Dutch banks.

Founded in 2018 by Camiel Kuiper (Linkedin), Marco van Etten (Linkedin), and Ralph Oudshoorn (Linkedin). Buddy Payment is headquartered in Rotterdam.

Offering

The app is offered to citizens by city councils as part of their debt counseling services. Instead of using their normal home banking app, citizens use the Buddy app, which takes control of their bank accounts.

The app analyzes debits and credits, reserves, and resets monthly fixed expenses (rent, gas and electricity, health insurance, etc.) and presents the remaining budget. It advises on what can and cannot be done, approves and rejects expenses, and initiates payments due.

Buddy has a specific coercive character: it prevents money earmarked for fixed expenses or a debt repayment from being used for other things. In addition to a fixed set of more than 1000 rules, Buddy learns from its users’ behavior and preferences via AI algorithms and a proactive chat interface. For example, Buddy can advise users on benefits to which they may – or may not – be entitled (to avoid having to pay back surcharges later).

Problems

Several towns have since invested tons in the application, which experts say doesn’t work well and has flawed privacy policies.

Compliance problems

One of their executives was the former Labor Party council member Pieter Hilhorst’s.

Following reports from Pointer and Follow the Money (FTM) about his involvement in poverty app Buddy, he is leaving the app. According to a press release, he is resigning as an employee and has sold his shares.

Conclusion

We rate Buddy Payment green, but are concerned about the poor privacy policies.

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Jurisdiction

Netherlands

Legal Entities

Buddy Payment B.V.

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